Moto GP won’t be holding its season opener in Qatar next week, cancelling the event due to travel restrictions in place due to the coronavirus.
COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on the motorsport world, as FIM, IRTA and Dorna have confirmed that the season opener for the Moto GP season has been cancelled.
Scheduled to race at Losail in Qatar on the 8th of March, travel restriction into Qatar as a result of the international coronavirus outbreak means that passengers from Italy, in particular, are unable to make it to the race.
As of Sunday, Qatar has placed restrictions on all passengers arriving at Doha Airport on direct flights from Italy, ‘or having been in Italy in the last two weeks’ must be placed into quarantine for a minimum of that same time period.
With Moto GP obviously well represented by personnel from Italy, the decision has been made to cancel the Moto GP race. However, as Moto2 and Moto3 riders and personnel were already in the country for testing last week, these classes’ races will go ahead as scheduled.
With the premier class of motorbike racing cancelling their round, it’s still yet to be decided what Formula 1 is going to do. Along with the already postponed Chinese Grand Prix, the Bahrain and Vietnam rounds are in danger, while the Australian Grand Prix is being questioned due to travel restrictions in place through connecting countries – meaning its difficult for all the teams and personnel to actually get to Melbourne.
For now, the official line is that the Australian, Bahrain and Vietnam Grands Prix are going ahead as scheduled.
The COVID-19 virus has now claimed the lives of almost 3000 people worldwide, with most of the deaths in mainland China. The World Health Organisation has labelled the risk of the virus’ global spread as ‘very high’, with a large, globe-trotting sport like Formula 1 at serious risk of contributing to the spread.