MotoGP’s number of cancelled or postponed races due to the coronavirus pandemic has risen to six, after May’s French Grand Prix was officially postponed on Thursday.
MotoGP has yet to get a premier class race underway in 2020, after the season-opener in Qatar at the start of last month was cancelled a week prior to its scheduled date owing to stricter travel measures imposed by the Gulf country due to COVID-19.
As the pandemic continued to worsen around the globe, the following rounds in Thailand, America, Argentina and Spain were all postponed by MotoGP promoters Dorna Sports and governing body the FIM.
Last month, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest announced that this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours car race had been pushed out of its June slot to September – putting the writing on the wall for the circuit’s MotoGP race on May 15-17.
Organisers had been expected to make a decision on the race at the start of April, with the new being confirmed on Friday morning.
As with the postponement of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, no revised calendar has yet been issued due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dorna had previously remained committed to running all 19 races (Qatar won’t be rescheduled to due to essential track works taking place later this year) in a revised calendar, with ideas of two-race weekends and running the season into January mooted.
However, it appears that Dorna has relaxed this approach and is thought to be looking at running considerably fewer rounds and avoiding extending the campaign into ’21.
Dorna has to run 13 MotoGP races to fulfil its contract with the FIM, though the uniqueness of the current situation will likely allow for flexibility with this.
The Italian Grand Prix at the end of May will also be postponed, though official confirmation of this is still to come.