Three MotoGP races cancelled due to pandemic, one added in Europe – Reuters India

(Reuters) – MotoGP races in Argentina, Thailand and Malaysia this year have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic but one more race will be added to the calendar and will be held in Europe in November, MotoGP announced on Friday.

A number of races have been axed this season due to the new coronavirus outbreak, including the Qatar, Dutch, German, Finnish, British, Australian, Japanese, Italian and American rounds.

“The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina, OR Thailand Grand Prix and Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2020,” MotoGP said in a joint statement with the governing FIM and teams’ association IRTA.

“After the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, another race weekend will take place from the 20th to the 22nd of November at a venue in Europe, becoming the 2020 season finale.”

The host venue in Europe has not yet been decided and will be confirmed on Aug. 10.

The season restarted earlier this month with back-to-back races at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The country will host seven races as part of the revised European calendar while four more circuits are set to host double-headers.

Promoter Dorna Sports added that the Thai Grand Prix will remain on the MotoGP calendar until at least 2026 and that they had started work on discussing possible dates for races in Argentina and Malaysia next year.

Fabio Quartararo of Petronas Yamaha leads the world championship standings after winning the first two races in Jerez while Maverick Vinales of Yamaha is second, 10 points behind.

Defending champion Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda is yet to open his account after crashing in the season-opening race and missing the second race after failing to recover from surgery to a broken arm.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Frances Kerry and Christian Radnedge

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