PETALING JAYA: It will be 13 races in 18 weeks, a gruelling criss crossing of five countries over an exhausting five months, but Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo are excited about returning to MotoGP action.
Even the absence of fans in the closed-door races will not dampen their enthusiasm.
Morbidelli said the calendar was tight as they would have to race 13 times between July and November, so no mistakes could be made and it will be really tough with almost no rest.
“It will be interesting to see how everyone faces this challenge. As an Italian, I have a bittersweet calendar because we can’t race at Mugello, but we get to race at Misano twice, ” said the Italian.
“We rode there a lot recently with the Yamaha R1, so we have to take advantage of this. It is essential to have a date on the horizon and work towards it because you don’t know how difficult it is to prepare yourself for a non-confirmed target.”
Although the Moto2 and Moto3 categories enjoyed the first round in Qatar, the MotoGP class have yet to race in 2020.
The 2020 MotoGP World Championship will initially consist of 13 races across Europe – in Spain, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy and France – with the possible addition of four rounds outside Europe after that.
In the first of these rounds, the teams will travel to Spain for two weekends of racing action at Jerez on July 19 and 26.
Quartararo said riders would have to be really careful with crashes and injuries because one injury would mean being out of many races due to the tight schedule.
“We will have back-to-back races at the same circuit and fewer Grands Prix, but I think the most crucial thing is to finish races and go race by race, ” he said.
Team principal Datuk Razlan Razali said the restart of the 2020 season has come about thanks to tireless work from Dorna, IRTA and the FIM and they are thankful to be able to get back to what they do as a team so quickly.
“While we will be returning to race action, it will look rather different at the track. The first few races will be without fans and with fewer people in the paddock. In time, we hope to work back to normalcy, but for now, there are restrictions in place, ” he said.
“The initial calendar is all-Europe, but Dorna are pushing hard for non-European races too, with a final schedule likely by the end of July.
“There is still the possibility that we will make visits to America, Argentina, Thailand and/or Malaysia. Given the progress over the past seven weeks, there’s a lot of potentials for positive things to happen in the next seven weeks.”