LONDON (Reuters) - MotoGP announced financial measures on Friday to help independent teams and those in the Moto2 and Moto3 categories weather the novel coronavirus crisis.
The MotoGP season has yet to get going with the opener in Qatar on March 8 cancelled and a string of successive races postponed.
The next race on the calendar that has yet to be called off is the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello on May 31, but that also looks unlikely to go ahead as planned given the situation in the country.
Italy and Spain, where a majority of the riders and teams come from, are the two European countries most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Through the International Road-Racing Teams Association (IRTA), MotoGP independent teams will each receive considerable advance payments during the months of April, May and June, irrespective of whether activity is restarted or not,” the series said in a statement.
“This is in order to guarantee the economic well-being of the independent teams and their staff, as well as to secure their subsistence for the future.”
MotoGP said IRTA had already made payments to all Moto2 and Moto3 teams.
Moto2 and Moto3, the stepping stones to the top MotoGP category, were able to hold races in Qatar because their riders were already there for a pre-season test before travel restrictions were imposed.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris