Dorna chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta has provided an update on the plans to salvage 2020 MotoGP season, with a preferred option being a European-based campaign running between July until November.

With the coronavirus pandemic halting all motorsport and forcing the majority of the globe into lockdown, Dorna chiefs have been assessing how to restart the MotoGP season once restrictions are eased later in the year.

MotoGP organisers remain open to all options, including running races without spectators and multiple races at the same circuit, with current predictions on a 10-race world championship for all Grand Prix classes.

While Ezpeleta concedes key decisions “remain out of our hands” as it waits for travel restrictions to be lifted, he has outlined a European-based season if the sport can travel by roads across the continent.

“We have seen different scenarios and the most optimistic is to start in the end of July,” Ezpeleta told BT Sport. “Then it will depend on the situation but we will need to take care of two things; one is any individual countries that can allow us to do it when the doors are open and the second is the possibility of travelling from one country to another.

“In principle we will concentrate on making a championship in Europe starting in July or August with races and, depending on what the situation is, then we will consider the possibility of going elsewhere at the end of the year, if the countries allow us to do it, but always finishing on time.

“This is the best-possible scenario and every day I am thinking how it will be possible. Maybe making two consecutive events in the same circuit and then move to another. In Europe we can move by car and then it is more possible. The scenario we are looking at right now is to start in July and finish by November.”

Ezpeleta believes races held behind closed doors and shut to spectators at the track will also be its best chance of getting the season up and running. MotoGP officials have already discussed with teams the prospect of running skeleton crews to minimise the number of people at the track, but if all three Grand Prix classes and MotoE are run the sport would still need around 1,300 people working at the track.

“We consider the most likely scenario right now is without spectators because we don’t think it will be possible unfortunately, unless there is a vaccine or whatever is possible,” he said. “It will be difficult to have spectators otherwise. We are considering which circuits are available to organise races without spectators.

“We will consider doing all three categories, and MotoE also, and what we are doing is working with IRTA and the teams to work out what is the maximum number of people in the paddock. We think it will be around 1,300 or something like that to be controlled and having tests for everybody if it is possible. The most important thing will be to make races and show them on television.”

Ezpeleta also hinted at an alternative plan if the season cannot get underway in July or August by running a condensed campaign from September until the end of the year.

“There is another possibility of making another championship from September, but I think that will be the most difficult thing to do, making the entire championship in the end of the year from September.

“We are still considering all the possibilities because many things are not in our hands so we cannot decide when the boarders will be open and what the possibilities will be.

“We are in contact with all the ministers for sport in the countries we visit then we consider these possibilities. A multi-national championship will be a little more difficult but we are working with any individual country, organiser and global people who will allow us to move from one country and circuit to another.”

MotoGP is yet to officially confirm the delays for Sachsenring, Assen or KymiRing rounds despite those races expected to be postponed from the original dates.

Official 2020 MotoGP Calendar (April 7)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

-

8 March

Qatar (MotoGP cancelled)

Losail

 

3 May

Spain (postponed)

Jerez

 

17 May

France (postponed)

Le Mans

 

31 May

Italy (postponed)

Mugello

 

7 June

Catalunya (postponed)

Barcelona

1

21 June

Germany?

Sachsenring

2

28 June

Netherlands?

TT Circuit Assen

3

12 July

Finland?

KymiRing (Subject to homologation)

4

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

5

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

6

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

7

13 September

San Marino

Misano

8

27 September

Aragon

Aragon (rescheduled)

9

4 October

Thailand

Buriram (rescheduled)

10

18 October

Japan

Motegi

11

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

12

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

13

15 November

Americas

COTA (rescheduled)

14

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo (rescheduled)

15

29 November

Valencia

Ricardo Tormo (rescheduled)

 

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