Finnish GP becomes 11th MotoGP race to be scrapped

MotoGP’s return to Finland for the first time since 1982 has been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number of scrapped races up to 11.

The 11th round of the 2020 season was due to take place at the newly-constructed KymiRing 100km outside of Helsinki on 12 July, marking MotoGP’s first visit to the country in almost 40 years.

The race was originally scheduled to come onto the calendar in 2018, though numerous delays in construction meant it wouldn’t have a confirmed slot until this year.

However, the outbreak of COVID-19 put the event under serious doubt, with MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports’ CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta recently confirming in an interview with Spanish media that the event would not be going ahead as the circuit couldn’t be given approval.

Race organisers released a statement on Friday.

“The decision to postpone the Finnish MotoGP race is made by Dorna Sports, which owns rights of the competition,” the statement began.

“The Finnish government has recommended that events for more than 500 people not be held before August due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Decision of postponement of the MotoGP Finland competition is made by Dorna Sports and race track owner KymiRing in accordance with the instructions of the Finnish Government.

“Dorna Sports has promised to announce the future of MotoGP in Finland as soon as possible.”

Though the last Finnish GP was in 1982, the last premier class race in the country – staged at the Imatra circuit – was held the year before.

Test riders from all six MotoGP manufacturers took to the circuit last year to evaluate the layout, after an official test had to be cancelled as the circuit had yet to be completed.

The circuit was met with mixed feelings, with most agreeing that sections of the KymiRing were too slow. Modifications to these parts were expected to be made ahead of the race.

The news follows a day after organisers for the Dutch TT at Assen confirmed its 28 June race was postponed.

The earliest the season can now start is 9 August with the Czech Grand Prix at Brno.

Recently, Ezpeleta stated the best-case scenario would be a resumption of racing at Brno, and said he’d be “delighted” with a 10-race championship.

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