Of course, all of this is subject to quarantine regulations, travel protocols, social-distancing rules and myriad other factors that change from country to country and from week to week.
Last Friday FIM Asia hosted an online seminar that looked into the practicalities of overcoming the challenges of starting the 2020 racing season in the region. Although the discussion was aimed specifically at Asian promoters it applies to anyone hoping to arrange an international race series at this time.
Asia-based journalist and commentator Barry Russell took part in the FIM Asia seminar and gave a very realistic outline of the situation in his blog.
“International events face a mind-bendingly myriad set of challenges, as each participating country sets and resets travel and quarantine regulations,” he wrote on his website. “The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC), for example, would normally feature seven rounds in five countries: Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Japan and China, with personnel from up to 20 countries.
“Realistically, that gives us 15 different countries that people have to get into and out of seven times over a period of nine months. A thorough programme of pre-travel COVID-19 testing would certainly be required, together with a procedure for what happens should somebody get sick during an event. Given that we know the virus is ebbing and flowing and at different points in the cycle in each of those 15 countries, the ability to nail down dates is still a fair way in the distance.”
MotoGP faces the exact same challenges as the ARRC; so what happens if Dorna’s dream of running a mini 2020 MotoGP championship at a variety of tracks fades to nothing?
In recent days Ezpeleta has also talked about Dorna’s option of last resort for the 2020 championship.
This is the doomsday scenario: one homologated MotoGP circuit will become the venue for the entire 2020 MotoGP world championship, with probably three race ‘weekends’ taking place over a period of 14 days or so.
No one wants a championship that takes place at one racetrack, but if it’s the only alternative then it’s surely better than no championship at all.
Of course, even if this idea gets the go-ahead, there will be obstacles to be overcome, but the single-venue option has obvious benefits, not least because it requires only one minister of sport and one ministry of health to ease lockdown restrictions enough to allow the paddock to assemble.
Teams association IRTA is already working with teams to slim down the paddock from its 3000 inhabitants to around 1500, for all three classes.
If this number is still too great to meet requirements then Dorna will have no option but to drop Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE, leaving the premier class to race alone. Assuming the six factory teams running on skeleton crews of 40 each, plus the five independent teams getting by with 25 each, that’s a total of around 365 people, including riders, engineers, technicians and catering staff.