Shutdowns and Cancellations continue amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

Shutdowns and Cancellations continue for motorsports amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. All over the world from Nascar to Isle of Man and the LeMans 24 Heures are being canceled, postponed or shutdown due to the spread of the Coronavirus. AMERiders gives you an update on these cancelations.

2020 Isle Of Man TT Cancelled

In February we wrote an article about 23-time IOTM winner John McGuinness unveiling his bike the Kawasaki ZX-10RR for the race. Well as of now the race has been canceled With all the cancellations going on we all knew it was probably inevitable, but the Isle of Man government officially announcing that the 2020 IOMTT is canceled due to COVID-19 concerns still hits especially hard. The event was originally scheduled to take place between May 30 and June 13, 2020. This follows an announcement from the IOM government that it is ramping up its protective measures to keep its citizens safe.

The decision to cancel has not been taken lightly, and all options including postponement and delaying the decision have been considered in detail. Representatives from the Isle of Man Government will now discuss the implications with all relevant businesses, stakeholders and individuals affected by this cancellation, which it recognises will be significant.

‘With the visitor restriction in place for the foreseeable future, we wanted to make the decision now to give businesses, visitors and all involved stakeholders time to manage the impact going forward. The Isle of Man, and the Isle of Man TT, are faced with unique challenges regarding COVID-19 and making this decision will provide certainty to teams, competitors, sponsors and stakeholders of the event and to visitors across the globe.”

“The decision also aims to provide reassurance for our residents and healthcare professionals that the health and well-being of the Isle of Man’s residents is the single biggest priority and focus of this Government.

Laurence Skelly MHK, who is the IOM Minister for Enterprise

The Isle of Man is hardly alone in seeking to deter international travel during this time of uncertainty in the face of Coronavirus Pandemic. Since the TT regularly attracts thousands of visitors from all corners of the globe every year, and since most public health officials agree that gathering in large groups is an extremely bad idea right now, this is absolutely the right call. 

Previously, the only other time the Isle of Man TT was canceled was in 2001, after an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. Currently, organizers are looking ahead to the August running of the 2020 Classic TT races and the Manx Grand Prix. Plans for those may change if necessary, but at the moment, they are still on the calendar. Announcements will be made tomorrow regarding measures the IOM government will take to support businesses that will be adversely affected by the cancellation of the TT.

And yet another Motorsports Shift due to the Coronavirus Pandemic…

Le Mans 24 Heures Motos

As we’ve been seeing for some time now, international motorsport continues to be affected by coronavirus pandemic concerns. This now includes the 24 Heures Motos as FIM Endurance World Championship announced that instead of its previously scheduled dates of April 18 and 19 2020, it will now be postponed until September of 2020.

The annual motorcycle endurance event takes place at one of the most hallowed of all international racing facilities, Le Mans. France currently has a ban in place on gatherings of 1,000 people or more. Therefore, the FIM, Eurosport Events, and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest have jointly decided to postpone the 24 Heures Motos until the weekend of September 5 and 6, 2020.

This change to the EWC calendar means that Le Mans will provide a dramatic closing race to the 2019-2020 season, rather than occurring right in the middle. As it stands, the first two races of the championship took place in 2019, with the 24 hour Bol d’Or in France on September 21 and 22, 2019 and the 8 Hours of Sepang in Malaysia on December 14, 2019. According to the original calendar, Le Mans was the next EWC race scheduled, to be followed by the 8 Hours of Oschersleben in Germany on June 6, 2020, and the Suzuka 8 Hours in Japan on July 19, 2020, to cap the season. 

This also means that the traditional “Pre-Mans” testing originally scheduled for March 31 through April 1 is also canceled. Although it hasn’t been specified yet, presumably testing prior to the event will move to late August or early September, just before the new date of the 24 Heures Motos main event. 

So far, both the German and Japanese event dates later in 2020 remain unchanged. The situation is continually evolving, and we’ll keep you updated with the latest information on any further rescheduling as we have it.

Motorcycle Production Updates

Italy Quarantine Motorcycle Production Update

We reported last week about the Coronavirus Pandemic lockdown limiting bike production here is an update to that article:

Yamaha confirmed its France and Italy facilities would remain closed until March 22 while Ducati has stopped its activities in Borgo Panigale until March 25. As for Brembo, production will remain at a standstill until March 22 as well while Moto Morini will extend its shutdown until April 3. 

Despite the measures being taken worldwide, MV Agusta released a statement confirming that it had no plans to suspend its activities. The number of workers on site has been reduced and the proper sanitization and safety measures are respected to ensure the employees’ safety however business proceeds as usual. 

As for Piaggio and its subsidiaries—Moto Guzzi and Aprilia—production resumed after a three-day hiatus due to one of the employees of the Pontedera facility testing positive for COVID-19. Sanitization measures were taken and the production line was reorganized to respect the recommended one-meter safe distance between workers.

UPDATE March 16, 2020: The effects of the measures being taken to help slow down the spread of COVID-19 are starting to hit. Ducati and Moto Morini became the first Italian motorcycle manufacturers to suspend their activities following the nation-wide lockdown announced by the government on March 9. Ducati confirmed the shut down of its Borgo Panigale facility. The company plans to gradually restart production as the situation allows it. 

Brake component manufacturer Brembo has also suspended its activities and its Bergamo facilities will remain closed until next week. The closure could have important repercussions both in the automotive and motorcycle industries considering Brembo’s impressive list of clients. 

Yamaha has also announced that it has suspended production at its Italy and France facilities and that the offices will remain closed until March 22, 2020. 

Some have made a game out of being quarantined.

As the number of cases of coronavirus continues to grow, people are coming up with creative ways to deal with the mandatory or recommended isolation. In Italy and Spain, people share in musical moments from their private balconies to give the lockdown a lighter tone. Meanwhile, North Americans are too busy hoarding toilet paper to do anything remotely as fun. Racers all over the world are also stuck home, away from what they do best: ride bikes. For trials champion Antoni (Toni) Bou, the solution is simple:

Bring the motorcycle inside. 

If you’ve ever watched trials competitions, you know how impressive these guys’ skills can be. They have to balance on two wheels—and often on only one—while navigating through an obstacle course. Do you know what else is a good obstacle course? A house. 

Multiple FIM Trial World Championship winner Toni Bou decided to take advantage of his particular set of skills and to combine his routine and his passion for trials by going about his normal day, around his house, on his bike.

From brushing his teeth to picking an outfit to making coffee, his feet barely touch the ground at all.  He whips his trials bike around like it’s nobody’s business. After a bit of playtime on the patio with an absolutely gorgeous view of the sea, he even bunny hops his way down the stairs to the basement where a dream garage awaits. The grand finale is when he jumps his bike on a platform placed on top of a raised lift. Tadam!

A little bit of training, a little bit of fun, and definitely a good way to spend some time at home. Today, Toni Bou takes the crown for the most creative way to deal with the lockdown. In the meantime, we’ll just be over here emptying shelves like the world has ended. 

~And as always…

~Live Free Ride Hard~



Coronavirus Pandemic

Let AMERiders keep you up to date with information on the Shutdowns and Cancellations Continue Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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