British and Australian MotoGP races cancelled

LONDON (Reuters) – This year’s British and Australian MotoGP races have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – August 25, 2019 Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins in action during the race REUTERS/David Klein

The British Grand Prix was scheduled for Silverstone on Aug. 30 while the Australian round had been due at Phillip Island on Oct. 25.

The season is yet to get underway after the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix was cancelled in March as the novel coronavirus outbreak shut down world sport.

Races in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands which were to be held in June-July were also removed from the revised calendar.

“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,” Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of the commercial rights holder Dorna, said in a statement.

Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said they had no choice but to cancel the event despite putting in “months of work behind the scenes” to ensure it went ahead.

“Logistical restrictions under the current situation, combined with a shortened and rearranged MotoGP calendar has caused the cancellation of the event,” Pringle said in a statement here

Australia is yet to open its international borders while people travelling to the United Kingdom must quarantine for two weeks.

Grand Prix races in Spain, France, Italy and Catalunya were postponed until later this year.

Earlier this month, MotoGP had proposed starting its season with two races on consecutive weekends in July at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain, with the government yet to approve the proposal.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, additional reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and Christian Radnedge

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