MotoGP could run two-race weekends if more rounds are cancelled

FIM president Jorge Viegas admits MotoGP could resort to running two races on the one weekend should coronavirus force more races to be cancelled

MotoGP could run two-race weekends if more rounds are cancelled

Tighter quarantine procedures in Qatar for travellers from Italy initiated prior to the Qatar Grand Prix meant MotoGP promoters Dorna Sports had no choice but to scrap the season-opener for the premier class.

The Qatar event still went ahead with Moto2 and Moto3, as both championships were already present at the circuit the week prior for a test.

Due to a ban on large public gatherings in Thailand, MotoGP also had to postpone the second round of the season to 4 October.

The new season-opener in Texas is now under serious threat owing to host city Austin declaring a state of emergency at the weekend and the Italian government imposing a month-long quarantine on 16 million of its citizens.

In an interview with Catalunya Radio, Viegas admitted the FIM and Dorna were already looking at new dates for the Austin race as the chance of it going ahead is now "very low".

"The chances of the United States Grand Prix being held on 5 April are very low," Viegas said.

"Anyway, we are already working to find alternative dates for the race in Austin.

"But at this moment things are evolving so fast that we cannot say more."

Contractually, MotoGP has to run a minimum of 13 races, with Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta admitting last week in Qatar that running events behind closed doors was one option under consideration.

Just days later, organisers for the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix announced it would be doing exactly this for its 22 March race.

Viegas reiterated Ezpeleta's comments, while adding that MotoGP will run in January if it has to or stage two races at the same circuit in one weekend if necessary.

"Right now I have total confidence that the championship will have more than 13 races," Viegas added.

"If we have to run in January, we will.

"We can hold two grands prix in the same weekend (at the same circuit) or run behind closed doors.

"All that [is possible] if there is no other solution.

"In the current situation there are no taboos. You have to be flexible and have imagination."

Viegas also didn't rule out the possibility staging races at circuits not on the current calendar, with Portugal's Portimao and Estoril (a former MotoGP host venue) circuits marked as reserve tracks.

"Portimao is a reserve circuit, just like Estoril.

"In Portugal there are no [travel] restrictions [yet]."

shares
comments
Several MotoGP teams to continue testing this month at Jerez

Previous article

Several MotoGP teams to continue testing this month at Jerez

Next article

Argentina replaces Austin as 2020 MotoGP season opening round

Argentina replaces Austin as 2020 MotoGP season opening round
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Oriol Puigdemont
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021