MotoGP cancels Japanese GP due to COVID-19 restrictions

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The Motul Grand Prix of Japan becomes the latest 2020 race cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The race, which due to take place from 16-18 October, has been hosted at the Twin Ring Motegi since 1999 and is the home race for the majority of the grid’s manufacturers Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki so is essential for the success of the series.

Kaoru Tanaka, President of Mobilityland Corporation, announced the cancellation this morning stating “the situation in Japan and Europe are unpredictable and the extension of the international travel ban is expected. As a result of our discussions with Dorna, the managerial body of the series, we agreed that we have no choice but to cancel the Japanese GP in order to complete the season.

The news comes just a few days after the cancellation of both the British and Australian races as Dorna Sports continues to push ahead to hold as many races as they safely can.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, released a statement in which he addressed the need for the cancellations “The MotoGP family is working very hard to be able to re-start the racing season and hold as many events as possible, and in the safest way possible. For this reason, the FIM and Dorna, in consultation with IRTA and MSMA, have decided that, until mid-November, MotoGP will remain in Europe to do as many European MotoGP events as we are able to.

Therefore,” Ezpeleta explained, “overseas events, if at all possible, should be scheduled after mid-November – which would be too late in the year for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan to be held.”

The MotoGP is set to start in mid-July with a double header at the Circuito de Jerez on 19 July.

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