The international roadracing scene continues to suffer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with MotoGP announcing a round of cancellations this week.
MotoGP has officially confirmed the cancellation of the Finnish, German and Dutch races this season. Earlier races in the schedule (Le Mans, Jerez, Mugello, Catalunya, etc.) were all announced as re-scheduled, not dropped from the calendar entirely. Now, the drawn-out misery of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced MotoGP officials to come out and say it: more races will be cancelled.
In a video statement, MotoGP czar Carmelo Ezpelita said the series is hoping to be racing by the end of July. As the current calendar stands, the first race that remains on the schedule is the Brno round on August 9. After that, it’s the Austrian race on August 16—and then the Silverstone GP, which is itself a major question mark.
So what do we know? When the first problems started appearing on the calendar, Ezpelita said Dorna intended to at least have a 10-race series to determine the MotoGP champion, as that’s what its contract with the FIM requires. Now, it’s looking more and more like that 10-race series is a reality—it’s certainly going to be greatly shortened. It’s probably going to be jammed into the European continent, where border issues may be a little easier to sort out; flying to Thailand, Malaysia or Japan for racing seems like it would raise insurmountable issues. Whatever the series looks like, it’s also likely to run with minimal fans, possibly none at all, and stripped-down support staff for the racers. Whatever the result, this will be a season for the history books, for sure.