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MotoGP aiming for July start, no spectators this year

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MotoGP aiming for July start, no spectators this year
By:
Apr 27, 2020, 9:31 AM

MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta says he is “optimistic” the delayed 2020 season can finally begin in July, but admits organising any races this year with spectators will be difficult.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the first 11 round of the 2020 season to be cancelled or postponed, with the only action so far coming in the Qatar Moto2 and Moto3 races.

Since March, Ezpeleta has mooted several ideas for how the season could play out and admitted he would be “delighted” with a 10-round 2020 championship considering the difficulties created by the pandemic.

Speaking in an interview with BT Sport, Ezpeleta gave an update on the current situation, and said every day he believes it is “more possible” races will take place this year.

Having previously ruled out double-headers, the Spaniard said it was now likely that back-to-back races would take place a week apart at the same venue to ease logistical issues.

"The most optimistic [scenario] is to try to start in the end of July," he said. “It depends on the situation because we need to take care about two things.

"One is any individual country will need to allow us to [race] when its doors are open, and second is the possibility to travel from one country to another.

“Then, in principle, we will try to make a championship in Europe, starting at the end of July [or the] beginning of August. Then start to make races, and depending what is the situation, then we will consider the possibility to go to the end of the year if the countries allow us to do it, but always finishing on time [in November].

“This is the best possible scenario, and every day I’m thinking it’s more possible to make these races. Maybe making, depending on the situation, two consecutive events in the same circuit, and then move to another.

"In Europe there is also the possibility to move by car, then it’s more [feasible]. The scenario we are look at right now is to start in July and finish by November."

However, Ezpeleta admitted that holding any races with fans attending is unlikely to happen this season.

"We consider right now the most possible scenario is without the spectators," he said. "Unfortunately don’t think for this season it will be possible [to have races with fans].

"We are considering which circuits could organise these races without spectators."

Ezpeleta confirmed Dorna is working with the teams to determine a minimum number of personnel needed for each weekend, with an approximate total of 1,300 for all three classes – providing that is deemed safe – being looked at.

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Series MotoGP
Author Lewis Duncan