MotoGP News: Dorna Sports outlines plans to ensure paddock safety on return to racing

Lewis Duncan
MotoGP outlines plans to ensure paddock safety

MotoGP has outlined its plans to ensure paddock safety from coronavirus upon its hoped return to action on 19 July with the first of two races at Jerez.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has put the MotoGP season on hold since its aborted effort to stage the Qatar Grand Prix back in March, with Moto2 and Moto3 the only championships to have actually raced so far this year.

Plans are in place to begin the season with a double-header Spanish Grand Prix/Grand Prix of Andalusia on 19 and 26 July at Jerez, pending government approval.

MotoGP's initial races will be held behind closed doors, while the paddock size has been reduced to around 1300 people to cover all classes.

In an update from Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP's promoter Dorna Sports, he outlined the protocols being put in place for the paddock to ensure a safe return.

"We've made a very defined protocol, working together with the different Ministers of Sport in different countries we will visit, to have an idea from any of the countries what we can do," Ezpeleta said.

"Then in principle, any rider coming to race will have a medical before, and if the doctor decides they need to have a test, they will do it before coming to the first race in Spain.

"Then later, before coming to the paddock, there will be another test, and then a protocol with control every day, plenty of things in the paddock and especially insulation between each team.

"We have also some measures for places to eat and everything, in principle, where people are coming from the hotel to the circuit, and circuit to the hotel.

"Obviously, this is for how the situation is right now, if between now and July, the situation in any country is more flexible, we'll allow for that.

"In principle we want to isolate the paddock from other things and there will be no connection between the permanent people working at the circuit and the MotoGP family."

MotoGP outlines plans to ensure paddock safety

Ezpeleta also confirmed that the number of personnel for each manufacturer allowed into the paddock has been increased by five from 40, while Moto2 and Moto3 will remain at 20 and 15 respectively.

In the last week MotoGP announced the cancellation of the Australian, Japanese and British grands prix, with the Dutch, German, Finnish and Qatar races already scrapped for 2020.

No overseas races will be staged until the middle of November if safe to do so, with Ezpeleta confirming a decision on whether the championship will swell from 12 to either 14 or 16 races with the addition of flyaways is expected in July.

A revised 2020 calendar is expected to be released next week.

Last weekend the MotoAmerica Superbike series heralded motorcycle racing's international comeback at Road America, with Attack Performance Yamaha rider Cameron Beaubier dominating both races.

MotoAmerica president and three-time 500cc world champion Wayne Rainey confirmed to Autosport last month that the series is working closely with Dorna over paddock protocols.

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