Ever since the opening round at Qatar, the schedule for the 2020 MotoGP Championship has been in limbo. And for American fans, this hasn meant a tremendous amount of uncertainty regarding the grand prix round held outside of Austin, Texas.
Though we are seemingly no closer to knowing if and when the Americas GP will take place, American fans have now been at least provided a timeline on when we will know: the end of July.
Answering a bevy of questions about the coronavirus and how it will affect the rest of the 2020 season, Dorno CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta provided a timeframe on when the premier class will make its decision about racing abroad – citing the end of next month as his deadline.
“This was something I explained in the meeting with them: the calendar we hope to present next week that starts, if everything goes well, on the 19th of July in Jerez. And the latest race on that calendar will be at the beginning of November, with 12 or 13 rounds,” Ezpeleta said in a press release issued by Dorna.
“But races outside of Europe is something we need to decide, still. There will be a number of races presented – the four non-European races that have not been cancelled: Thailand, Malaysia, Americas and Argentina – for which we will search for approval and 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.”
With different countries offering different restrictions, not only on travel, but also on sport gatherings, some of Dorna’s plans for 2020 are well outside of the organization’s control, as can be seen by efforts to organize the Americas GP.
There are two other factors as well for the Grand Prix of the Americas to overcome, the first of which being the weather in the late-fall of Austin, which could easily be too cold to host a MotoGP race, with historical temperatures for the area sometimes dipping below freezing.
Secondly, there is the issue that during November, and going into the winter months, there is the expectation that the coronavirus may come back in a second wave of infection in the United States (and other countries). As such, there may be no possibility of racing in the Northern Hemisphere during October, November, and December.
It is all a lot ambiguity for racing fans to contend with, and while we still don’t know if/and when we will go back to grand prix racing in the United States, at least know we know when we will know by. As such, stay tuned.