On the subject of the 2020 FIM EWC championship, we were left with a private edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as communicated last June.
For France, we all had in mind this motorcycle endurance event, which was necessarily broadcasted on TV for most of us, and …the Bol d’Or on September 19-20th, with the hope of getting back to a more flexible health context. Oschersleben was sacrificed early in the season, and Suzuka postponed to November 1st.
But now, two important announcements were confirmed in mid-August.
1. Suzuka round cancelled
Official FIM press release of August 12th: Japan refuses to relax health procedures for foreigners wishing to visit its territory, including in a professional context.
The event, recognized as the most prestigious of the discipline, becoming a national race with the lack of international reference teams, the organizer Mobilityland decides, in agreement with the FIM and Eurosport Events, promoter of the championship, to cancel this 2020 edition, which is very sad news for endurance and motorcycle sport in general.
2. After Suzuka, Bol d’Or cancelled too
Within a few days, two cancellations. Indeed, faced with the intensification of sanitary restrictions this summer, the Var regional authority has communicated its rejection to allow the visitors attend Le Castellet 24 hours race on 19 and 20 of September. The organiser, Editions Larivière, is therefore forced to cancel the event.
Beyond the disappointment of the fans and the teams who have prepared themselves – technically and financially – in this very particular context of 2020, the motorcycle endurance world championship is once again heavily troubled. This Bol d’Or meeting had been integrated into the 2020 season in order to have a representative number of races after the cancellation of Oschersleben, and was to be the final one.
3. Estoril hosts FIM EWC season championship final race
After the cancellation of the Bol d’Or, the FIM immediately communicates a new date in Portugal. This country already saves the MotoGP season with Portimao round on 22 of November, whose two tracks Estoril and Portimao have the status of “backup” circuits for MotoGP. It is also an official WSBK track.
So the appointment is scheduled on September 27th, at Estoril, for a race of …12 hours. What about the points then? The FIM has already communicated a 150% increase for the EWC and SBK categories and confirmed the bonus at 8 hours of racing.
Well, that’ s it for the calendar. In real life, even if everyone is aware of the uncertainty that affects all the events in 2020, will such an official information in such a short time give the teams time to reorganize themselves humanly and financially? For most of the teams, Estoril involves other budget and timing constraints, not to mention the involvement of partners in the events, which remains one of the key elements in keeping the discipline running.
See you soon for more details, but first of all, let’s wish all the best to the teams starting next week on Bugatti track in Le Mans !
Text: Isabelle Maillet
Picture: FIM / EWC press release