The COVID-19 carnage continues in the racing world, with two more MotoGP events postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The upcoming rounds in Italy (May 29-31) and Spain (June 5-7) have both been postponed now, but as for when they’ll be rescheduled, MotoGP isn’t saying.
A statement on the MotoGP website says “As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, new dates for these Grands Prix, as well as the recently-postponed French and Spanish GPs, cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events. A revised calendar will be published as soon as available.” Translation: Nobody has any idea when we’ll be clear of this ongoing disaster, and it’s pointless to make predictions.
MotoGP won’t be running even close to a full season’s racing at this point. It’s hard to see how there would be any races at all, unless this has all cleared up by fall. Even if populations are healthy, cross-border travel has been slammed, and authorities aren’t going to be keen on having a bunch of racing going on while there’s bigger problems to solve.
With that in mind, Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpelita told Speedweek.com that until there’s a vaccine to stop the spread of the coronavirus, it will be very difficult or impossible to organize MotoGP or other major events. When the boss starts saying things like that, you know it’s looking grim.
In face of the lean times, teams are cutting costs this year by putting development on hold, and MotoGP has announced financial help for independents. The series has turned to online virtual racing instead, with Ducati recently announcing its first factory eSport team. Is this a sign of the end times? Could things get any worse? Have the video game nerds finally won? We’ll see whose sponsors show up next season, Rossi’s or the gamers’.