British, Australian GPs called off due to Covid-19

Pic AFP

THE 2020 British Grand Prix (GP) and the Australian GP slated for August and October respectively have been called off because of concerns over the global Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a statement issued by Dorna Sports SL, the holder of MotoGP’s exclusive commercial and television rights, the decision was reached between Dorna Sports, the International Road-Racing Teams Association and the International Automobile Association.

Initially, the British GP was set to take place from Aug 28-30 at the classic Silverstone Circuit, while the Australian GP was scheduled to be held at the legendary Phillip Island Circuit from Oct 23 to Oct 25.

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said they were deeply saddened to cancel both iconic races, adding that the logistical and operational issues resulting from the pandemic and rearranged calendar are the main reasons for the cancellation.

“Silverstone and Phillip Island are always two of the most thrilling race weekends of the season, with both tracks never failing in their promise to deliver some of the closest racing in our championship.

“On behalf of Dorna, I would like to once again extend my thanks to the fans for their understanding and patience as we wait for the situation to improve. We look forward to returning to Silverstone and Phillip Island next year for more incredible battles,” Ezpeleta added.

Sharing his views is Silverstone MD Stuart Pringle, who said they were extremely disappointed with the cancellation, but supported the decision in view of the trying times.

“I want to thank the stoic British fans for their patience and support. We must now look forward to 2021 when Silverstone will once again host the fastest and most historic MotoGP race on the calendar and work hard to make it a truly exceptional event for all to enjoy.”

Echoing his sentiments is Australian GP Corp chairman Paul Little AO, who hoped the MotoGP race will make a return to the legendary Phillip Island next year.

“We’re very disappointed that MotoGP fans throughout Victoria, Australia, and internationally won’t get the chance to make the pilgrimage to see the world’s best riders compete on one of the best circuits anywhere in the world, but the right decision has been made,” he said. — Bernama