MotoGP without fans in the opening races

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The coronavirus-delayed 2020 MotoGP season will get underway behind closed doors without the attendance of fans, the Andalusian Government has confirmed it recently.

Although the possibility of allowing some fans at the MotoGP season-opening Jerez event has been recently raised, the 2020 championship will kick off as a ghost race.

MotoGP has recently released the core of its heavily-revised 2020 that features 13 races including five double-headers on the same location. The 13-round calendar is expected to be extended with further races with the Grands Prix of Americas, Argentina, Thailand and Malaysia still considered as possible rounds.

The action will get finally underway at Jerez on July 19 with a further race a week later on the same location. The Jerez City Council held a meeting with the Andalusian Government and MotoGP’s Commercial Rights Holder Dorna to explore the possibility of having a limited number of spectators.

In press release published by the local government, it has been confirmed that the season-opener at Jerez will be staged without fans. "Different factors have been analysed to make the decision, including [crowd] capacity limitations, which would be reduced to a third to comply with the [social distancing] requirements to avoid new infections and with it a possible outbreak of COVID-19."

The Andalusian government has revealed that apart from the safety concerns, the financial issues have also played a part in the decision-making process as allowing the public would have involved a significant extra cost for the organisation of the Jerez circuit.

„All parties agreed that in the current circumstances efforts should focus on guaranteeing the safety of the teams and personnel, the continuity of the competition, avoiding [crowd] concentrations and… projecting the best image of Jerez, the province of Cádiz and Andalusia in these important sporting events."