MotoGP organisers Dorna Sports are hopeful of seeing a calendar of up to 16 races in the 2020 season after plans for a Spanish double-header were confirmed.

It has been proposed to the Spanish government that the Jerez circuit could host two races in July as the sport attempts to get back on track amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Twenty grands prix were initially scheduled for 2020, yet Dorna Sports chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta has previously spoken of targeting just 10 races due to the global crisis.

Ezpeleta was slightly more optimistic speaking after news of the Jerez proposal, however, promising a clearer picture in a month's time.

Asked if 16 events could still go ahead, with four already cancelled, he told Cambia el Mapa: "If there can be some outside of Europe, yes. We are preparing for between 12 and 16 races.

"The procedure that we have had to do with Spain, we have to do with the other countries.

"At the beginning of June, I believe it will be possible to have a complete calendar of the races in Europe and, in theory, what could happen outside of Europe."

Ezpeleta explained the procedure MotoGP will use in Spain, with riders to be tested for COVID-19 before arriving in the country.

"We're working in accordance with the current conditions to be able to do it in the near future," he said.

"I hope that from now to July the measures don't get any worse but get better.

"The plan right now, as it stands, is that those outside of Europe would have to come to Europe at least 14 days before the grand prix and stay in Europe.

"Then, all the teams, including the Europeans, will have to do a test before leaving their countries, no later than four days before they arrive at the first grand prix, which will be in Spain.

"At that point, they will come with their certified test that says four days ago they were without coronavirus and, then when they arrive at the circuit, we will do another test.

"After that, each day we'll have a team with [hospital group] Quiron who will ensure that people are showing no symptoms and we will take everybody's temperature.

"Then there will be a protocol put in place should something happen and how we'll deal with it."

MotoGP has announced it will submit plans to stage two grands prix in Spain in July.

Races in Germany, Netherlands and Finland were cancelled last week due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers remain hopeful of a season comprising at least 10 races, which could start in July and end in November.

To that end, the regional government of Andalusia, the city council of Jerez de la Frontera and Dorna Sports have agreed to submit a proposal to the Spanish government that would see two events held at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto.

The races would be held on the weekends of July 19 and July 26, before a planned World Superbike Championship round at the same circuit on August 2.

"Once authorisation from the Spanish government has been given, the three events will be proposed to the FIM for inclusion on their respective calendars. The first MotoGP event would be the Grand Prix of Spain, becoming the season opener for the MotoGP class, and the second would be the Grand Prix of Andalusia," MotoGP said in a statement.

Maverick Vinales recovered from an early crash to win the virtual Spanish Grand Prix - then celebrated his success in style at home.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider - his team's solitary representative in Sunday's online race, which was held when the real event was scheduled to take place in Jerez prior to the coronavirus pandemic - was one of a number involved to fall at the opening corner.

However, Vinales was the beneficiary of others crashing during a dramatic finish to proceedings, propelling him from third to first.

With three laps remaining, second-placed Alex Marquez went down at Turn 2, before leader Francesco Bagnaia had a spill of his own at the penultimate corner, allowing Vinales to come through and claim his maiden victory at the third attempt.

The Spaniard then tweeted out a video of him spraying a bottle of champagne to mark the achievement, adding: "The mood when you win your first virtual MotoGP race."

Marquez and Bagnaia were second and third respectively, meaning the same trio of riders have been on the podium at all three events staged so far.

As for the actual MotoGP season, it remains unclear when the action will begin due to the ongoing health crisis. 

Dorna Sports chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta said this week he is confident at least 10 races will be staged this year, potentially including consecutive rounds at the same circuit.

Joan Mir has followed Alex Rins in signing a contract extension with Suzuki, declaring it a "dream come true" to remain with the team.

After his debut MotoGP season last year, during which he collected 92 points to finish 12th in the standings, Mir has agreed to a two-year deal.

The 22-year-old joins fellow Spaniard Rins in committing to Suzuki through the 2021 and 2022 campaigns, much to the delight of the former Moto3 champion.

"I'm extremely happy to sign with Suzuki for another two years - renewing is the best thing that could happen and it’s a dream come true again! It’s really important for me to continue because now I have more time to learn and more time to show my potential," Mir said.

