MotoGP bosses aiming to double up races at circuits

| | MotoGP
Picture: GeeBee Images

Tech3 KTM team boss and IRTA president Herve Poncharal is cautiously optimistic that MotoGP can finally go ahead in late July with the strong possibility of two races back to back at each track.

But the likeable Frenchman believes that post-pandemic, costs will have to be cut while organisers strive to maintain the entertainment level.

“It will be necessary to work well this year and the following season to prepare the new sporting and economic deal. We have frozen development in each category,” said Poncharal.

“We must think carefully about what to do next, see what the manufacturers are ready to invest. But today, we have to work to keep this show, our proximity to the public and remain available, while managing costs well.”

It is likely the majority of this year’s races will be spectator free with around a third of the usual paddock staff present at any one time.

“I believe that a paddock in Europe includes between 2,500 and 3,000 people normally. For the closed door tests, it would be around 1,100-1,300 people.

“We are all working together: Dorna will reduce its staff present at the circuits, as will the teams and the technical partners.

“Likewise, if there are no hospitalities, everyone must be fed while respecting the distancing measures. So we thought of a protocol that is almost complete and agreed to by all parties.

“We quickly realized that it would very likely be complicated to have races with spectators in 2020. Behind closed door races quickly became like a necessary condition in order to talk with countries and organizers, and it makes sense.

“Of course, we don’t like that. The fans, the public, the supporters are the basis of our sport. But between no races at all and races without spectators.

“Even if you choose, you might as well take the second option. It’s our job, our passion. Everything must be done so that there are races, for fans, teams, riders and TV. If it is possible with reduced staff, then we will make sure to respect this condition.

“Also, when possible, we will try to compete in two Grands Prix on the same circuit. We could very well stay at a circuit for two weekends.”