The road racing calendar took a big hit today, with the 2020 Isle of Man TT canceled because of concerns about the spreading coronavirus.
The news is especially bleak as the North West 200 seems certain to also see its racing canceled or postponed, and the Cookstown 100 and Tandragee 100 have been postponed as well.
This announcement from the Manx government comes as the United Kingdom has stepped up its coronavirus response, and for the TT, the Isle of Man has increased its measures to protect the island nation from the outbreak.
“The decision to cancel has not been taken lightly and all options including postponement and delaying the decision have been considered in detail,” said Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Enterprise, in a press release.
“Representatives from the Isle of Man Government will now discuss the implications with all relevant businesses, stakeholders and individuals affected by this cancellation, which it recognises will be significant.”
“With the visitor restriction in place for the foreseeable future we wanted to make the decision now to give businesses, visitors and all involved stakeholders time to manage the impact going forward.”
“The Isle of Man, and the Isle of Man TT, are faced with unique challenges regarding COVID-19 and making this decision will provide certainty to teams, competitors, sponsors and stakeholders of the event and to visitors across the globe.”
“The decision also aims to provide reassurance for our residents and healthcare professionals that the health and well-being of the Isle of Man’s residents is the single biggest priority and focus of this Government.”
That the Isle of Man would cancel the TT, instead of just postponing it, is a massive decision for the local Manx government, which sees a huge influx of tourism because of the race.
Conversely though, the race brings a significant number of foreigners to the Isle of Man’s shores, and would have certainly increased the risk for an outbreak on the island, which so far has no coronavirus cases reported.
As such, the trend continues for motorcycle racing fans, with much of this year’s calendar either canceled outright, or postponed with hopes of competing in the second-half of the year.
As things continue to evolve rapidly, we are sure there are changes and tough announcements still to come.
Source: Isle of Man TT