"Two years can go by quickly, but I am ready to arrive at a higher level, and we are working every day to make that happen.

"I am also so pleased on a personal level because I have a really good team and crew around me.

"I really want to thank everyone at Suzuki for their confidence in me, and let’s see if I can get the results that we’re capable of.”

Mir and Rins will hope to get back out on their bikes soon, with this year's MotoGP calendar decimated by the effects of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Races in Germany, the Netherlands and Finland were recently cancelled due to the pandemic, though it is still hoped 10 events can be staged in 2020.

Dorna Sports chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta is confident at least 10 MotoGP races will be staged this year and revealed there could be consecutive rounds at the same circuit.

It was announced on Wednesday that races in Germany, the Netherlands and Finland have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers are hoping to start the season at end of July with a November finish, although that could be put back to December if races can take place outside of Europe. 

Ezpeleta says fans are highly unlikely to be allowed into the venues to watch the premier-class action.

He said: "It will be difficult to have spectators at the races but we will have our fantastic television coverage which will permit the majority of people to watch the races."

Rounds in Spain, France and Italy were also postponed and it is too early to say whether they can be rescheduled. 

Ezpeleta added: "Our idea right now is to start at the end of July. Where and when are still to be decided.

"We're sure our initial program is to start in Europe and race from the end of July until November and see what's happening, and if the non-European races will be possible after November.

"In the worst case, if it's not possible to travel outside of Europe, we'll at least keep a Championship of least 10 to 12 races between the end of July and the end of November."

Ezpeleta also stated organisers are "considering doing two consecutive race weekends at the same circuit."

The end of July is the target for the start of the MotoGP season after races in Germany, the Netherlands and Finland were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was announced on Wednesday that the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring on June 21 and the famous Assen round a week later will not go ahead.

The Grand Prix of Finland at the new Kymi Ring on July 12 has also been removed from the calendar.

Organisers are hoping they can salvage the season, with the Czech Grand Prix in Brno on August 9 next on the original schedule that has not yet been called off.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of organisers and promoters Dorna Sports, said: "It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of these three important Grands Prix on the MotoGP calendar.

"The German GP is raced on a truly unique track with an incredible history, and the KymiRing is an exciting new venue set to welcome Grand Prix motorcycle racing back to Finland for the first time since 1982.

"And the iconic TT Circuit Assen had the unique honour of being the only venue to have held a round of the motorcycle racing Grand Prix World Championship every year, uninterrupted, since the Championship began in 1949.

"On behalf of Dorna I would like to thank all the fans for their understanding and patience as we wait for the situation to improve. We very much look forward to returning to the Sachsenring and the TT Circuit Assen in 2021, and eagerly await the Grand Prix debut of the new KymiRing next season."

It remains to be seen whether races in Spain, France and Italy that were postponed can be rearranged.

Ezpeleta has said Dorna Sports are "optimistic" of staging a season starting in either late July or early Augugst that would finish on schedule in November.

Valentino Rossi says the coronavirus pandemic means he will have to take a decision on his future before the 2020 MotoGP season starts.

The Italian great will lose his factory Yamaha seat to Fabio Quartararo, who impressed during his rookie campaign last year, from 2021.

Yamaha offered to support Rossi should he want to continue, promising the "availability of a Factory-spec YZR-M1 bike" in a statement released in January.

Rossi had planned to delay a call on his future until the middle of this season, but with no racing having taken place yet due to the COVID-19 outbreak, he concedes he may have to take a call before returning to competitive racing.

"I am in a difficult situation, because like I said my first option is to try to continue because I have enough motivation and I want to continue," Rossi said in a Yamaha-organised social media interview.

"But it's very important to understand the level of competitiveness, because, especially in the second part of last year, we suffered very much and too many times I was too slow and I [could not fight for the] first five positions.

"So, in my mind, I have another year with the factory team and I need time to decide.

"And for me, I need like five/six races to understand with the new chief mechanic [David Munoz] and some modifications in the team if I can be stronger.

"The problem is [there is] no racing, so with the virus we have no racing. So, I think I will have to decide before racing because in the most optimistic situation we can race in the second half of the season.

