Global impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt in off-road
The global impact of Coronavirus continues to be felt in off-road motorcycling sport with both FIM Motocross World Championship promoter Infront Moto Racing and the ACU – which oversees the British domestic series – being forced into a string of amendments.
The MXGP calendar has been heavily rejigged and has at times changed daily. At the time of writing, Russia is the next race on the MXGP calendar on June 7. That’s followed by Latvia and then France on June 28, which was originally due to take place on May 10.
Maggiora in Italy has been moved to July 5 with Trentino two weeks later. Teutchenthal is now rescheduled to host round 10 on August 9. Spain and Portugal are now set to run in October. The MXGP of Indonesia will move from June to November 1, to be followed a week later by the MXGP of Asia at a venue still to be announced.
The series will conclude at the MXGP of Patagonia Argentina on November 8, an unprecedented eight weeks after the Motocross of Nations at Ernee in France on September 27. This means there are now five Grands Prix set to take place after the ‘Nations.
‘Due to the global outbreak of the Coronavirus, public safety of all involved has been put at the forefront which means certain events have been forced to be pushed back to a later date,’ reads the official Infront statement. ‘These new updates of the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship calendar were possible thanks to the complete cooperation with the local organisers, the national federations and the governments, along with the FIM and FIM Europe.’
The Sidecar GP calendar has also been affected with the opening round at Oss in Holland – which was to have been staged on April 18/19 – pushed back to June 13/14.
The event at Lommel has been cancelled with the Czech round at Kramolin moving from early May to June 20/21 and the French round at Iffendic switching to either June 28 or July 5.
It’s hoped the championship will get under way on May 17 at Bucha in the Ukraine.
A lot closer to home, rounds two and three of the British championship at Hawkstone Park in Shropshire on March 29 and Lyng in Norfolk on April 12 have been cancelled.
‘The decision to not head to the historic circuits of Hawkstone Park and Lyng over the next month has been made with the health of everyone taken into account,’ reads an official statement from the ACU. ‘The safety of the competitors, team personnel, fans and everyone at the track is of paramount importance. Not putting more pressure on the NHS, at a difficult time, was also considered when making this decision.
‘The next scheduled race on the 2020 ACU British Motocross Championship calendar, Foxhill on May 3, is going to go ahead at the time of writing. The status of this event will be assessed on an ongoing basis and will of course be subject to change from the advice and guidance of the organising bodies or any additional restrictions imposed by the UK Government.’
The opening round of the Michelin MX Nationals – which was due to be held this weekend at FatCat Motoparc – has also been cancelled.
“We pulled the plug yesterday,” said series promoter Paul Irwin on Tuesday. “Basically, we can’t guarantee medical facilities if we turn up at the hospital and we can’t run without 999 back-up.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens. I’d like to think that round two will go ahead but that’s only three weeks away so it’s also in jeopardy.
“We’ll take it day-by-day and as soon as we can get back racing we’ll be straight in there but we need to make sure it’s safe for everyone and you can’t take chances.”
Over in the US, the AMA Supercross championship has come to halt, with the season postponed.
And in the last two days, the opening round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship – the famous Hangtown Motocross Classic – was cancelled and the remainder of the championship has been condensed. Here you can see the amended Pro Motocross 2020 schedule.
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