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The MotoGP class won’t be kicking off the 2020 season under the lights of Losail, as concerns over the coronavirus outbreak have forced officials to cancel the event.Honda Racing

The IRTA, FIM, and Dorna have announced that all MotoGP sessions, including the race, in Qatar will be canceled. This decision was reached because of increased travel restrictions that affect passengers from Italy and other countries owing to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

“We have been in close contact with the authorities in Qatar to understand exactly what we could do. Then during the weekend, the situation changed a lot,” Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said. “On Saturday and Sunday, it wasn’t a specific problem for anyone, but later on Sunday we received indication from the authorities in Qatar that due to the situation in Italy and around the world, every one of Italian nationality or residents of Italy arriving from there needs to be sure they haven’t been in Italy during the last 14 days. In those cases, it’s not that entrance to Qatar is forbidden, but anyone who has been in Italy in the last 14 days is advised that they will be quarantined for 14 days in Qatar. Obviously that’s not possible for our people, and this was what led us to cancel the MotoGP category at the Grand Prix of Qatar. Because Moto2 and Moto3 have been testing this week in Qatar, it’s possible to continue with the Championship but only with Moto2 and Moto3, as well as the Asia Talent Cup.”

Since riders in the Moto2 and Moto3 classes were already in Qatar for a three-day official test at Losail International Circuit, the races will proceed as planned March 6 through 8.

Additionally, today the FIM, IRTA, and Dorna have announced that the OR Thailand Grand Prix, originally scheduled for March 22, will be postponed. This too is a result of the heightened concern of the spread of the coronavirus.

As of writing, there is no word yet when the series will start. The next round on schedule is for April 5 at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. However, with travel advisories and restrictions becoming more stringent by the day in the United States, it’s uncertain whether this event will remain on schedule as planned.

“There will absolutely be a 2020 MotoGP season,” Ezpeleta said. “We will try to continue with everything and stay aware of the situation because it’s changing day by day, but our wish is to do all the races in the 2020 season.”

This is a developing story, and we will provide news of any decision reached by the FIM, IRTA, and Dorna regarding the start of the 2020 MotoGP season once it’s available.

Source: motorcyclistonline.com

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