MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
How come Silverstone can’t host a MotoGP round but is hosting two F1 rounds?
Silverstone managing director explains why F1 but no MotoGP. Also, how Britain’s biggest racetrack is surviving Covid-19 and the latest plans for MotoGP 2020
This summer, for the first time since the birth of motorcycling’s world championships in 1949, the United Kingdom will not welcome the world’s greatest riders and motorcycles to its shores.
The not-unexpected cancellation of this year’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone was announced last Friday morning, when Moto3 bikes should’ve been riding out of Mugello pit lane to start first practice for the 2020 Italian GP.
“It’s clear there are no winners in the current situation,” says Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle. “It’s been a straightforward coronavirus conversation with Dorna, who have been incredibly easy people to deal with. There simply was no way through the logistical and operational issues resulting from the pandemic and rearranged calendar.”
The big question, of course, is why the British MotoGP round has been cancelled while the Formula 1 world championship will race at Silverstone, not once but twice, on August 2 and 9.
“The issue with Formula 1 isn’t so much about the British GP, it’s about the entire F1 championship,” Pringle adds. “Seven of F1’s ten teams are based in the UK, as are F1’s broadcast and commercial personnel. All these people need to be able to come in and out of the country in between races. The championship couldn’t happen unless key F1 staff are exempted from the British government’s current 14-day quarantine regulations, so there is an overriding UK business case for this.”
F1 is worth around £7 billion to the UK economy, which is why the British government is expected to confirm quarantine exemption for F1 staff any moment now. Meanwhile Dorna can’t rely on the UK’s general quarantine rules being relaxed in time for the British MotoGP round, scheduled for August 30.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.