Today, the OR Thailand Grand Prix was set to be getting underway in Buriram; the race weekend that was meant to be the second of the season. The entire MotoGP™ paddock and family was supposed to be doing what we love the most: racing. We would have loved to watch the riders from each category fighting it out on track and delighting us to another last corner battle like we’ve come to expect from Buriram.
We would have loved to see the many international members of the paddock back hard at work for our fans; both those who travel from all over the world to join us trackside in Thailand and those who, like they do every race weekend, follow us faithfully from every corner of the globe.
Due to the coronavirus crisis that’s sweeping the planet, clearly that hasn’t proved possible due to the preventive measures put in place by governments around the world to safeguard our health. That’s why, now more than ever, we have to be aware of our responsibility and support each other by following those restrictions and the recommendations of the authorities for the benefit of us all. This virus has stopped the world turning for an indefinite amount of time, but we’re sure that we’ll return to our daily lives and come out of it even stronger than before. It’s a provisional break and I want to send everyone a message of confidence and calm in this situation.
Ever since Dorna became the promoter of the MotoGP™ World Championship, 29 seasons ago now, we have always been clear that racing is our mission, and that will continue to be the case. Even in the worst situations we will maintain our motto: the goal is to race. Competition is in our blood and I can’t imagine another scenario that would stop us. Covid-19 has affected each and every global sporting competition, and this pandemic has sadly been no stranger to the beginning of the 2020 MotoGP™ World Championship. Nevertheless, our sport will endure and race on – as it has since its birth in 1949.
After the changes we’ve already announced, we now have to keep up to date with every detail of both the evolution of this pandemic and government policies, with the goal of maintaining the maximum number of events. That’s our main target and objective as of today.
Despite the challenges we face, we’re happy and proud to know that the sport itself is better than ever – as MotoGP™ preseason testing proved, where the timesheets were the tightest in history. In Qatar, we saw a glimpse of that already thanks to two magnificent races in Moto2™ and Moto3™ – and that’s only served to whet our appetite for more.
The situation is identical for WorldSBK too, although, fortunately, they were able to complete their first round in Australia – and what a race weekend it was. The FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, the FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship and each and every Cup and programme on the Road to MotoGP™ have also seen changes to their calendars, but we will likewise do everything we can to accommodate them to the best of our ability.
Our thoughts and any courses of action that we’ll undertake centre on two things: our fans and, of course, all those who work so hard to make our Championships possible. We are doing everything we can to see riders, engineers, mechanics, logistics personnel, executives, camera operators, journalists, multimedia technicians, coordinators and every other vital part of our sport back to doing what we do best – going racing. Something that always has been, is now and will continue to be the essence of who we are. At Dorna we are working to ensure that this crisis leaves the MotoGP™ family and all our paddocks with only one consequence; that of a modified calendar.
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to the FIM, IRTA, the manufacturers, the riders in each Championship, the team members, promoters, broadcasters, sponsors, the media and each and every Dorna employee for the way they are all confronting this situation with such patience, professionalism and true understanding. It is a huge honour and a pleasure to have these incredible partners.
This is all to make sure we can return to entertaining and thrilling our fans as soon as possible. They are tireless and follow us faithfully from track to track or via whichever medium or platform they can, from one corner of the world to another. We owe it to them and to the incredible history of our sport.
So, to all those fans, there is only one thing left to say: we look forward to seeing you again soon – back on track.