Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio has expressed his disappointment that the opening round of the MotoGP season, scheduled for Qatar this weekend, has been cancelled.

Aware of tightening travel restrictions, Suzuki was among the teams to have kept some staff in Qatar after the recent MotoGP test session.

But it was to no avail. Qatar announced its first case of coronavirus on Saturday (a passenger from Iran) then introduced a minimum 14-day quarantine for all arrivals that had recently been in Italy, scuppering hopes of holding the MotoGP race.

Nonetheless, since the Moto3 and Moto2 classes were already in Qatar for their final pre-season test, the Qatar event for those classes will still go ahead as planned.

Speaking before this morning's announcement that round two in Thailand has been postponed, Brivio said:

“Obviously It’s a big shame to have to cancel this first race of the season, as we were all really ready to start, and so were the MotoGP fans

"Some of our team staff stayed in Qatar following the test days, as we were aware of the seriousness of the outbreak.

"But at this time the most important thing is the safety of the people, and we have to respect the decision made by the local authorities and by the MotoGP officials.

"It’s a delicate and strange time for everyone around the world and we need to take things race-by-race at the moment and see what develops in the coming weeks.

"I’d like to wish good luck to those riding in Moto2 and Moto3 next weekend, and I hope we can be back on the track soon.”

Brivio's riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir were fourth and sixth fastest, respectively, during the Qatar test.

The new MotoGP season is currently scheduled to start at Texas in April but few would be surprised if that event is also, at best, postponed.