MotoGP has announced the cancellation of Japanese GP at Twin Ring Motegi as it becomes the seventh grand prix to bite the dust amid COVID-19 pandemic.
After Qatar, Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Britain and Australia, MotoGP has confirmed the cancellation of Japanese GP with Twin Ring Motegi to not host the round in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. It was scheduled for October 16-18 weekend.
It is the third flyaway MotoGP event to be cancelled after Qatar and Australia but it is the first major market, especially for home manufacturers like Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. The other remaining flyaway races are Malaysia, Argentina, USA and Thailand.
Dorna is aiming to re-start the 2020 MotoGP season from mid-July at Jerez and wants to continue racing in Europe until mid-November, leaving less possibility for overseas grand prix. From the remaining races, only Malaysia seems a high probability of happening.
Kaoru Tanaka, President, Mobilityland Corporation, said: “Mobilityland has been preparing for this year’s MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix, however the situations in Japan and Europe are unpredictable and the extension of the international travel ban is expected.
“As a result of our discussions with Dorna, the managerial body of the series, we agreed that we have no choice but to cancel the Japanese GP in order to complete the season. We understand that this is a great disappointment for fans and all related parties. We thank you for your understanding.”
At the same time, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, added: “It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at the very unique Motegi circuit, meaning we will not have a Japanese Grand Prix on the calendar for the first time since 1986.
“The MotoGP family is working very hard to be able to re-start the racing season and hold as many events as possible, and in the safest way possible. For this reason, the FIM and Dorna, in consultation with IRTA and MSMA, have decided that, until mid-November, MotoGP will remain in Europe to do as many European MotoGP events as we are able to.
“Therefore, overseas events, if at all possible, should be scheduled after mid-November – which would be too late in the year for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan to be held. For this reason it has been decided, in consultation with Mobilityland, that the Motul Grand Prix of Japan cannot be held in 2020.
“I very much thank Mobilityland for the support given to MotoGP. On behalf of Dorna, I would also like to thank all the fans for their understanding and patience as we wait for the situation to improve. We very much look forward to returning to Motegi next year.”
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