After the news regarding the cancelation of the MotoGP races in Qatar, it was perhaps only a matter of time before Dorna realized that it has another series headed to the Gulf state, which would have to deal with the new Qatari travel restrictions.
Accordingly, it is not surprising that the FIM and Dorna have announced that the Qatar WorldSBK round, which was slated to take place in two weeks’ time (March 13th thru 15th), has been postponed until further notice.
Like its sister series, the World Superbike Championship’s concerns center around the travel restrictions put in place by the Qatari government, which sees anyone who is from Italy, or has been in Italy in the past 14 days, put directly into quarantine for two weeks.
Since a large portion of the WorldSBK paddock is Italian, including many on Dorna staff, this posed obviously a huge issue for the production racing series, which just had its season-opener in Australia.
Hoping to salvage the race, WorldSBK says its Qatar round will be postponed, but the racing organization has offered no indication when they might reschedule the event. We can expect an announcement on that at a later date.
For those keeping track, in the past few days, Dorna has not only had to cancel the MotoGP race at Qatar, but also postpone the entire Thai GP.
As the virus spreads, and continues to overwhelm travel implications and containment efforts, we can expect it only to wreck more havoc on international events like WorldSBK and MotoGP, making today’s announcement likely not the last.