MotoGP will only hold races in Asia this year if fans are allowed to attend, Dorna's Carmelo Ezpeleta has stated.

While the bulk of the coronavirus-disrupted championship is set to be held behind closed-doors in Europe, with some circuits hosting two back-to-back race weekends, MotoGP has not yet ruled out tacking-on some overseas rounds at the end of the season.

But for cost reasons, the planned Asian events such at Buriram (Thailand), Motegi (Japan) and Sepang (Malaysia) will only go ahead if coronavirus restrictions have eased enough to allow spectators to be present.

"We are now in 'scenario one' for the calendar and think it will be possible to start in the middle of July in Europe, in Spain. We are waiting for the final approval of the government," Ezpeleta told Fox Sports Asia.

"Our idea is to make around 12-13 grands prix in Europe between July and the beginning of November. If grands prix outside of Europe are possible then we will move to Asia and America during November until the middle of December.

"Maybe from the beginning of September we will be able to announce finally if the non-European grands prix will happen or not."

Ezpeleta added: "The races in Europe will be possible without spectators, but to go to Asia without spectators is very difficult because of the costs.

"So we will go to Asia if it possible to hold races with spectators present and we are talking with the different promoters to know if this is possible or not."

Buriram hosted the biggest race weekend crowd of last season with 226,655-weekend fans, while Sepang has been sold-out on race day (100,000+ fans) in recent years.

While both countries have only a fraction of the coronavirus cases and deaths recorded in Europe, they have suffered significant outbreaks due to large public gatherings, which remain banned.

Since ticket sales (along with fees paid by merchandise, food and beverage stands) are the primary source of income for a circuit when hosting a MotoGP event, Dorna will probably need to at least cover a track's operating costs in the case of a closed-door race. But in the case of overseas events, they already have the added cost of paying for the teams' freight.

Meanwhile, Ezpeleta also confirmed that mid-December is the absolute latest that a MotoGP race will be held in 2020.

Latest 2020 MotoGP Calendar (including free weekends)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

 

8 March

Qatar (MotoGP cancelled)

Losail

 

17 May

France (postponed)

Le Mans

 

31 May

Italy (postponed)

Mugello

 

7 June

Catalunya (postponed)

Barcelona

 

21 June

Germany (cancelled)

Sachsenring

 

28 June

Netherlands (cancelled)

Assen

 

12 July

Finland (cancelled)

KymiRing

1

19 July

Spain (proposed)

Jerez (rescheduled)

2

26 July

Andalusia (proposed)

Jerez

 

2 August

 

 

3

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

4

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

 

23 August

  

5

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

 

6 September

  

6

13 September

San Marino

Misano

 

20 September

  

7

27 September

Aragon

Aragon (rescheduled)

8

4 October

Thailand

Buriram (rescheduled)

 

11 October

  

9

18 October

Japan

Motegi

10

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

11

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

 

8 November

  

12

15 November

Americas

COTA (rescheduled)

13

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo (rescheduled)

14

29 November

Valencia

Ricardo Tormo (rescheduled)

November seen as cut-off for European races

 

6 December

 

 

 

13 December

 

Mid-December seen as cut-off for races outside Europe

 

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