"Around August or September, we hope, if everything is good. I have to make my decision before [then]. But anyway, I want to continue, but I have to do this decision without making any races.

"For sure, it's not the best way to stop because the situation is maybe we don't race in 2020 [at all].

"It's more fair to make another championship and maybe stop at the end of the next [year]. So, I hope to continue in 2021."

Alex Rins says he is in the "perfect place" at Suzuki after signing a new two-year contract.

Suzuki on Sunday announced that the Spaniard will stay on for the 2021 and 2022 MotoGP seasons.

The 24-year-old finished fourth in the standings last year, claiming his maiden premier-class victory in Texas and going on to secure a second at Silverstone.

Rins is confident there is more success to come whenever racing is possible, with no action able to take place so far in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: "My wish was to continue with Suzuki and finally this is what I did. I believe that the project has the potential to be a winning one, I have the desire to win, and so we match perfectly. 

"It's the perfect place for me, and we are working hard all together to get big results. I have always believed in the team and for this reason it was easy to get to the basic agreement very early on. 

"Then we took some time to finalise the details and follow all the internal processes. Now we have to understand what's going to happen with the 2020 season, we are ready to compete at the maximum level, as we already showed in the pre-season tests. 

"In this very moment the whole world is facing an unexpected situation that affects pretty much all countries and we need to be patient and see how it evolves.

"We will make ourselves ready for when we will be called to start racing, whenever this will happen."

MotoGP has confirmed the Italian and Catalyuna Grands Prix are the latest to be postponed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 season has yet to begin after the calendar was decimated by the outbreak of COVID-19.

Five rounds have now been postponed, with the race in Germany and Assen TT – both scheduled for June – likely under threat too.

MotoGP said it will release a revised schedule when the global situation becomes clearer.

A statement from MotoGP read: "The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the postponement of the Gran Premio d'Italia Oakley and Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, which were set to be held at the Autodromo del Mugello from the 29th to the 31st of May and at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from the 5th to the 7th of June, respectively. 

"The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has obliged the two events to be rescheduled.

"As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, new dates for these Grands Prix, as well as the recently-postponed French and Spanish GPs, cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events. 

"A revised calendar will be published as soon as available."

The start of the MotoGP season has been pushed back even further with the French Grand Prix the latest race to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Scheduled to be held at Le Mans on May 17, the French Grand Prix was postponed on Thursday amid uncertainty over when the season can start.

The 2020 campaign was due to begin in Qatar on March 8, but that race was cancelled.

"As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, new dates for the French GP and the recently-postponed Gran Premio Red Bull de Espana cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events," a MotoGP statement read.

"A revised calendar will be published as soon as available."

The Italian Grand Prix is next on the calendar on May 31, but could also be postponed or cancelled.

More than 52,800 people have died worldwide after testing positive for coronavirus, with Italy's death toll exceeding 13,900.

Aprilia rider Andrea Iannone has been banned for 18 months after testing positive for a banned substance last year.

Iannone was provisionally suspended in December after returning an adverse finding of a non-specified substance, later confirmed to be an illegal anabolic agent, in a urine sample taken at last year's Malaysian Grand Prix.

The Italian requested analysis of his B sample, which confirmed the initial result.

The FIM International Disciplinary Court (CDI) confirmed on Wednesday that the 30-year-old has been given a ban backdated to December 17, meaning it will run until June 16, 2021.

Iannone will miss the 2020 season, which is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the early rounds of next year.

MotoGP added in a statement that Iannone was also officially disqualified from last year's races in Malaysia and Spain, although he did not finish either.

Iannone has 21 days to file an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The next scheduled MotoGP race is at Le Mans on May 17, with the first five rounds having been called off amid the spread of COVID-19.

Former MotoGP star Jorge Lorenzo believes he would have plenty of offers if he decided to come out of retirement.

The Spaniard, 32, retired last year after winning three MotoGP championships, the last of which came in 2015.

MotoGP rider Pol Espargaro recently criticised Lorenzo, saying he had retired so he could leave Honda before returning to Yamaha.

Lorenzo, who is set to race for Yamaha as a wildcard at the Catalan Grand Prix, accepted the Spaniard's opinion and said he was sure there would be several offers if he decided to make a return.

