Earlier this month, the international coronavirus outbreak took a wrecking ball to the MotoGP calendar, kicking the season-opening Qatari race off the calendar entirely and forcing the postponement of the subsequent Thailand race. That left Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas to usher in the 2020 MotoGP season, but as of Tuesday, COTA won't court motorcycle racing audiences this year, because it too has elected to delay its MotoGP race.
Despite no known cases of COVID-19 in Austin, circuit management announced via social media that it decided to reschedule its April 3-5 MotoGP appointment to November 13-15. All tickets purchased for the race's original dates will instead be honored in November, though refunds will be offered to those unable to attend the rescheduled race.
COTA's rain check also means that Argentina now occupies MotoGP's season-opening slot, with its Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in Santiago del Estero scheduled to host the series on the weekend of April 19. This race too, however, may be at risk of cancellation, as Argentina became the first country in Latin America to confirm a coronavirus death over the weekend. Cases of COVID-19 have also been confirmed in two of Santiago del Estero's neighboring provinces, Córdoba and Chaco, potentially putting residents of Santiago del Estero—and its MotoGP race—under threat of infection or quarantine.
If Argentina delays its race, the next event on the chopping block could be Spain, which is grappling with a widespread COVID-19 outbreak of its own. A diminishing number of open weekends later in 2020 make one thing clear: More races are likely on the chopping block, and heads will roll until COVID-19's outbreak can be contained.
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