Silverstone confirms worst fears for 115,000 bike fans over 2020 British MotoGP

Disappointment as Covid-19 KO's big race at Northamptonshire track

Britain's Cal Crutchlow leads last year's MotoGP race at Silverstone. Photo: Getty Images
Britain's Cal Crutchlow leads last year's MotoGP race at Silverstone. Photo: Getty Images

Silverstone bosses have been forced to scrap this year's British MotoGP.

The Northamptonshire circuit's managing director Stuart Pringle finally pulled the plug on hopes of the race going ahead in August with an early-morning tweet today (Friday May 29).

Mr Pringle confessed logistical restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic combined with a shortened MotoGP calendar will make it impossible for the race to go ahead on August 30.

He said: "Despite months of work behind the scenes to try and make this key event happen, logistical restrictions under the current situation, combined with a shortened and rearranged MotoGP calendar has caused the cancellation of the event.

"Our obligations to protect the health and safety of everyone involved in preparing and delivering the event, our volunteer marshals and Race Makers, and of course the amazing fans, means that this is the best, safest and only decision we could make.

"The global coronavirus pandemic has been an enormous challenge for the UK and and I wish to thank the fans for their patience during this time."

Last year's race pulled in 115,000 bike fans to the Northamptonshire track.

Those tickets for the 2020 race will get the option to switch their bookings to next year or take a full refund.

Mr Pringle added: "All customers will be contacted in the next two weeks with full details, so we do ask you to please be patient with us as we work through all our bookings.

"As a thank you for key workers I can also confirm that next year we intend to give away thousands of tickets for the 2021 event to NHS and other key workers who have literally been putting their lives on the line for us all during these challenging times."

Silverstone is already engaged in a massive operation to process refunds for this year's Formula One Grand Prix.

The Northamptonshire circuit has agreed a deal to host two F1 races with no fans — probably in late July and early August — if a way can be found around the UK Government's quarantine restrictions.

Again, ticket-holders were offered the choice of a full refund or tickets for next year.

Mr Pringle admitted: "We are aware that some fans are still waiting for British Grand Prix ticket refund. We want to reassure them that our team are working through bookings as quickly as possible.

"Although we have successfully refunded over 65 per cent of fans, unfortunately there have been added complications of remote working and expired bank cards. It is therefore taking longer than we would like.

"We are committed to refunding all bookings by June 30 and can only apologise for the delay."