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Qatar WorldSBK latest event to be postponed due to coronavirus

The second round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship in Qatar is officially postponed amid the growing concerns over the coronavirus 

WorldSBK start

The FIM and Dorna have confirmed the second round of the 2020 WorldSBK Championship in Qatar has been postponed as a result of the travel restrictions currently placed on Italy.

Two days after it was revealed this weekend’s MotoGP opener in Doha will go ahead without the premier class able to race, the WorldSBK scheduled to be held only a week later on March 13-15 has also been halted.

The outcome is a direct result of Qatar becoming the latest nation to impose travel restrictions on anyone either arriving from Italy or having passed through in the last month following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases in the country. As it stands, anyone who fits that criteria that wants to remain in Qatar must be quarantined for 14 days.

Though WorldSBK has been stationed in Australia for the last two weeks for the opening round, a large portion of championship personnel – including tyre supplier Pirelli - teams and riders are based out of Italy, potentially ruling them out of even entering the country.

Indeed, in WorldSBK alone there are two riders – Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Federico Caricasulo – and six Italian based teams – Aruba.it Ducati, Barni Ducati, Pedercini Kawasaki, Puccetti Kawasaki, Team Go Eleven and GRT. This doesn’t include Italian engineers who work across the paddock.

There are considerably more Italians competing in the supporting WorldSSP Championship.

It is hoped the event can be rescheduled, with a window open at the tail end of the season occupying the same season finale slot Qatar held in 2019.

Full Statement from WorldSBK

External travel restrictions force postponement of Round 2 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship

The FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization regret to announce that the Lauretana Water Qatar Round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is to be postponed until further notice.

As the global coronavirus outbreak continues, travel restrictions to Qatar have been enforced, primarily affecting passengers from Italy, amongst others. People arriving directly from the country or who have been in Italy in the past two weeks will be taken directly to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

Italian participation in WorldSBK – both on track and off – is vital, thus the decision has been taken to postpone the Lauretana Water Qatar Round until further notice.

Further updates will be published in due course.

Round 3 of the season will instead pick up the next WorldSBK action on 28-29 March in Jerez.