Coronavirus: Iconic MotoGP race at Mugello cancelled

By Sports Desk June 10, 2020

One of MotoGP's most famous races, the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, has been cancelled for 2020.

Originally postponed from its May 31 date, the event has now been scrapped due to the coronavirus crisis.

It is the first time the Italian Grand Prix has not been held since it became a permanent fixture on the MotoGP calendar in 1991.

Organisers announced the decision on Wednesday, as the season continues to be heavily impacted by complications involving COVID-19.

The statement read: "The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of the Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley. 

"Previously postponed, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and resulting calendar changes now sadly oblige the cancellation of the event."

The 2020 campaign is yet to get under way and, as things stand, the first scheduled race is in the Czech Republic on August 9.

"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of Mugello," said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP organisers Dorna Sports.

"Sadly, we were not able to find a solution to the logistical and operational issues resulting from the pandemic and rearranged calendar to enable us to visit the venue this season. 

"I would like to thank the fans for the understanding and patience they have shown as we wait for the situation to improve."

Paolo Poli, CEO of Mugello Circuit said the decision had been made "despite the communal effort made to find a practical solution".

He added: "The impossibility of staging an event that is open to spectators, as well as the difficulties that have arisen from this exceptional situation, have not allowed us to find a new date.

"I would like to thank all of our fans who have supported and encouraged us during these months, and invite them back to Mugello in 2021."

Earlier this month, the Japanese Grand Prix was cancelled just a few days after the British and Australian Grands Prix were removed from the 2020 calendar.

Related items

  • Cardinals-Pirates series postponed due to coronavirus Cardinals-Pirates series postponed due to coronavirus

    The St Louis Cardinals' series against the Pittsburgh Pirates has been postponed due to coronavirus, the MLB announced on Sunday.

    St Louis were scheduled to face Pittsburgh from Monday to Wednesday at Busch Stadium, but positive COVID-19 tests scuppered those plans.

    The Cardinals have been at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak affecting 16 members of the organisation – nine players and seven staff.

    It comes after the Cardinals' three-game weekend series against the Chicago Cubs was also postponed due to COVID-19 cases within the clubhouse.

    The Cardinals have not played since July 29 – matchups against the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, Cubs and now the Pirates postponed, while this will be the first disruption to Pittsburgh's schedule because of coronavirus.

    St Louis hold a 2-3 record in the National League Central, behind the Cubs (10-3) and Brewers (6-7), while division rivals the Pirates are 3-13.

  • Hamilton promises to 'keep close eye' on Red Bull after surprise Verstappen win Hamilton promises to 'keep close eye' on Red Bull after surprise Verstappen win

    Lewis Hamilton was excited by Max Verstappen's surprise win at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix but insists Mercedes will not take their success for granted.

    Hamilton has dominated Formula One, winning the past three drivers' championships, and the Mercedes superstar leads the standings again in 2020.

    However, the Briton missed out on a fourth race win in succession and a second in two weeks at Silverstone on Sunday.

    With Mercedes' tyres blistering in the heat, Verstappen's Red Bull car thrived in the conditions and he triumphed to move second for the year, 30 points behind Hamilton.

    Defending champion Hamilton welcomed the challenge, though, telling a post-race news conference: "I think it's great.

    "As I said before, I want to have races where they're challenging - like today - so I'm excited to watch this race.

    "Obviously the Red Bull seems to be quite close in race conditions to us and obviously today is stronger, so it shows they don't have as bad a package as perhaps people had said in the past

    "But I think it's good. It will be interesting to see the progression through the rest of the year and I definitely will not overlook them.

    "I think we've got to keep a close eye on them and keep working to push forwards, because I don't think it's going to be easy by any means.

    "But I don't think my team has that mentality anyway, so we just keep our heads down.

    "I was hopeful today that maybe we would have – wishful thinking - some sort of race towards the end, but maybe in the future we will get to have some, a bit more."

  • Fourth 'feels like a victory' for Ferrari's Leclerc Fourth 'feels like a victory' for Ferrari's Leclerc

    Charles Leclerc celebrated a fourth-placed finish at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, claiming the result felt "like a victory" in his faltering Ferrari car. 

    The Scuderia are struggling in 2020 but Leclerc was pleasantly surprised by the pace in his SF1000 at Silverstone on Sunday. 

    With a number of his rivals - including both Mercedes cars - suffering in testing conditions for tyres, Leclerc required just one stop, a strategy shared by Renault's Esteban Ocon and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen. 

    Having started eighth on the grid, Leclerc was delighted with the achievement, even if fourth represents a modest prize compared to Ferrari seasons past. 

    "I'm so happy today. For me, it feels like a victory," Leclerc told Sky Sports. "It's not looking good once we call a fourth place a victory, but at the moment it's where we're at. 

    "Last year, I think my weakest point was the tyre management and I've worked very hard. Every time that I work, and I see the results on track, it's a huge satisfaction. 

    "To get fourth place today... I expected to go eighth in a best-case scenario this morning - or further down the grid. I'm extremely happy with fourth place. 

    "We were very happy and, to be honest, we need to analyse to understand why we were so quick, because I don't really understand for now." 

    However, while Leclerc was pleased with a result that took him up to fourth in the drivers' standings, things went from bad to worse for team-mate Sebastian Vettel. 

    In his final season at Ferrari, the four-time world champion could only manage 12th and claimed his strategy "didn't make any sense". 

    Asked why he trailed so far behind Leclerc in the same car, Vettel added to Sky Sports: "I don't know. I guess something's there that I am missing. 

    "I'm not sure what it is. Nevertheless, I get out of bed and try to do the best that I can. 

    "For sure, today, we could have been higher up. With my side, there was the spin - I'm not quite sure what happened there - and also the strategy we could have recovered better. 

    "The main difference is that we didn't have clean races from when we started. He had a couple of clean races so far."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.