Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna Sports, has issued the following statement in the face of disruption to the opening rounds of the 2020 season caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

This weekend's event in Qatar will now take place without the premier-class after the country introduced harsh entry restrictions for recent visitors to Italy. Moto2 and Moto3 will still go ahead as teams and riders are already present following their final pre-season test at the Losail track.

Round two in Thailand was then postponed as the country seeks to limit the spread of the virus by cancelling 'big events with large numbers of spectators'. Buriram, the most popular MotoGP event of the year in terms of crowd numbers, could now be moved to later in the season.

That means the first MotoGP race of the year is now set for Austin, Texas from April 3-5 - assuming no new restrictions are applied by the US government - and Ezpeleta still 'aims' to hold all 20-rounds, but admits the situation is changing 'day-by-day'...

“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. On Saturday and Sunday it wasn’t a specific problem for anyone, but later on on Sunday we received indication from the authorities in Qatar that due to the situation in Italy and around the world, everyone 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.

“We have been speaking to the authorities in Thailand all weekend and they advised us that early on Monday, Thailand time, there would be a meeting to decide which events can happen in Thailand. It’s not related to Italians or anyone of any other nationality going to Thailand, it’s that they have decided to cancel big events with large numbers of spectators. It’s different to the situation with Qatar, so we decided to postpone the Thailand Grand Prix and try to locate a date at the end of the year to make the GP possible.

“There will absolutely be a 2020 MotoGP season. 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.”

Organisers of round four in Argentina insist their MotoGP is not at risk.

Updated 2020 MotoGP Calendar

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

8 March

Qatar (no MotoGP class)

Losail International Circuit

2

22 March

Thailand (postponed)

Chang International Circuit

3

5 April

Americas

Circuit of the Americas

4

19 April

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

5

3 May

Jerez

Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto

6

17 May

France

Le Mans

7

31 May

Italy

Mugello

8

7 June

Catalunya

Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya

9

21 June

Germany

Sachsenring

10

28 June

Netherlands

TT Circuit Assen

11

12 July

Finland**

KymiRing

12

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

13

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring - Spielberg

14

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

15

13 September

San Marino

Misano

16

4 October

Aragon

MotorLand Aragon

17

18 October

Japan

Motegi

18

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

19

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

20

15 November

Valencia

Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo

 

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