MotoGP not ruling out behind-closed doors races

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta admits running MotoGP races behind closed doors is a consideration to minimise disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

MotoGP not ruling out behind-closed doors races

New quarantine procedures for those travelling from Italy in Qatar led MotoGP to cancel to the first race of the season, while the second round in Thailand was postponed due to a countrywide ban on large public gatherings.

A new calendar has confirmed Austin – originally round three – as the first race of the season, with Thailand moved back to October 4. However, the continued rise in cases worldwide poses further threats to racing as the season goes on.

Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix – which will only have Moto2 and Moto3 present – Ezpeleta says “everything is possible” in terms of ensuring events are run, with races behind closed doors on option. 

“The most important thing for us is to have a solution altogether for everything," he said. “We say always that Dorna with its agreements with FIM and IRTA, it’s a company process and this is our obligation.

“This most important thing - more important than economical things - is to make races and I ensure you with the collaboration of all the people of IRTA, of all the Moto2 and Moto3 managers, we will try to do as many races as we can.

“Right now I will not say I am optimistic or not, but the only thing I promise to you is we will work hard for whatever solution is happening to make the remaining races happen – the 19 remaining races.”

Ezpeleta revealed Dorna had attempted to organise a charter flight from France to get all Italian riders as well as enough crew for each team to viably run the race to Qatar, and was close to succeeding before the country announced new restrictions. 

He also confirmed that, because of track works being carried out at Losail, there would be no room for a rescheduled Qatar round at any point this year.

It was also revealed that the minimum number of races Dorna needs to run in order to fulfil its contractual obligations with the FIM is 13. A total of 20 races were scheduled this year prior to the cancellation of the Qatar round.

shares
comments
MotoGP issues new calendar amid coronavirus disruption
Previous article

MotoGP issues new calendar amid coronavirus disruption

Next article

Austin state of emergency casts major doubt over MotoGP opener

Austin state of emergency casts major doubt over MotoGP opener
Load comments
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022
How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention Prime

How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention

Enea Bastianini’s second win of the 2022 campaign at COTA puts him back in the lead of the standings and once again showed the best Ducati package is still the 2021 bike. Those closest to Bastianini tell Motorsport.com why he’s so good on the GP21 relative to his factory counterparts.

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2022
How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag Prime

How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag

Aleix Espargaro became MotoGP's newest winner in a thrilling Argentina Grand Prix in which he also proved the merits of the Aprilia project. After six years of hard graft, both parties have reaped the rewards they have long thought they deserved. But it was several key moments in that journey that led both to that momentous Sunday at Termas de Rio Hondo.

MotoGP
Apr 4, 2022