MotoGP has announced that the 2020 Japanese Grand Prix will not go ahead due to the pandemic, with all overseas races on hold till mid-November.
The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has played havoc with the MotoGP calendar with several cancellations and delays meaning the premier motorcycling competition is yet to see the green flag this year.
Pending government approval, the season is set to begin at Jerez with back-to-back races on July 19 and 26.
Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said the loss of the race is a blow to the championship, though conceded safety was priority.
“The MotoGP family is working very hard to be able to restart the racing season and hold as many events as possible, and in the safest way possible.
“For this reason, the FIM and Dorna, in consultation with IRTA (Teams’ association) and MSMA (Manufacturers’ association), have decided that, until mid-November, MotoGP will remain in Europe to do as many European MotoGP events as we are able to.
“Therefore, overseas events, if at all possible, should be scheduled after mid-November – which would be too late in the year for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan to be held.
“For this reason, it has been decided, in consultation with [track owner] Mobilityland, that the Motul Grand Prix of Japan cannot be held in 2020. I very much thank Mobilityland for the support given to MotoGP.
“On behalf of Dorna, I would also like to thank all the fans for their understanding and patience as we wait for the situation to improve. We very much look forward to returning to Motegi next year.”
The Malaysian, American, Argentine and Thai rounds have not yet been cut from the calendar and could yet make an appearance toward the end of the year.
The round in Austin however, is still in doubt due to restrictions on large gatherings still looming, which would subsequently jeapordise the running of the Argentine round.