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Endurance World Championship “postpones” opening round

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BMW-LE-MANS-2021-2.jpeg

The 2020 roadracing season was a mess, and now it appears the 2021 season is starting to follow suit. The Le Mans 24 Hour Moto, the opening race of the World Endurance Championship, has been postponed, even as teams were finalizing their prep work for the season.

The Le Mans 24 Hour Moto was scheduled to run April 17-18 this year, and teams actually just finished up pre-season testing at the French track at the end of March. Then, on April 2, the news came out. Local authorities weren’t keen on the race going ahead, and organizers had to re-schedule. Police and health officials both voiced concerns over the race; supposedly, due to the coronavirus pandemic, hospitals were unable to guarantee their ability to care for riders and teams in case of emergency. Now, the organizers are looking to reschedule later this year.

“Rider safety is a non-negotiable factor and the strain on hospitals both currently and in the coming weeks rules out the holding of the 24H Motos,” said François Ribeiro, big boss of Eurosport Events. “We are working with the ACO to find a new date to ensure the organization of the FIM Endurance World Championship at Le Mans. All our efforts are being directed at this objective.”

The problem is that Endurance World Championship races are traditionally scheduled around World Superbike and MotoGP calendars, to maximize attendance and work out other issues. For instance: In the past few years, some top WSB riders have traveled to Japan for the Suzuka 8-Hour. That worked out, as the Suzuka race ran during the WSB’s mid-summer break.

Now, both of those Dorna-managed series have their own scheduling issues, thanks to the pandemic. So, expect another year of scheduling adjusted on the fly.

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