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MotoGP Indonesian GP

MotoGP Argentina freight issues impacted by war in Ukraine

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta says MotoGP’s freight issues that have impacted this weekend’s Argentina Grand Prix have been partly caused by the war in Ukraine.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports

Mechanical issues with two flights containing MotoGP paddock cargo from Indonesia have caused major delays in a number of teams receiving freight for this weekend’s race at Termas de Rio Hondo.

One cargo plane remains grounded in Kenya and a replacement engine valve is on its way, with the hopes that the flight can take off this evening.

But due to the delays in freight arriving, MotoGP has cancelled all of Friday’s running in Argentina.

In an exceptional press conference staged on Thursday at midday local time, Dorna CEO Ezpeleta said the weekend will go ahead without problem if the flight is able to leave Kenya by 8pm.

He also revealed this issue has been compounded by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month and ensuing sanctions being imposed on Russia, as many previously used haulage companies – with Ezpeleta estimating the figure at around 20% - operated out of the country.

“Always the situation, and we learned a lot during 30 years of running [MotoGP], that the situation with the flight is very complicated.

“There is the main problem, and this problem has [also] been growing due to the war in Ukraine.

“Many of the flights for the freight are from Russian companies and all these flights are forbidden right now.

“We've lost almost 20% of the flights available in the world and the biggest problem right now is there are no flights to be shared, because we were talking with enough time from last Wednesday into now to solve the problem.

“The problem is there are not more flights available to us in this moment, and we have no other solution than to wait for the valves to be repaired [with] the flight in Mombasa and to be lucky to arrive here.”

Empty garages on Thursday

Empty garages on Thursday

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The logistics of getting MotoGP from the island of Lombok in Indonesia and Argentina has been immense, with three cargo flights going via Kenya, Lagos and Brazil, while the other two went via Doha, Ghana and then onto Argentina.

But when asked if this problem will force a rethink in how the calendar is shaped from next year, Ezpeleta believes having Indonesia and Argentina split by two weeks isn’t an issue.

“In the first case, well, maybe we need to reconsider and to ensure as well when we have back-to-back races, but this time there was a week gap in the middle [between Indonesia and Argentina].

“Unfortunately, we cannot solve the situation to avoid this problem.

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“This grand prix, we’ve had 499 grands prix we’ve organised and thank God it’s the first time we’ve had this problem, and to be honest considered overall, it’s not good but we are prepared to accept these kind of things.

“Our main objective today is to make the race in Argentina and to continue making the race in the USA next week.”

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