MotoGP boss still expects 19 ‘amazing’ races despite calendar changes

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta attempts to allay fears over the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the MotoGP season will still be 'amazing'

Carmelo Ezpeleta

MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has provided an update on Dorna, FIM and IRTA’s position regarding the onset of the coronavirus pandemic after being forced to postpone two more events this week.

Having already cancelled Qatar for the MotoGP class and postponed round two in Thailand, rounds three and four in USA and Argentina have also been pushed back to the latter half of the year.

As such, the opening round of the season for the MotoGP class is due to take place on May 1-3 in Jerez – nearly two months after it was supposed to be – with Ezpeleta confident this one will go ahead.

However, they are words he has used several times already, recently describing USA and Argentina as on course to go ahead, only for them to be halted just days later. What’s more, the upcoming WorldSBK round at Jerez has been postponed by his own Dorna organisation, which doesn’t bode well for the MotoGP round.

Despite this, Ezpeleta in a video interview on the official MotoGP website is convinced the series will still run to 19 ‘amazing’ races this year and says the calendar is ‘OK if everything continues as it is…’


Why have the GPs been postponed to the end of the year?

Since the coronavirus started, we are following instructions of the Governments of every place. We’ve been in close contact with authorities from Austin and Argentina and when the authorities said we can’t do it right now, we talked to other GPs to accommodate the calendar and finally we do it. Now the calendar is OK if everything continues as it is.

Is the main aim to continue with the 19 GPs that are remaining in the 2020 season?

Of course, our aim to continue the Championship with all the races. Because something is unpredictable, we following the situation with all the Governments and especially with the promoters. We are in very close contact with the FIM, IRTA, the teams and with the promoters and we are trying to accommodate things. At the moment we are doing that and we are in close contact with them”

As it stands, will the Spanish GP at Jerez be the first round of the season with the MotoGP class?

Yes, this is the idea. We are talking with authorities of Jerez. Today everything is OK, but we will see what the situation is in the near future

Would you consider having the first full grand prix behind closed doors?

As I say, we are trying to do things as normal as we can but if the position of the local authorities are that we run without spectators we can consider with the local promoters.

Have you been in contact with teams?

We have been in contact with the FIM, IRTA, teams and the organisers, altogether we are taking the necessary measures.

What message would you like to send to MotoGP fans around the world?

We are expecting a fantastic MotoGP season, we are thinking that this season will be amazing and we are looking to start as soon as possible. We are a little bit delayed than normal, but if we can start with the schedule we have right now it’ll be an exciting season.