Why is Qatar MotoGP cancelled but Moto2 and Moto3 going ahead?

MotoGP action was supposed to return to our screens on BT Sport this weekend.

Marc Marquez – who triumphed last season – is ready to battle it out with veteran superstar Valentino Rossi and young prodigy Fabio Quartararo.

However, the premier class calendar has been left in chaos due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

The Qatar curtain raiser, which was originally scheduled for March 7, has been postponed.

There will also be no action in Thailand on March 22, with the second race of the season now also canned for safety reasons.

Motorsport fans still have some action on two wheels to enjoy at Losail, though.

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Although Qatar imposed a travel restriction on passengers arriving from Italy, Moto3 and Moto2 action will still go ahead in the Middle East as planned.

This is because the riders for Moto3 and Moto2 had already travelled before restrictions were put in place.

Moto2 action will kick off at 4:45pm on Sunday evening. Moto3, meanwhile, is scheduled to star at 1:20pm.

A MotoGP statement explained: "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.

"As the teams and riders of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes were already in Qatar for the three-day official test at Losail International Circuit earlier this week, the races of both categories will be possible.

"The lightweight and intermediate classes will therefore compete in their season opener from March 6-8."

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