Davide Brivio has been involved in world championship motorcycle racing since 1992, but he's never experienced anything like the current situation caused by the coronavirus.

The first four rounds of the MotoGP season have so been cancelled or postponed and few would be surprised if the new opening event at Jerez on May 3 - plus following rounds at Le Mans and Mugello - are also delayed.

"There has never been such an emergency situation which has resulted in the cancellation or postponement of races," Brivio said.

"We had an economic crisis in 2008 and we tried to reduce costs, and then in 2018 we cancelled a race at Silverstone because of the extreme weather conditions.

"But I don’t remember any situation which, for political or health reasons, meant such a long stop. Nobody has experienced this in world sport before. This is a global situation.”

Stressing that "public health and people’s safety are the priority" the Suzuki MotoGP team boss added:

"The modern sporting world has never suffered anything like this. In a way it almost makes me think of something like a World War situation which causes everything to stop."

The non-stop nature of a normal MotoGP season means future planning is essential but for now all such scheduling has gone "out of the window".

"So much of our lives revolve around long-term planning and preparing, always looking ahead to the next week, month, or even year," Brivio said.

"But now that the severity of the situation is clear we have to realise that plans go out the window.

"It’s impossible to make plans now because so many things can change, and plans changing at the last minute has almost become the norm.

"So we try to do the best we can, we wait, and we give priority to health and taking care of our families.”

When a racing series can't race, there is an obvious economic impact for all involved.

Previously, the fallout from the 2008 financial crisis prompted Suzuki to withdraw from MotoGP for three seasons.

But if the plan of running all the postponed races later in 2020 is successful, Brivio feels the impact "won’t be so big", although those that rely most on sponsorship payments will suffer greater cash flow issues.

“The entire economy is affected, and I believe our company is no different. The whole business is functioning differently at the moment. And of course it affects the MotoGP series too," Brivio said.

"The impact won’t be so big if we are able to continue the season without any more cancellations - when we cancel, organisers and promoters lose out. It also affects the teams who have a lot of sponsorship.

"But if I’m honest, nobody is really thinking about financial things right now, because business and economics are the secondary priority.

"The focus for everybody is much more on health and on how to find a way to fix things. Later on, when the emergency is over, we will think about these matters.”

With further MotoGP calendar disruption all but certain, Brivio said that teams can only be ready to react to the changing circumstances.

“We are following the situation day by day, like everybody else, to check how it’s developing. We simply have to try and make plans and then wait to see if they can be carried out, if the plan can’t happen, we make a new one.

"We are keeping in contact with Dorna and IRTA to modify things accordingly depending on the news. Of course we hope to be back on track as soon as possible, but first we have to get out of this emergency.”

Addressing the MotoGP fans, Brivio said he is just as keen as them to start the racing season and predicts a "great championship" lies ahead.

But for now "the most important race we have is the one against Covid-19. Let’s beat that and then we can enjoy life again and enjoy MotoGP as well.

"We understand how [the fans] feel because we’re also waiting, and perhaps even more keen than our fans to get back on track and start racing.

“It will be a great championship when it starts! There are many riders capable of great performances and there will be many fighting for the victory.

"I know it’s hard to wait, but at the moment, let’s concentrate on this emergency. It’s imperative that we follow instructions and stay at home, like the Italians are strictly doing now.

"If we do this all around the world for few weeks, we will be able to start racing as soon as possible.”

Alex Rins and Joan Mir will form the Suzuki MotoGP line-up for the second consecutive season.

 

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