Coronavirus Causes MotoGP Cancellation And Postponement For Qatar And Thai GP
Travel restrictions to Qatar for passengers arriving from Italy has forced the cancelation of the opening round of the MotoGP class at this weekend’s Qatar GP. However, the race will still take place for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes since the riders and teams were already at the Losail track for the official Qatar Test held from 28 Feb-1 Mar.
Although the ENEOS-sponsored Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team with riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are disappointed not to be able to open the 2020 MotoGP season this week, there’s a consensus that health and safety should come first. Currently, passengers arriving at Doha on direct flights from Italy, or having been in Italy during the past two weeks, will be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days upon arrival in Qatar.
The ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus will also impact the Thailand Grand Prix, which was scheduled for 20–22 March. It has been postponed by the Thai government for all MotoGP classes. The series organizers, FIM, IRTA and Dorna, are evaluating whether an alternative date will be possible.
“It’s really bad news,” said Rossi. “It’s such a pity because we were ready to start the season after winter training, both physically and psychologically. After the test in Qatar I was looking forward to the first race. The MotoGP class cancellation for Qatar is difficult news, especially for the fans, because now we do not know how long we will have to wait before we can start racing. It is certainly a long time, considering the next GP in Thailand has been postponed for all classes. I hope everything will get better in the next weeks.”