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MotoGP season may start in Jerez on July 19

Carmelo Ezpeleta

Bengaluru, June 4: Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna Sports, is hopeful of a releasing a revised initial calendar by next week with the season likely to start at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain on July 19.

The 2020 FIM MotoGP World Championship has been a non-starter so far due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with only the Moto2 and Moto3 races of the season-opener at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar going ahead as per schedule.

Moto2 and Moto3 were able to start their season in March only because they were already there in Qatar for testing, but MotoGP was unable to race due to quarantine restrictions.

MotoGP races in Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Britain and Australia have been cancelled so far, while the only long-haul races yet to be put off due to the coronavirus are ones in Thailand, Malaysia, the United States (Texas) and Argentina.

With 20 Grand Prixs planned initially, Ezpeleta hopes to present a revised calendar sometime next week to start the season at the famed Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto.

"The latest race on that calendar will be at the beginning of November, with 12 or 13 rounds," Ezpeleta was quoted as saying in an interview with the official website.

The Spaniard has also set an end of July deadline to decide whether this year's COVID-19 pandemic hit FIM MotoGP World Championship will be confined to Europe or expanded to Asia and the Americas.

"Races outside of Europe is something we need to decide, still. There'll be a number of races presented --the four non-European races that haven't been cancelled -- for which we'll search for approval.

"We've a deadline of the end of July to tell everybody if we continue with them or stop. After the first two races we'll see if the calendar will be 12, 14 or a maximum of 16 rounds," added Ezpelata, who in an earlier interview with a Spanish broadcaster had said that 16 races were still possible.

MotoGP still hopeful of 16 races with a double leg in JerezMotoGP still hopeful of 16 races with a double leg in Jerez

The four Spanish circuits of Jerez, Aragon, Catalunya and Valencia are expected to be on the initial calendar with some having more than one race, just like what Formula One organisers announced recently.

F1 announces first eight races of revised 2020 calendarF1 announces first eight races of revised 2020 calendar

There is also a proposal to hold a round of FIM World Superbike Championship at the Jerez circuit on August 2.

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Story first published: Thursday, July 16, 2020, 10:24 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 16, 2020