MotoGP bosses have confirmed speculation that the scheduled opening round of the 2020 championship at Austin has been delayed until November 15.
The United States round of the championship is the latest race to be affected by the global coronavirus outbreak and will now take the spot of the season-ending Valencia round, with Valencia moving back a week to wrap up the year on 22nd November.
It means that the 2020 season will now conclude with seven races in only nine weeks.
The news comes as no surprise after the City of Austin declared a state of emergency over the weekend, placing restrictions on all large gatherings of people.
That, coupled with extensive restrictions on movement in Italy rolled out to much of the country on Monday, means that the chances of running the race on schedule were always unlikely.
It means that the Argentinian round, set to be held in the middle of April, is now on paper the latest race to become the opening round of the championship for MotoGP and the second round for Moto2 and Moto3 after those series kicked off in Qatar at the weekend.
But with limited healthcare services raising a question mark about the sensibility of travelling to rural Argentina and with one-third of the paddock essentially banned from leaving Italy, it still remains far from a certainty.
Continuing spread of coronavirus in Spain (jumping from 500 to 1200 cases on Monday alone) also throws the first European round of the season at Jerez into doubt, meaning that it could be some time before the championship is able to get underway.
IndyCar is due to visit COTA on April 24-26. After releasing a statement on the delay of the MotoGP race, COTA’s Facebook page replied to comments asking if the IndyCar race would go ahead at the venue with, “Yes, Indycar and all other COTA events will continue as scheduled”.