After all the flap over the Qatar GP cancellation and re-scheduling of Buriram and Aragon rounds earlier this week, MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta had an important message yesterday: MotoGP is going to happen this season.
At the pre-race Qatar press conference (remember, Moto2 and Moto3 are still running), Ezpeleta was frank and honest about the potential continuing impact of the COVID-19 virus.
“What will happen in the future? This is something we can’t prevent. The situation keeps changing around the world, every day,” Ezpeleta said. “The only thing I can say is that we will try to do everything possible; postpone or whatever. Our aim today is to work together, as we’ve been doing all this time, to try to make the championship. In the best possible conditions, but to try to maintain the championship with the maximum number of races we can.”
About the upcoming race in Texas, which is planned to be first of the season for the GP riders: “We don’t know anything. We are waiting to send all the material until the last moment. If the situation changes between now and that moment, we will make that decision.”
Ezpeleta said MotoGP had actually tried to re-schedule the race at Circuit of the Americas, switching it to the end of the year and moving one of the Spanish races to next month, but wasn’t able to do so in the short amount of time necessary.
Although Ezpeleta said the situation is changing rapidly, he said MotoGP will do what it has to, to make the championship happen, even if that means racing behind closed doors with no fans at the track.
“For us the most important, more than economy or whatever, is to make races. I can assure you with all the people of IRTA and all the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 managers, we will try to do as many races as we can.”
Another option, he said, is moving more races to later in the year. ““Contractually with the FIM, the minimum number for the World Championship is 13,” he said. “Even in the worst case, with lots of cancellations, we have time. Maybe we will race in countries where it’s hot at Christmas but our duty is to make races and we’ll make races. Maybe they’ll need to postpone the FIM prize-giving ceremony but we’ll make races.”