Dale Money | April 26th, 2020
Everyone is trying to make do as the Coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our lives. In the past handful of weeks, MotoGP has followed the lead of NASCAR by hosting a virtual series of their own. This was all done through the MotoGP 2019 video game. Nine riders were involved including six-time champion Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez, Fabio Quartararo, and Francesco Bagnaia.
They’ve done two events so far, the most recent included former nine-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi. Bagnaia would come out as the victor after a white knuckle battle on the last lap with Spanish rider Maverick Vinales.
The events would prove to be hugely successful. Support from the MotoGP community, racing fans, and sponsors came pouring in over the two races. Broadcasters from North America, Europe, and Asia showed the races. This included BT Sport in the United Kingdom, Sky Italy, Motorsport Television Russia, DAZN, Fox Australia, and NBC.
Plans Moving Forward
Also this past week, MotoGP decided it will reuse the same motorcycles used in 2020, for the beginning of the 2021 season as a way to relieve some of the bleeding caused by the stop in action. MotoGP has also announced it will block all normal engine and aerodynamic developments until 2022. As for Moto2 and Moto3, they will be freezing all developments on their motorcycles through 2020 and 2021.
“These changes are designed to reduce the costs incurred by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis whilst maintaining fairness and equality in order to conserve the entertainment value of the sport and the integrity of the competition,” the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) said in a statement.
Season in Jeopardy
The Spanish GP and French GP have been postponed along with five other races. MotoGP was expecting a return for the German Grand Prix in Sachsenring on June 21. However, due to Germany’s decision to extend the ban on public gatherings until August 31, it will not happen. The next race on June 28th was also just recently postponed. On Tuesday, Dutch PM Mark Rutte made the announcement he would extend the ban on all major public events, until the beginning of September.
The hope is that they can get back to racing in August, and still finish out the 2020 season. MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports has already shot down the suggestion of running double-headers in order to cut down on the number of races.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images