The next wave of rolling race postponements due to the current COVID-19 pandemic has hit. Today, the FIM announced that the next three rounds of WorldSBK, at Imola, Aragon, and Misano, have been either moved or canceled.
The WorldSBK grid is now due to assemble again at the UK round of WorldSBK, at Donington Park, from July 3rd to 5th.
That the rounds in Italy and Spain should be affected is hardly a surprise. Although recent trends in infections and deaths from the coronavirus outbreak are looking positive for both countries, they are both still a long way from a return to normality.
With the Imola and Misano rounds to be held in the middle of some of the hardest hit regions in Italy, they were unlikely to go ahead as planned.
The rescheduling has forced the Imola round of WorldSBK to be dropped entirely. Finding a date for the round with good enough weather proved to be too difficult, WorldSBK boss Gregorio Lavilla explained to the WorldSBK website.
“With the already complex calendar forecasted today and the weather situation we may face going even later in the year, we agreed with the circuit that it is better to cancel,” Lavilla said.
With Aragon moved to August 28-30 , and Misano now the final round of the 2020 season, on November 6-8, the latter half of the year is packed.
There is a four-week gap between Donington and the German round at Oschersleben, and then three weeks until the next race, the rescheduled Dutch round at Assen. That is the start of a triple header, with the WorldSBK series going from Assen to Aragon to Portimao.
From there, a weekend off before heading to Barcelona, then another free weekend before Magny-Cours. From Magny-Cours, the WorldSBK paddock flies straight to Argentina for the race at San Juan Villicum the next weekend.
After a weekend off, the paddock returns at Jerez, then another weekend off before heading to the final round at Misano.
The series still has to find a space to slot in the rescheduled round at Qatar. That cannot happen too early, as the circuit is due to be resurfaced this year.
Of course, all of these calendar updates remain provisional. Control of the calendar is not in the hands of Dorna, the FIM, or anyone else. First, extensive travel restrictions have to be lifted, and the ban on mass events in most countries eased.
Although the situation around Europe, where most of the races are due to be held, is improving, normality is still a long way off. Additionally, any resurgence in the disease could force the calendar to be rescheduled further.