News 4 Mar 2020
Thai grand prix postponed amid ongoing Coronavirus outbreak
Thailand authorities put hold on large-scale events.
After the MotoGP class was cancelled for Qatar’s season-opener, the Thai grand prix has now been postponed as the ongoing Coronavirus makes a further impact on the series.
Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta made a staement following the news, where he emphasised the championship will still be going ahead despite last-minute changes in the schedule.
“We have been in close contact with the authorities in Qatar to understand exactly what we could do,” Ezpeleta said. “Then during the weekend, the situation changed a lot. On Saturday and Sunday it wasn’t a specific problem for anyone, but later on on Sunday we received indication from the authorities in Qatar that due to the situation in Italy and around the world, everyone of Italian nationality or residents of Italy arriving from there needs to be sure they haven’t been in Italy during the last 14 days.
“In those cases, it’s not that entrance to Qatar is forbidden, but anyone who has been in Italy in the last 14 days is advised that they will be quarantined for 14 days in Qatar. Obviously that’s not possible for our people, and this was what led us to cancel the MotoGP category at the grand prix of Qatar. Because Moto2 and Moto3 have been testing this week in Qatar, it’s possible to continue with the championship but only with Moto2 and Moto3, as well as the Asia Talent Cup.
“We have been speaking to the authorities in Thailand all weekend and they advised us that early on Monday, Thailand time, there would be a meeting to decide which events can happen in Thailand. It’s not related to Italians or anyone of any other nationality going to Thailand, it’s that they have decided to cancel big events with large numbers of spectators. It’s different to the situation with Qatar, so we decided to postpone the Thailand Grand Prix and try to locate a date at the end of the year to make the GP possible.
“There will absolutely be a 2020 MotoGP season. We will try to continue with everything and stay aware of the situation because it’s changing day by day, but our wish is to do all the races in the 2020 season.”