It was less than 24 hours ago we reported to you the news that the MotoGP race for the Qatar GP would be canceled because of travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, and that possibly other rounds of the world championship could be affected.
And now, we get word (now confirmed by the FIM) that the Thai GP round at Buriram will be postponed will be postponed as well, with MotoGP hoping to reschedule the round at a future date. Currently, the rumor is for the Thai GP to take place in October, but that has yet to be confirmed by a statement from Dorna.
The move comes from concerns from the Thai government, as Thailand continues to battle with infection not only within its borders, but also within the borders of its surrounding neighbors. Eager to stem-the-tide, a large gathering with possibly infected persons seems like a less-than-optimal idea.
“The committee decided to postpone the race due to the widespread of COVID-19 around the world,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul in a statement.
“People who attend, racers and teams could come from at-risk countries. Thailand has to postpone for the safety of Thai people until the situation is better.”
This news makes the American GP the possibly the new season-opener for the MotoGP riders. For the time being, this news gives more hope to the American GP going ahead in Austin, Texas, as there was worry about the United States not letting in travelers from Thailand, which would include the traveling grand prix paddock.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) currently breaking out in Italy however, it might be only a matter of time before Italian members of the grand prix paddock are restricted from coming into the United States, which itself could give way to an even larger ban on Europeans. This would obvious create an issue for the MotoGP Championship taking place in the USA.
As of this writing, that issue remains pure speculation, but as we can see from the timeframe on stories concerning the coronavirus, this is an area where matters can change rapidly. As such, keep your eyes on this space, and be sure to wash your hands.
Source: Agence France-Presse