Argentina MotoGP now looks at risk as authorities halt MXGP round

The Argentinian Minister of Health steps in to stop the upcoming MXGP round, placing fresh doubts on the MotoGP event on April 17-19

Argentina MotoGP

The newly proposed opening round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship in Argentina now looks seriously under threat after the equivalent MXGP event was postponed under order of the government health ministry due to the coronavirus.

The MotoGP event, held at the Termas Rio Hondo circuit, was originally scheduled as the fourth event on the 2020 calendar, but has become the de facto season opener after Qatar was cancelled and the following Thailand and USA races were postponed.

As such, the season – which was due to begin on March 8 – was now due to get underway on April 17-19 but news that the Patagonia round of MXGP has been canned raises fresh doubts for Dorna.

Indeed, while race organisers have stressed the event wasn’t under threat, the fact the MXGP round was stopped after the Argentinian Minister of Health intervened to halt any international events, looks set to take the decision out of promoters’ hands.

Though the MXGP event – held in Patagonia – is a long distance from the northern located Termas Rio Hondo, the state intervention doesn’t bode well for its prospects now.

A statement from MXGP read: “Owing to a decision of the Argentinian Minister of Health to postpone any international events during this particular moment, Infront Moto Racing, in agreement with the FIM and the local organiser +Eventos SA, as well as the Argentinian authorities, is enforced to postpone the MXGP of Patagonia in Argentina to a later date in the year,' read an MXGP statement.”

With the 2020 MotoGP calendar in disarray, it is possible Dorna and FIM could call a complete halt to the prospect of holding any rounds in the near future and initiate a complete calendar shake up to allow time for the coronavirus situation to evolve and – hopefully – abate.

Time is now on Dorna and FIM’s side with Argentina more than a month away but the situation hasn’t improved in weeks now.

As such, Dorna may have no option but to move towards hosting rounds behind closed doors without spectators and will no doubt be watching the upcoming Bahrain F1 Grand Prix – which will use this method – to gauge reaction.

Indeed, the Le Mans 24 Endurance World Championship race is also off, adding further doubt onto the French event that was to due to host Round 5.