It started with the big events: MotoGP, World Superbike. Then, the second-tier stuff, like the FIM endurance series, the Cross-Country Rally championship (why? It’s not like these guys are hanging out with the locals in the desert …). Now, it’s pretty much every race series in the US.
Over the past couple of days, many major American racetracks and/or series and/or training programs have announced delays, cancellations, or closures … or used language that seemed to indicate that was coming.
The biggest news was Austin’s Circuit of the Americas. COTA was already scheduled to run MotoGP in the first weekend of April, but that was cancelled days ago. Now, the track’s shut down, with no other events running there either. Many staff are laid off, and the other entertainment events scheduled there are postponed or cancelled for now. No timeline has been announced for things to kick back into gear.
The same is true for upcoming AMA flat track races in Atlanta and Charlotte. They’re supposedly going to run later, but no date has been announced. Under the circumstances, it’s easy to see why. American Flat Track has also stopped selling tickets for upcoming races in California and Texas.
And on it goes. Virginia International Raceway has shut down. New Jersey Motorsports Park has suspended business for now. The AHRMA has suspended its event at Carolina Motorsports Park that ran at the end of March, and is reviewing the Streets of Willow and Willow Springs Raceway events that were supposed to run in April.
And speaking of Streets of Willow, Reg Pridmore’s CLASS school that was supposed to run there this weekend has been moved to May 11.
And the other big one, the MotoAmerica season. Here’s the official statement from early Tuesday, which will no doubt change soon:
MotoAmerica’s Statement On COVID-19
No Decision Made Yet On Road Atlanta Round IRVINE, CA (March 17, 2020) – MotoAmerica is continuing to assess the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the opening round of the series, scheduled for April 17-19 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and will make decisions in a timely manner based on the safety and well-being of its fans, racers, teams and all support personnel. MotoAmerica is and will be following directives from several entities, including national, state and local governments, as we move closer to our events.
Although we all want to race motorcycles, there are more important things happening in the world and MotoAmerica is taking the Coronavirus very seriously. While we are hopeful of going to Road Atlanta and having our first race of the year as scheduled, we will only do so if the safety of our fans, riders and teams is not compromised. Things are changing so quickly that it’s not possible to make any decisions on Road Atlanta or any other rounds at this point. We will, however, make a decision as quickly as possible when the time is right. Safety is paramount to everyone at MotoAmerica, regardless if it is on-track or off-track.
Our intention now is the same as it has always been and that is to complete our 10-round 2020 MotoAmerica Series in a safe and successful manner.
Dorna had previously announced the postponement of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) round of the MotoGP World Championship in Austin, Texas, an event in which MotoAmerica was scheduled to run its opening round. The COTA round of MotoGP has been rescheduled from April 3-5 to November 13-15.
More information will be available as we get closer to the series opener.