MotoGP prepared to race on into January 2021 to ease schedule woes

The 2020 MotoGP World Championship could run into January 2021 to give organisers more options to reschedule events in the wake of the coronavirus crisis

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The 2020 MotoGP World Championship could continue racing into 2021 in an effort to ease a congested schedule as measures taken to stem the spread of a coronavirus grip the world.

As it stands, the opening round of the season is scheduled for May 1-3 in Jerez but with Spain declaring a ‘state of disaster’ over the weekend the event appears increasingly unlikely to go ahead, while the following rounds in France and Italy are also under threat unless there is a marked improvement in the global situation.

It comes after the opening round in Qatar was cancelled (save for the Moto2/3 classes) and the following three events in Thailand, USA and Argentina were postponed to dates later in the year.

However, with the latter half of the season already filling up thanks to the schedule changes – with eight rounds in ten weeks up to the season finale – Dorna and the FIM are running out of options to squeeze in anymore.

With this in mind, FIM President Jorge Viegas reveals the sport could take the unprecedented step to continue racing into 2021 at hot weather venues if it needs to. The season must run to at least 13 rounds to be classified as a valid world championship.

“Yes, if necessary. Imagine that several events have yet to be cancelled and that we have to resume racing much later,” Viegas said in an interview with La Tribune de Geneve.

“We will go as far as it takes to keep championships worthy of the name. If it is necessary, we will go until January 2021. For us, it is not taboo.”

A sharp rise in cases and deaths associated with COVID-19 – including 1800 fatalities in Italy alone - has had a profound effect on the functions of society around the world, with some nations closing their borders altogether and others initiating a full-scale lockdown.

With this in mind, Viegas says sport needs to look at the wider picture and accept there are now ‘global consequences’ to prioritise.

“Of course, and if we get out of our little motorcycle world for a moment, we have to worry about the global consequences.”

“Factories are shut down, schools closed, all economic activity slows down. There will be consequences, but they are still difficult to quantify.”

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