The COVID-19 outbreak has finally hit the motorcycle world in a noticeable way, with the first MotoGP race of the season canceled.
The nighttime Qatar race, held under the lights at Losail International Circuit, is the big-noise opening round of the MotoGP season, and was supposed to run this coming weekend. The teams in the premiere MotoGP class were testing there last weekend, and this current weekend, Moto2 and Moto3 support classes were testing at Qatar.
For that reason, we’ll see Moto2 and Moto3 racing next weekend, but not MotoGP. Qatar has announced quarantine measures for passengers arriving from countries with coronavirus infections, and that includes Italy. These measures start today, so riders and teams already in the country (Moto2, Moto3) are not affected. However, this obviously affects many of the top teams in the GP class, and for that reason, that race has been canceled next weekend.
MotoGP bosses say they’re working on an updated schedule.