British and Australian MotoGP events bite the dust
Two more rounds have been dropped from motorcycling’s 2020 MotoGP World Championship with the cancellation of the British and Australian Grands Prix.
Dorna Sports, the promoter of the series, has cited “logistical and operations issues” caused by the global coronavirus pandemic for the loss of the popular races. Both the UK and Australia have imposed quarantine restrictions in the current health climate.
The British Grand Prix was due to take place at Silverstone on 28 to 30 August, and its cancellation means that there will be no MotoGP event in the UK for the first time in the championship’s history, dating back over 70 years.
Phillip Island was to stage the Australian round on 23 to 25 October but it has also been called off.
Both circuits have expressed their strong intention to return to the calendar in 2021.
The top-tier MotoGP season is yet to get under way and four rounds - Qatar, Germany, the Netherlands and Finland - had already been cancelled.
However, Dorna is hopeful that the campaign can finally get under way, albeit behind closed doors, with two races in Jerez in Spain in the second half of July.
Carmelo Ezpeleta, the chief executive of Dorna said: “We’re saddened to have to announce the cancellation of these iconic events after finding no way through the logistical and operational issues resulting from the pandemic and rearranged calendar. Silverstone and Phillip Island are always two of the most thrilling race weekends of the season, with both tracks never failing in their promise to deliver some of the closest racing in our Championship.”
Dorna also promotes the World Superbike Championship, which is set to resume in Jerez on 31 July to 2 August, and continue at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal on 7 to 9 August and at the MotorLand Aragon venue back in Spain on 28 to 30 August.
Only one round was held, at Phillip Island, before the 2020 season was suspended.
It was announced today that the British round at Donington Park at the start of July and the Dutch round at Assen in late-August had both been postponed (the latter for the second time) given restrictions on sporting events in the two countries but hopes remain that they can be staged later in the year.
Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK executive director, sporting and organisation departments, said: “We are very positive about the future, as all the signs are pointing in a good direction to start in Jerez. We are looking at all possible scenarios for all three classes to race, although we continue to work hard on finding the optimum scenario for all parties.
“A lot will depend on the measures that various governments will implement. As for Donington Park and Assen, we are working with the circuits and governments to establish the best possible outcome for all, with the intention to hold those rounds towards the end of the 2020 season.”Sportcal