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Buri Ram MotoGP “postponed indefinitely” over virus fears

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Marc Marquez, No.93, and other riders take part in the 2019 Thailand Grand Prix in Buri Ram. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill, Bangkok Post

In a shocking reversal, the Thai MotoGP 2020, scheduled for March 20-22 in Buri Ram province, has been “postponed indefinitely” due to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul made the announcement yesterday.

Despite earlier reassurances the race would go on, Anutin said the decision to suspend the event was made at a meeting of the organising committee. The event has been put off “until the outbreak of coronavirus has abated,” effectively cancelling it.

“It is necessary for us to postpone the Thailand Grand Prix 2020 in Buri Ram scheduled for late March for an indefinite period since Covid-19 has been declared a dangerous communicable disease which has seen a worldwide impact. This is to reflect the government’s seriousness in tackling the problem. The prime minister has been informed.”

But Anutin insists the event is merely postponed, and not cancelled.

“I don’t say it’s cancelled. I just say it is postponed until time allows us to do [the event].”

Buri Ram MotoGP "postponed indefinitely" over virus fears | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Anutin Charnvirakul, deputy prime minister and health minister, attends the press conference – Pattarapong Chatpattarasill, Bangok Post

“It’s because of the coronavirus. We need to postpone it today until further notice. People who attend, racers and teams could come from at-risk countries. Thailand has to postpone it for the safety of Thai people until the situation is better.”

The decision came after the international motorcycling federation (FIM) announced it was cancelling the season opener, the Qatar MotoGP, scheduled for Sunday.

Last week, the organising committee of the Thailand Grand Prix 2020 held a press conference to confirm the event would be held as scheduled despite the virus’s spread. MotoGP 2019 was a huge success and praised by both international and Thai motorsports fans.

SOURCE: AFP | Bangkok Post

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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