Right on the heels of the Qatar season opener being cancelled for the premiere class, with new quarantine restrictions effecting riders from a number of countries, Thailand has announced that the Thai MotoGP round, due to kick off March 22 as the second round of the season will be postponed.
Update from Carmelo Ezpeleta
Following the cancellation of the MotoGP class at the QNB Grand Prix of Qatar and the postponement of the OR Thailand Grand Prix, Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has made the following statement:
“We have been in close contact with the authorities in Qatar to understand exactly what we could do. 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.”
Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul earlier stating the round will be postponed indefinitely due to the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, as the country seeks to reduce the associated risks with running big events with large numbers of spectators.
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul
“It is necessary for us to postpone the OR Thailand Grand Prix 2020 in Buri Ram scheduled for late March for an indefinite period since Covid-19 has been declared a dangerous communicable disease which has sent a world-wide impact. This is to reflect the government’s seriousness in tackling the problem. The prime minister has been informed about this.”
The news comes following a highly successful 2019 MotoGP round at Chang International Circuit in Buriram.
An official statement from MotoGP further clarified the situation stating:
“As the global outbreak of coronavirus continues to develop, the Thai government has communicated that it won’t be possible to hold the OR Thailand Grand Prix on its original date. The FIM, IRTA and Dorna therefore regret to announce that the event, due to be held on the 22nd of March in Buriram, has been postponed. The FIM, IRTA and Dorna are currently evaluating if an alternative date is possible for the event later this season.”
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