"The return of the MotoGP World Championship to Portugal is not yet on the table, but it is not ruled out" said the president of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), the Portuguese and Algarve Jorge Viegas, this Friday to Agência Lusa.
The FIM president spoke after the cancellation, announced this Friday, of the Australian and British MotoGP Grand Prix, which joins the cancellations, due to Covid-19, of the races in Finland, Germany and the Netherlands.
"We are just finishing drawing up the new calendar, which will be known in the coming days. There will be at least 12 races, mostly in Europe. At this stage, we just hope to know if it is still possible to go to Asia", revealed Jorge Viegas to Agência Lusa.
"The cancellations announced yesterday have mainly to do with logistical issues, since Australia, for example, has closed borders and it is not yet known when they will be reopened", said the head of FIM.
With five races canceled, of the 15 races initially planned in the 2020 calendar of the MotoGP World Championship, Portugal, which was a reserve country to host an event in case of need, is again a hypothesis.
Jorge Viegas stresses that "it is not yet on the table, despite not being ruled out, especially if there are more cancellations than expected" he said and added "is that, in addition to some Asian rounds, the Americas GP (USA) will hardly be held this year."
"Both Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA) and Autodromo do Estoril received inspections that detected the need to carry out works due to safety issues that have to be resolved", explained the FIM president.
In addition to the floor of the Algarve race track, there are distances from escapes or safety rails, which must be reviewed. "Before the pandemic, the works were scheduled for later. If it is necessary to use these circuits, they will have to be done urgently", said Jorge Viegas.
“In the case of Portimão, the situation will be easier to resolve, not least because the AIA already has approval for the World Superbike Championship, whose race is scheduled for the summer. I am optimistic that we will have a championship with at least 12 races. Being mostly in Europe, the need to travel by plane is avoided, which facilitates logistics. But we don't want a championship with just two or three events ", stressed Jorge Viegas.
At this time, the highest authority in world motorcycling awaits a response from the Spanish government regarding the holding of two races in Andalusia, at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit, in two consecutive weekends, on the 19th and 26th of June, however, happen, will be "behind closed doors, without an audience and with many restrictions.”
"We should only have a thousand people in the paddock instead of three thousand. Journalists should only be on television. And the next weekend would be the Superbike race, to allow everyone to stay in the same place for three weeks, as the flight attendants travel from several countries ", concluded Jorge Viegas.