Dorna Sports optimistic about holding more MotoGP races outside Europe

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – Dorna Sports, the holder of MotoGP’s exclusive commercial and television rights, is upbeat to organise more races outside the European continent at the end of the season despite facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its Chief Executive Officer Carmelo Ezpeleta said four non-European races will go on as planned – Thailand GP (October 4), Malaysian GP (November 1), American GP (November 14), and also the Argentinian GP (November 22), but firstly, they needed approval from the government of each country.

“We have a deadline of the end of July to tell everybody if we continue with them or stop. After the first two races, we will see if the calendar will be 12, 14 or a maximum of 16 rounds (of races),” he was quoted as saying in a new posting on the MotoGP website.

“The calendar we hope to present next week that starts, if everything goes well, on the July 19 in Jerez (circuit), and the latest race on that calendar will be at the beginning of November, with 12 or 13 rounds,” Ezpeleta added.

In this regard, he also revealed that the Dorna Sports will set a strict standard operating procedure (SOP) in each paddock on the restart of MotoGP races to mitigate the COVID-19 infection among the riders and also the technical crews.

The Moto3 final race of 2019 MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar at the Losail Circuit in Doha. PHOTO: XINHUA

He added that Dorna Sports representatives will meet the sports ministers in the country that organised MotoGP races in the future to exchange ideas on how to improve the SOP at each race.

Ezpeleta also explained that the Dorna Sports will try to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection by isolating the paddock between the riders and also the technical crews with their family, friends and relatives.

“Any rider coming to race will have a medical (examination) before, and if the doctor decides they need to have a (COVID-19) test, they will do it before coming to the first race in Spain (at Jerez Circuit).

“Then later, before coming to the paddock, there will be another test, and then a protocol with control every day, plenty of things in the paddock and especially insulation between each team,” Ezpeleta said.

“We have also some measures for places to eat and everything, in principle, where people are coming from the hotel to the circuit, and circuit to the hotel. Obviously this is for how the situation is right now, if between now and July, the situation in any country is more flexible, we’ll allow for that,” he asserted.

So far, 11 races of the season have been either postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic with the Japanese GP are the latest races being called off.