Ducati still plans private test despite Italy lockdown

The Ducati MotoGP team is planning to conduct a two-day private test in Valencia at the end of March despite the entirety of Italy being under coronavirus quarantine.

Ducati still plans private test despite Italy lockdown

After a lockdown on numerous provinces affecting 16 million people was put into force on Sunday, the Italian government has extended that to cover the entire country until at least April 3 to try and contain the spread of COVID-19 in the world’s worst-hit country outside of China. 

This has played havoc with the MotoGP calendar, which has undergone various shakeups in recent weeks as the virus situation has forced the first three races in Qatar, Thailand and America to be postponed.

The season is now officially due to start on April 19 in Argentina, as per an updated calendar issued by the FIM on Tuesday – although this now looks unlikely after Argentina banned all international sporting events just hours after the new schedule was announced.

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has also not ruled out a replacement for the axed Qatar race taking place in the weeks prior to Argentina.

Despite the disruption, the manufacturers had intended to press on with their preparations for the 2020 campaign with KTM, Suzuki and Honda having organised a private test at Jerez on March 18-20.

However, this now looks in doubt after KTM – which was renting out the Jerez circuit for the test – elected against travelling owing to the current virus situation.

A brief statement from KTM read: “KTM's private MotoGP test in Jerez in mid-March has been cancelled due to the current situation.

“It is not justifiable to send personnel at this time - also in order not to further increase the [risk] within the company.

“We are of course monitoring the situation accordingly and are in exchange with our respective contacts. We have a responsibility to our personnel and must react flexibly to the current situation or to short-term changes.”

Yamaha is set to carry out a private test at Motegi at some point, while Motorsport.com has learned Ducati is planning to test in Valencia on March 30-31.

Test rider Michele Pirro - Ducati, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki aren’t allowed to use race riders for private tests - is set to ride the GP20 at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, although it is unclear how Ducati will be able to leave Italy at this time.

Italy’s lockdown decree does permit absolutely essential work travel, but flights between Spain and Italy have been suspended for the time being. 

Whether Ducati’s trucks and personnel would be allowed through France and into Spain by road also remains uncertain.

shares
comments
MotoGP could hold Qatar replacement race before Argentina

Previous article

MotoGP could hold Qatar replacement race before Argentina

Next article

MotoGP calendar changed again after Argentina is delayed

MotoGP calendar changed again after Argentina is delayed
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams Ducati Team
Author Germán Garcia Casanova
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021