June 11, 2020 / 11:17 AM / 2 months ago

MotoGP season to resume in July with Spain double-header

(Reuters) - MotoGP said on Thursday it will resume the 2020 season stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic with back-to-back races at the Jerez circuit in Spain on July 19 and 26.

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP - Valencia Grand Prix - Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Cheste, Valencia, Spain - November 17, 2019 Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez in action during the race REUTERS/Heino Kalis/File Photo

Five circuits will host double-headers and Spain will have seven races as part of the revised 13-round European calendar here

“It’s been hard work from our side... finally we obtained these possibilities,” Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of promoter Dorna Sports, said in a statement.

“In principle we have some circuits where we’ll repeat races one week after another, because this is easy for movement and to maintain the protocol, although there are others where we’ll have just one race.”

Eight races have been axed this season including the Qatar, Dutch, German, Finnish, British, Australian, Japanese and Italian rounds.

The third round will take place in the Czech Republic on Aug. 9 before two races in Austria on Aug. 16 and 23. Misano will host two rounds in September.

MotoGP said at least 12 rounds would be held but that number could increase to 17 with four races outside Europe between Nov. 22 and Dec. 13.

The only long-haul races yet to be cancelled due to the pandemic are those in Thailand, Malaysia, the United States (Texas) and Argentina.

Those events and dates will be confirmed before July 31.

Moto2 and Moto3 were able to start their season in Qatar in March as they were already there for testing but MotoGP was unable to race due to quarantine restrictions.

The updated schedule:

July 19: Spanish Grand Prix

July 26: Grand Prix of Andalusia

Aug. 9: Czech Grand Prix

Aug. 16: Austrian Grand Prix

Aug. 23: Styria Grand Prix

Sept. 13: San Marino Grand Prix

Sept. 20: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Sept. 27: Catalan Grand Prix

Oct. 11: French Grand Prix

Oct. 18: Aragon Grand Prix

Oct. 25: Teruel Grand Prix

Nov. 8: European Grand Prix

Nov. 15: Valencia Grand Prix

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Toby Davis

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