Features 17 Mar 2020

Q&A: Impact of coronavirus

How the coronavirus is affecting domestic and international events.

In this edition of Q&A, we answer burning questions on the impact the ongoing coronavirus is having on motorcycle events in both Australia and around the world.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Q: Why are we seeing events postponed or cancelled?

A: With the global outbreak of coronavirus, governments all around the world have either locked down their country or have put significant restrictions on mass-gatherings, which includes the sizeable attendances of motorcycle races. It means event organisers have either been forced to postpone or cancel races in the interest of the public’s health and safety.

Q: Have any ASBK events been impacted yet?

A: At this stage, Wakefield Park’s second round of ASBK at the end of the month will go ahead with no spectators, running as a TV-only event. Round three at The Bend is under review, particularly with the international element of riders and crew travelling to the country in the Asia Road Racing Championship, while round four, which will run alongside Supercars in Perth, is in the hands of Supercars organisers.

Image: Supplied.

Q: What’s the situation with motorcycling events on the world stage?

A: Most world championships, including MotoGP, WorldSBK and EWC, have postponed races and are endeavouring to maintain a full series that will likely be run in a busy second half of the year. The FIM is willing for the current season of MotoGP to extend into 2021, and we wouldn’t be surprised if more series’ follow suit.

Q: How is Motorcycling Australia handling the situation?

A: Motorcycling Australia is currently taking the situation very seriously, however it is trying to ensure events that are viable and safe to do so can continue to operate. As it stands, all national events are under review until June, and we’re likely to receive definitive answers in the coming week.

Q: Can we expect to see more calendar changes?

A: Absolutely. The landscape of the situation is constantly changing by the day, and further restrictions are continuing to be imposed. Just yesterday Victoria, Western Australia and the ACT declared a State of Emergency, while internationally, we’re seeing even tighter restrictions on gatherings and forced isolations.