Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has explained the decision to cancel MotoGP races plus discussed how grand prix will be held in future, COVID-19 cases and more.
Following the cancellation of the German GP, Dutch GP and Finnish GP, which joined Qatar GP in the list, Dorna CEO Ezpeleta has explained the decision taken plus expanded on how the races in future may take place along with COVID-19 cases.
The need for cancellation:
Ezpeleta – “The reason is because we are contemplating the possibility to start in July but the problem is with the situation and authorities it will be difficult to do with spectators, so any of these Grands Prix without spectators is very difficult to do. It’s for that reason that we’ve decided with the three local promoters and to pass onto next year with those three, instead of putting them on a new date.
“This is the situation. This coronavirus problem is something we’ve never seen and so, unfortunately, it’s not a possibility. The authorities of the Netherlands have forbidden events until the end of August and so it’s completely impossible. After that in Assen, it will be difficult to organise a Grand Prix and more difficult again without spectators.”
Potential start date for 2020 MotoGP season plus other ideas:
Ezpeleta – “Our idea right now is to start at the end of July. Where and when are still to be decided. We’re sure our initial program is to start in Europe and race from the end of July until November and see what’s happening and if the non-European races will be possible after November.
“In the worst case, if it’s not possible to travel outside of Europe, we’ll at least keep a championship of least 10 to 12 races between the end of July and the end of November. We are considering multiple races. To do maybe – not during the same race weekend – doing two consecutive race weekends at the same circuit.”
COVID-19 protocol, cases in the MotoGP paddock:
Ezpeleta – “We are working just on the 10,00 coronavirus tests which we agreed with Bridgepoint. Then what we are doing is to try to make a protocol, which is the way we’re working within Dorna now to see how the races could be without spectators and with a limited number of people working in the paddock which will give different situations regarding transportation, accommodation, hospitality.
“Then everyone will be tested before leaving their house, then tested when they arrive at the circuit and also when they return home. This is the idea. We are working with another company which belongs to Bridgepoint to acquire these 10,000 tests. We talked to the teams and arrived at a consensus that maximum number for a MotoGP manufacturer team will be 40, for satellite or independent teams will be 25, 20 for Moto2 and 15 for Moto3.
“Then there will be, of course, all the people who produce the television signal; all this crew, then the minimum number of people from Dorna who are in charge of race organisation. This will give us an average of around 1600 people. This is a possibility to control the MotoGP family. Unfortunately at the moment will be no media and no TV. Maybe, but not sure, maybe some photographers to supply images to everybody.
“We are very busy but very happy to try to do that. The most important thing is to try to keep the situation under control. We are also extremely happy because there have been very few cases of Coronavirus in the MotoGP family and all of them, so far, have been resolved well. This is the most important thing.”
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