Something that would have escaped the thoughts of most MotoGP fans in this period of down-time is the struggles to repatriate all the MotoGP Teams equipment and machines after the world went into virtual lock-down just as the Grand Prix of Qatar was about to take place.
The Moto2 and Moto3 classes raced at Qatar but the MotoGP Teams were unable to return to Losail International Circuit and yet their equipment remained in Doha following the earlier test held at the venue. There were three classes of freight for MotoGP, team and DHL logistics personnel to pack and repatriate to Europe – a task that only this week has been completed.
Only yesterday were the final containers of equipment flown from Doha back to Europe
Initially a normal timetable was maintained upon completion of the Qatar GP, ensuring all the material was put on pallets and ready to fly to its next destination within a regular time-frame. Under normal circumstances, the freight would have then travelled to the next GP on flights leaving in the subsequent days, but this time it was instead put into storage at Doha airport awaiting more updates on where it would next be required and when.
Thanks to partner Qatar Airways; highly-secure, automated and climate-controlled space was provided for the freight at Hamad International Airport – crucial for much of the material as it was protected from both humidity and any changes in ambient temperature, keeping it safe and secure.
With flights repatriating material from Doha to Spain in extremely high demand, Dorna Sports then worked with Qatar Airways to secure the five flights of freight that were required to repatriate all the material.
The first was able to begin returning the goods on the 1st of April, followed by the second and third on the 8th and 10th of April, respectively – all of which landed in Zaragoza. A flight to Barcelona on the 12th of April then completed four fifths of the task before the final flight landed in Zaragoza on Wednesday the 22nd of April to complete the repatriation.
Only yesterday were the final containers of equipment flown from Doha and landed in Aragon
Once each plane load of material was back in Europe, it was transferred to a secure storage facility in Catalonia on arrival. Some of it will be kept in storage awaiting the next Grand Prix, including much of Dorna’s equipment, whilst much will now be returned to those who have requested it be transferred to their own facilities for storage.
Once the date and location of the next Grand Prix are confirmed, Dorna Sports and logistics partner DHL will resume normal service to continue transporting MotoGP around the world.
At this point in time, it seems the earliest we can expect to see MotoGP back on track will be at the Red Bull Ring in Austria on August 16th. That of course largely depends on how measures to help try and control the Coronavirus are working in the lead up to that date, which is almost four months away.
Red Bull Ring is the most likely venue to host the first MotoGP race of season 2020 on its originally scheduled date of August 16th