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MotoGP cancels Grand Prix of Qatar due to coronavirus restrictions

MOTO-PRIX-QAT

Repsol Honda’s Spanish rider Marc Marquez (R) competes during the Qatar MotoGP grand prix at the Losail track in Qatar’s capital Doha on March 10, 2019. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP) (Photo credit should read KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

The 2020 season opener for the MotoGP has been canceled because of travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus outbreak

In a statement on the MotoGP website Sunday, FIM, IRTA and Dorna announced the cancellation of all MotoGP sessions, including the race, for the Grand Prix of Qatar that had been scheduled March 6-8.

According to the statement, all passengers arriving at Doha, Qatar, on direct flights from Italy will be quarantined a minimum of 14 days. “Italy 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,” the statement read.

Because teams and riders for the Moto2 and Moto3 classes already were in Qatar for a three-day test at Losail International Circuit this week, the races and sessions for those lower divisions will continue March 6-8.

Last week, it was announced that NBC Sports Group will be broadcasting MotoGP races during the 2020 season.