More bad news from the world of MotoGP, folks. After the announcement regarding the cancellation of the Australian and British Grand Prix, Japan was next to make the sad but necessary announcement to cancel the round at the Twin Ring Motegi which was set to take place in the middle of October.
With the confirmed withdrawal from the 2020 season for both Japan and Australia, there will be no flyaway races at the end of the championship where weekly back-to-back races usually happen at Motegi, Phillip Island, and Sepang. The question now is, will this affect the round that was planned to take place here in Malaysia around the same time frame?
According to Kaoru Tanaka, President, Mobilityland Corporation, “Mobilityland has been preparing for this year’s MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix, however the situations in Japan and Europe are unpredictable and the extension of the international travel ban is expected. As a result of our discussions with Dorna, the managerial body of the series, we agreed that we have no choice but to cancel the Japanese GP in order to complete the season. We understand that this is a great disappointment for fans and all related parties. We thank you for your understanding.”
As for Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna’s CEO, he stated “It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at the very unique Motegi circuit, meaning we will not have a Japanese Grand Prix on the calendar for the first time since 1986. The MotoGP™ family is working very hard to be able to re-start the racing season and hold as many events as possible, and in the safest way possible. For this reason, the FIM and Dorna, in consultation with IRTA and MSMA, have decided that, until mid-November, MotoGP™ will remain in Europe to do as many European MotoGP™ events as we are able to.”
“Therefore, overseas events, if at all possible, should be scheduled after mid-November – which would be too late in the year for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan to be held. For this reason, it has been decided, in consultation with Mobilityland, that the Motul Grand Prix of Japan cannot be held in 2020. I very much thank Mobilityland for the support given to MotoGP™. On behalf of Dorna, I would also like to thank all the fans for their understanding and patience as we wait for the situation to improve. We very much look forward to returning to Motegi next year,” added Ezpeleta.
For now, all participating authorities are planning for the Malaysian MotoGP round to go as planned from 30 October – 1 November 2020. The current COVID-19 situation here in the country is looking promising at the moment, but it’s up to the Government on whether they’ll allow the race to take place. With or without fans in the stands is still being considered as well.
Image credit: MotoGP