The president of the Federation of Motorcycling of Portugal (FMP), Manuel Marinheiro, said today in an interview with the agency Lusa, advanced on the website of SIC Notícias, that the government decision to ban the public at the Portuguese Grand Prix of MotoGP, in Portimão, was received "with sadness", but also "with a sense of responsibility", remembering above all that, "it is necessary to comply with the decisions that are taken by those entitled to it".
"We can agree, or not, but it is these entities that are supposed to have the competence and, mainly, the information to make them. The decision is made and we have to accept it. I saw the decision with sadness and with amazement, because I thought it would be possible reconcile health security with the importance it would have for the Algarve economy ", admitted Manuel Marinheiro, just a few days before the start of the 14th and final stage of the World Speed Motorcycle Championship, at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA).
The presence of a public in Portimão would also be "a very deserved prizeO for the Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (KTM), for everything he has done in MotoGP and for the benefit of our country, but support for the 10th place in the World Championship will have to be transmitted in another way ", said the president of the FMP.
"There will certainly be [apoio] out of the loop, but it's not the same. It would be great if he could feel that warmth and support that we all wanted and want to express. It is not possible, it is life. Or, to put it another way, is the pandemic ", lamented Manuel Marinheiro.
In an atypical year like this, in addition to MotoGP, which was not scheduled, the FMP also ended up organizing a World Endurance event, which was not planned, and having two events in the Superbike World Championship, two in the Enduro World Championship and also two FIM CEV Moto Júnior, when only one of each competition was scheduled.
"It is obvious that, in a normal situation, which we hope will be in 2021, two world championship races will not be attributed to the same country. We will be doing those that we have already been doing, and now also MotoGP", admitted the president of FMP, recalling that there is already an agreement between AIA and Dorna, organizer of the MotoGP World Championship, for the Portimão circuit to join the championship from 2022 onwards.
All competitions held in Portugal have to do with "the work that the FMP has been doing", assured Manuel Marinheiro, "without false modesty", but mainly with the capacity that the organizing clubs have demonstrated to "organize exception elements" and with the opportunity to have a Portuguese, Jorge Viegas, in the leadership of the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM), the Algarvian who was also president of the FMP.
"He, better than anyone, knows what our capabilities are and has allowed us these opportunities. Not by taking them away from anyone, but quite simply when other countries or elsewhere are not possible or do not want to organize, we have here managed to do it safely and with the capacity that we have already demonstrated ", reinforced Manuel Marinheiro.
Next weekend, from November 20 to 22, the AIA will host the 14th and final stage of the MotoGP World Championship, in a race that will take place behind closed doors due to the covid-19 pandemic, after several spectators are expected to attend the circuit. Miguel Oliveira will seek the second victory of his career in the category, after winning the Styrian GP, in Austria, on the 23rd of August.