Qatar FIM showpiece to vroom safely



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Qatar offers covid vaccination to the MotoGP Paddock Image: iloveqatar.net

There has recently been an announcement that the State of Qatar has offered COVID-19 vaccinations to the MotoGP™ paddock. Following this announcement, Dorna Sports Chief Executive Carmelo Ezpeleta stated that it is very important to ensure that the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship can go racing as safely and smoothly as possible.

Dorna Sports, S.L. is the commercial rights holder for the motorcycling sport of MotoGP™. Established in 1988 as an international sports management and marketing company, it is headquartered in Madrid (Spain), with branch offices and/or subsidiaries in Barcelona (Spain), Amsterdam (Netherlands), London (UK) and Rome (Italy).

The 2021 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship which will vroom off in the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on March 28th will be the premier class of the 73rd F.I.M. Road Racing World Championship season. Subsequently, the racing spectacle is scheduled to take place in 18 other countries of the world.

Mies (Switzerland)-based Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) is the global governing/sanctioning body of motorcycle racing. It represents 111 national motorcycle federations that are divided into six regional continental unions.

‘Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme’ quoted Carmelo Ezpeleta as telling MotoGP™, “Since 2004, Qatar has been part of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship and from 2007 it is the venue for the first Grand Prix of the year. It’s become traditional and everyone is very happy to start there! This year, thanks to the relationship between the Government and Dorna always being fantastic, and due to the coronavirus situation and it being difficult to go to the Grands Prix (GPs) in the Americas, we decided to propose to the authorities in Qatar to organize two consecutive Grands Prix at Losail (Grand Prix of Doha to be held in the Losail Circuit on April 4th) and do all the tests here.”

The Losail International Circuit is a motor racing circuit located just outside in the town of Lusail, North of Doha, Qatar. Built in just under a year by 1,000 workers at the cost of US$58 million, the track opened in 2004 to the inaugural Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar.

Making a strong pitch for vaccination, Ezpeleta asserted, “This was important for the MotoGP™ family. The Government of Qatar, where the vaccination program is going so well, then offered us the opportunity to vaccinate the paddock and that’s something amazing for us. The whole MotoGP™ Family appreciate it so much. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to the Government of Qatar.”

As to how important this vaccination program was in terms of increasing the safety of everyone in the paddock, ‘Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme’ further quoted Ezpeleta as stating, “This is very important for us. During 2020, we have been following very important protocols to maintain a bubble between people in the MotoGP™ paddock, who are reduced in number in comparison to 2019… but it has permitted us to have a safe season last year. Now, the Government of Qatar is offering us the opportunity to be vaccinated, but every individual decides whether or not to accept. The vast majority of people have accepted and are so happy to take shots, some people for different reasons they can’t. But, we’re extremely happy because these vaccinations permit us to increase safety and decrease contamination. It’s very important for safety, of course in Qatar and especially the other Grands Prix. The MotoGP™ family, the vast majority, will be vaccinated.”

He also pointed out that MotoGP™ riders can be good role models to encourage people to get vaccinated – “Our riders are people who are very popular, especially for the younger generation. They are very careful about their health and make their decisions to be as strong as they can, and avoiding infection. We demonstrated last year with our bubble that it’s possible to work around the world with few cases, and even those I hope with the vaccinations can be reduced. I think it’s an important model for the society and thanks to Qatar, we have the chance to show the world how important it is for all our heroes to be vaccinated.”

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