The FIM and Dorna Sports have announced that the MotoGP Argentine Grand Prix has been postponed a day after it was confirmed as the new season opener.
The outbreak of coronavirus and ever-tightening travel restrictions led to MotoGP having to cancel its original season opener in Qatar, with Thailand and Austin subsequently postponed in the week following as Italy placed all of its citizens under quarantine until at least 3 April.
Just hours after a new calendar was issued confirming the 19 April Argentina race as the new season opener when Austin was moved back to 15 November, the Rio Hondo race was plunged into doubt when Argentina announced a ban on all international sporting events due to coronavirus.
On Wednesday, Motorsport.com reported Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta confirmed a race to replace Qatar prior to Argentina was being considered.
In a statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the FIM has confirmed Argentina has been moved to November 22 – taking the slot of Valencia, which was pushed back a week to accommodate Austin’s new date.
The Valencia finale will now take place on 29 November, which means two triple-header runs of races to end the season, with Austin, Argentina and Valencia following the traditional Japan, Australia, Malaysia triple-header – which, in turn, follows back-to-back events in Aragon and Thailand.
The statement also notes that dates for the post-season Moto2 and Moto3 tests in Valencia and the three-day MotoGP test at Jerez will be announced “once the season is underway”.
Pending a possible Qatar replacement, the season is now due to start on 3 May with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
The full FIM statement reads: “Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Argentina GP has been postponed.
“The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the postponement of the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina, which was set to take place from the 17th to the 19th of April.
“Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the event has been rescheduled for later in the season and will now take place from the 20th to the 22nd of November.
“The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana will therefore now be held from the 27th to the 29th of November.
“The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas retains its new date from the 13th to the 15th of November, a week before the rescheduled Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina.
“Following these schedule changes, the 2020 MotoGP™ class season is now set to begin with the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto from the 1st to the 3rd of May 2020.”