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The coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing chaos across the globe and it is having a major impact on international sporting events like MotoGP which has decided to cancel the main feature race of MotoGP due to travel bans and the potential for sickness to be spread. The decision was not taken lightly and as a result of the cancellation, only Moto2 and Moto3 will race due to the fact that they are already in Qatar. Italy has been hit hard and with the sport being primarily European in terms of numbers, the risk is far too great. Six riders in the main class are Italian: Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso, Francesco Bagnaia, Danilo Petrucci, Franco Morbidelli and Andrea Iannone. Not to mention the number of Italian mechanics, engineers, press relations and media considering the fact that Ducati and Aprilia are Italian teams.

Naturally, many riders are disappointed and will find it hard to stay motivated as it becomes  a race by race analysis as to whether each event will go ahead. Team Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager Davide Brivio summed up his thoughts: “Obviously It’s a big shame to have to cancel this first race of the season, as we were all really ready to start, and so were the MotoGP fans. Some of our team staff stayed in Qatar following the test days, as we were aware of the seriousness of the outbreak. But at this time the most important thing is the safety of the people, and we have to respect the decision made by the local authorities and by the MotoGP officials. It’s a delicate and strange time for everyone around the world and we need to take things race-by-race at the moment and see what develops in the coming weeks. I’d like to wish good luck to those riding in Moto2 and Moto3 next weekend, and I hope we can be back on the track soon.”

At this stage it appears Thailand has the potential to be postponed as well due to the risk being high. The shuffling around of events will be difficult to manage. The same can be said in Formula One which is also on high alert. In addition, we will be watching closely to see if the MotoGP rounds in Argentina and Austin (USA) go ahead because of how quickly the virus is spreading, border control, flight restrictions on passengers, quarantine rules and general safety of the top athletes. More news as it arrives.

About The Author

Myanna Wedes

Myanna has an incredible grasp and knowledge of the sport in detail and continues to secure lead stories every week. She is in constant contact with team and rider media management. She is an admitted lawyer with two degrees and is currently writing a biography on Alan Jones MBE 1980 F1 World Champion. She is a fond lover of two wheel motorsport, predominantly MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.