Due to the circumstances related to the current spreading of Coronavirus aka COVID-19, the MotoGP premier class race scheduled to take place in Qatar this weekend is now cancelled for all sessions. The Moto3 and Moto2 races will still continue due to the teams and riders who are already there after completing their final pre-season testing at the Losail International Circuit.
Below is the official announcement posted by Dorna and FIM on the MotoGP official website.
MotoGP™ Class cancelled at the Grand Prix of Qatar
FIM, IRTA and Dorna regret to announce the cancellation of all MotoGP™ class sessions at the Grand Prix of Qatar, including the race.
The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Qatar travel restrictions being brought into force that affect passengers from Italy, amongst other countries. As of today, all passengers arriving at Doha on direct flights from Italy, or having been in Italy in the past 2 weeks, will be taken straight to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. Italy clearly plays a vital role in the Championship and in the MotoGP class – both on track and off – and therefore the decision has been taken to cancel the premier class competition.
As the teams and riders of the Moto2™ and Moto3™ classes were already in Qatar for the three-day official test at Losail International Circuit earlier this week, the races of both categories will be possible. The lightweight and intermediate classes will, therefore, compete in their season opener from the 6th to 8th March. The same will apply to the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup, which will have two races during the Qatar Grand Prix as originally planned. Stay tuned for a revised schedule.
It is sad that we won’t be able to see the new 2020 MotoGP bikes battling it out in the opening round but for the sake of stopping the virus from spreading even further, the action was needed not only for teams and riders but also fellow fans as well. The next question is, would this also affect the next MotoGP 2020 round in Thailand which is going to take place at the end of March? Stay tuned for more updates.