MotoGP, the world’s top motorcycle racing series, has canceled the season-opening event in Qatar that was set for March 8 and postponed the second race on the calendar in Thailand indefinitely due to corona-related travel restrictions.
“FIM, IRTA and Dorna regret to announce the cancellation of all MotoGP class sessions at the Grand Prix of Qatar, including the race,” organizers said.
“The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Qatar travel restrictions being brought into force that affect passengers from Italy, among other countries.”
Doha has instituted a 14-day quarantine for travelers from Italy, where several of the top MotoGP riders and teams are based.
The lower tier Moto2 and Moto3 Qatar events will take place because the teams were already in the country for a test session at the Losail Circuit.
The Grand Prix of Thailand was scheduled for March 22, but on Monday the country’s public health minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced it was being called off.
“This decision is to prove that Thailand is taking serious measures against the spread of the disease among Thais and foreigners coming to the event,” he said.
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MotoGP becomes the latest international racing series to call off events amid the global outbreak, with Formula One and Formula E each canceling a race planned for China this spring.
The Associated Press contributed to this report