Qatar MotoGP opener cancelled due to coronavirus fears

The FIM and MotoGP have announced the 2020 season opener in Qatar will not go ahead due to travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

Qatar MotoGP opener cancelled due to coronavirus fears

The novel coronavirus – known as Covid-19 – originated in China and is reported to have infected more than 80,000 people and resulted in at least 3,000 deaths.

In recent days, the first cases of the disease were confirmed in Qatar, while nearby Iran has seen a spike in infections.

With confirmed cases of coronavirus rising in Japan and Italy in the last week – where most of the paddock’s teams are based – Dorna implemented procedures to ensure travelling MotoGP personnel from those countries would be granted access to the country. 

However, with the situation surrounding travel and coronavirus in a constant state of flux, the FIM and Dorna has taken the decision to cancel. The Moto2 and Moto3 races will go ahead, due to both series already being in the country for their final pre-season tests. 

Read Also:

A statement from the FIM read: "Due to Qatar travel restrictions brought into force affecting passengers from Italy (amongst other countries), the premier class will not race at Losail.

"FIM, IRTA and Dorna regret to announce the cancellation of all MotoGP class sessions at the Grand Prix of Qatar, including the race.

"The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Qatar travel restrictions being brought into force that affect passengers from Italy, amongst other countries. As of today, all passengers arriving at Doha on direct flights from Italy, or having been in Italy in the past 2 weeks, will be taken straight to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

|Italy clearly plays a vital role in the Championship and in the MotoGP class - both on track and off - and therefore the decision has been taken to cancel premier class competition.

"As the teams and riders of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes were already in Qatar for the three-day official test at Losail International Circuit earlier this week, the races of both categories will be possible. The lightweight and intermediate classes will therefore compete in their season opener from the 6th to 8th March."

It is unlikely that the second round in Thailand will go ahead now, due to problems likely to arise in entering the United States for the following round in Austin, Texas. 

Though no confirmation has been made, it is likely the season will start on April 5 at the Circuit of the Americas – which was originally scheduled to be the third round of the campaign.

The cancellation of the Qatar MotoGP race likely means World Superbike’s round at Losail the week after will also be canned. 

shares
comments
Suzuki won't have holeshot device for Qatar

Previous article

Suzuki won't have holeshot device for Qatar

Next article

Ezpeleta: There absolutely will be a MotoGP season

Ezpeleta: There absolutely will be a MotoGP season
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021