Bengaluru, May 29: The 2020 FIM MotoGP World Championship which is yet to start due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, received a further blow when both the British and Australian Grand Prix were officially cancelled on Friday (May 29).
Dorna Sports, who hold the commercial rights of the FIM MotoGP World Championship said the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and resulting calendar changes have obliged the cancellation of both events.
The British Grand Prix was scheduled for Silverstone on August 30 while the Australian round had been due at Phillip Island on October 25.
"We're saddened to have to announce the cancellation of these iconic events after finding no way through the logistical and operational issues resulting from the pandemic and rearranged calendar," said Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.
Silverstone had hosted the first Grands Prix held on the British mainland from 1977, and MotoGP returned to the illustrious track ten years ago. 2020 will now sadly mark the first year MotoGP sees no track action in the British Isles for the first time in the Championship's more than 70-year history.
"We're extremely disappointed about the cancellation of the British MotoGP event, not least as the cancelled race in 2018 is still such a recent memory, but we support the decision that has had to be taken at this exceptional time," said Silverstone Managing Director Stuart Pringle.
Similarly, Phillip Island had hosted the very first Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in 1989 and since 1997 has been the only home of MotoGP Down Under - with its unique layout providing some of the greatest battles ever witnessed on two wheels.
"We're very disappointed that MotoGP fans throughout Victoria, Australia and internationally won't get the chance to make the pilgrimage to see the world's best riders compete on one of the best circuits anywhere in the world, but the right decision has been made," said Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman Paul Little.
The 2020 FIM MotoGP World Championship season has been completely thrown out of gear due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So far only the Moto2 and Moto3 races of the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix at the Losail International Circuit have been held as per schedule as the organisers are finding the logistics tough to manage while drawing a revamped schedule.