"There are many opinions and you have to respect what they think. If in this case Pol thinks that and says it with respect, well, it is respected," he told Catalunya Radio on Sunday.

"In the event that I wanted to compete again, I don't think I'd be short of offers, but at the moment that is not the case."

Lorenzo struggled late in his MotoGP career, failing to register wins in 2017 and 2019.

He has no plans to make a comeback, saying he had achieved all he could in MotoGP.

"I have always said that the decision was final," Lorenzo said.

"You can never say, 'I will not drink from this water', but I retired with the idea of leaving forever. I was 32 years old, I had been a professional for 15 years.

"And luckily I have been very successful and I have won many things. Other riders have not been so lucky.

"To continue would be to repeat because I cannot achieve something more important than being the MotoGP world champion, and I did it three times."

The start of the MotoGP season has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alex Marquez got one over on his MotoGP champion brother Marc Marquez with a resounding victory in Sunday's Virtual Race.

This year will be Alex Marquez's first in the MotoGP ranks, after winning last season's Moto2 championship, but racing on the track is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet star riders scratched a competitive itch while hunkering down at home by taking part in the console simulation of a six-lap grand prix at Mugello.

The Italian circuit is one where both Marquez brothers have tasted success, with Alex winning in Moto2 last year and Marc landing a MotoGP triumph in 2014 - as well as previous Moto2 and 125cc victories.

The Marquez siblings are teaming up this year with Repsol Honda, after Jorge Lorenzo's retirement, and will hope to soon be engaging in wheel-to-wheel action rather than such pseudo-racing.

Sunday's race was every rider for himself nevertheless, and 23-year-old Alex Marquez left his 27-year-old brother standing.

Pramac Ducati rider Francesco 'Pecco' Bagnaia was second, Maverick Vinales took third, and Fabio Quartararo finished fourth, with Marc Marquez down in fifth position.

Dubbed the #StayAtHomeGP by MotoGP organisers, the virtual race began dramatically with Quartararo taking out Vinales at the first corner.

Quartararo had started from pole position and he also produced the fastest lap of the race - one minute and 44.454 seconds.

However, at one stage he sat last of all 10 riders and had to settle for a finish just short of the podium places after a surge through the field.

Marquez's margin of victory was an imposing 7.093 seconds.

The start of the 2020 MotoGP season has again been delayed after the Spanish Grand Prix became the latest race to be postponed.

Jerez was due to host the opening race of the rearranged schedule on May 3, but those plans have had to be shelved due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A statement on the MotoGP website confirmed the event will be rescheduled for later in the year, with a revised calendar to be released "as soon as available".

"As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, a new date for the Spanish GP cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the event," the statement read.

"A revised calendar will be published as soon as available."

Qatar was only able to stage Moto2 and Moto3 events, while races in Argentina, Thailand and the United States have all been postponed because of the virus.

The Argentinian Grand Prix was previously moved to November 22, meaning the Valencia Grand Prix was pushed back to the following week to ensure it remains the final event.

Valentino Rossi is "cheering on" fellow Italians who have seen their communities turned into a "war zone" by the coronavirus and has not made a decision on his MotoGP future.

Italy has been the hardest hit of any nation as COVID-19 spreads across the globe, 4,825 losing their lives in the country.

With the season on hold due to the virus, the seven-time MotoGP champion has offered his support to those so badly affected.

"Here in Tavullia the situation is difficult, unfortunately many people are sick here and also in Pesaro. We must all hold on, waiting for this moment to pass," the Yamaha rider told Sky Sport Italia.

"We cheer for the people of Bergamo and Brescia. I have seen very bad images, it looks like a war zone.

"I have many friends there and right now I’m the one cheering them on, while usually I’m the one they cheer for.”

Rossi will not rush into making a call on whether to continue racing next year after the start of the season was delayed.

He added: "It was hard [The cancellation of the season-opening race in Qatar], because we understood that we would not have run just on Sunday before leaving [for Qatar].

"This has messed up my plans, we will have to understand when we will be able to run. Things seem to go long, they have cancelled the European Championship in football.

"As for my choice, I was hoping to decide whether to continue after the first part of the season, but now everything slips. I would like a few races to understand how competitive I can be, that would be important."

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