When the COVID-19 pandemic first forced Dorna to start moving races, they postponed them to later in the year. First Thailand, then Austin, and finally Argentina were moved to new slots in October and November. But when it became clear that Jerez and Le Mans could not take place on their planned dates, those races were postponed indefinitely, with no new date given for when they might be held.
Now, the first signs of races being canceled are appearing. Today, the promoter of the French Grand Prix announced that they hope to make a decision on the fate of the Le Mans race by May 15th, the date that would have been the first day of practice for the French Grand Prix had it not been postponed.
That date was also chosen because by then, the situation in France should be clearer. On Easter Monday, April 13th, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the government intended to start lifting restrictions imposed in France because of the coronavirus outbreak after May 11th. Once that happens, it may prove possible to find a date later in the year for the race to be held.
But the announcement also implicitly hinted that the race could be canceled. They hoped, the statement said, that the race would merely be postponed. However, the Le Mans circuit already has a packed schedule, with the endurance calendar already rescheduled for later in the year. It may not prove possible to find a slot for a rescheduled MotoGP race inside of a window where the climate would allow racing to take place.
With countries throughout Europe starting to consider lifting restrictions, we are drawing closer to a moment where decisions on the future of races can be made, rather than just indefinite postponements. But even then, such decisions are at least a month away, as in the case of Le Mans. For the moment, we must continue to wait.
Below is the (translated) press release by the promoter of the French Grand Prix. The PDF of the original can be found on the promoter's website:
The postponement of the SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France 2020 is still under study.
First, we hope that you and your loved ones are in good health and wish you the best for the days and weeks to come.
In light of the current health situation which is constantly evolving and government announcements on Monday 13 April, the postponement of the SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France 2020 remains to this day a possibility.
We fully understand the impatience of everyone regarding this situation. We hope, under the aegis of the FIM and Dorna, to be able to take a decision by May 15, thus allowing us to meet the expectations of our loyal spectators.
Until this decision has been taken, tickets will remain valid, and terms for reimbursement can only be presented once the date of postponement is known and communicated.
We thank everyone involved in the SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France for their understanding.
Take good care of yourself and your loved ones.