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Coronavirus: Season-opening MotoGP Grand Prix cancelled due to travel restrictions

Image: The coronavirus has caused travel problems in Qatar

The season-opening MotoGP Grand Prix in Qatar has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The race was due to take place on March 8 but has now been called off due to Qatar's travel restrictions on passengers from Italy.

Moto 2 and 3 classes will carry on, with the crews already in Qatar.

A statement says: "Due to Qatar travel restrictions brought into force affecting passengers from Italy, the premier class will not race at Losail.

"FIM, IRTA and Dorna regret to announce the cancellation of all MotoGP class sessions at the Grand Prix of Qatar, including the race.

"The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Qatar travel restrictions being brought into force that affect passengers from Italy, amongst other countries.

"As of today, all passengers arriving at Doha on direct flights from Italy, or having been in Italy in the past 2 weeks, will be taken straight to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

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"Italy clearly plays a vital role in the Championship and in the MotoGP class - both on track and off - and therefore the decision has been taken to cancel premier class competition."

Meanwhile, Thailand's MotoGP round scheduled for March 22 has officially been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"As the global outbreak of coronavirus continues to develop, the Thai government has communicated that it won't be possible to hold the OR Thailand Grand Prix on its original date," a MotoGP statement read.

"The FIM, IRTA and Dorna therefore regret to announce that the event, due to be held on the 22nd of March in Buriram, has been postponed. The FIM, IRTA and Dorna are currently evaluating if an alternative date is possible for the event later this season."

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