Bengaluru, July 16: Carmelo Ezpeleta is to MotoGP what Bernie Ecclestone was once to Formula 1.
The CEO of Dorna Sports, who hold the commercial rights of the FIM MotoGP World Championship, Ezpeleta is happy to see the much-delayed 2020 season finally starting on July 19 with a double-header at the famed Jerez circuit in Spain, kicking off the proceedings.
With the bikes back on track for the one-day test ahead of the Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in which Yamaha's Maverick Vinales topped the time-sheets, Ezpeleta was candid while admitting that he missed the sound of the bikes most.
The 2020 FIM MotoGP World Championship season was supposed to start on March 8 with the traditional night-race at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. However only the Moto 2 and Moto 3 races of the Qatar Grand Prix went ahead as per schedule as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak all over the world put the season on hold.
After cancelling and postponing a number of races, Dorna Sports finally came up with a truncated calendar in June comprising 13 rounds in Europe, with five circuits holding back-to-back races between July and November, with possibly four more races outside of Europe scheduled to take place up to December 13.
"When I arrived at Jerez I heard the noise of the bikes... it's something I've missed all this time! We're in the situation we want to be in: making races happen," Ezpeleta was quoted as saying by MotoGP.com.
In keeping with the post-COVID-19 guidelines, the sport's global governing body -- FIM --and Dorna Sports have decided to conduct the races without spectators and the Spaniard has assured that the organisers will comply with the safety norms, while advising everyone to follow the rules.
"I take the opportunity to tell to everyone: please take care with all the measures we've in place, be strict as the virus is something dangerous and it's important to keep ourselves safe".
From the 2020 calendar races in Qatar, German, Dutch, Finnish, British, Australian, Japanese and Italy were cancelled due to logistical issues caused by the coronavirus, but Ezpeleta is happy to see that come Sunday, the lights will finally glow on the from the grid again after much delay.
"We're very happy to be here, especially as we know everyone is arriving well and the tests have been completed. We're happy to start the season again, we began in Qatar before the pandemic and now everyone is ready to start again."