MotoGP pre-season test in Malaysia cancelled

The first 2021 MotoGP pre-season test, due to be held next month at the Sepang International Circuit, has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

A state of emergency was declared earlier on Tuesday by the Malaysian government, after a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

The decision forced series organisers to announce the cancellation of the test, which was due to take place in mid-February.

The latest state of emergency, which could last until at least August 1, means a nationwide travel ban has been introduced and a full lockdown has been implemented for five states, including the state which houses the Sepang circuit.

A statement from MotoGP read: “The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of both the Shakedown Test and the Official Sepang Test.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and complications have obliged the cancellation of both events, which were set to take place at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia in February.

“The Qatar Test, currently set to take place at Losail International Circuit from the 10th to the 12th of March, continues to be confirmed and any further updates or changes will be provided as soon as available.”

MotoGP is due to hold a 20-race calendar in 2021, however the current situation regarding the pandemic means that this is likely to change.

Prior to the pandemic in 2020, a 20-race calendar was originally planned for MotoGP, before being altered.

Early races in the United States and Argentina are now unlikely to go ahead, with the season due to begin in Qatar at the end of March.

On Tuesday, Formula One also confirmed both the Australian Grand Prix and Chinese Grand Prix had been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the cancellation of the Sepang Test, pre-season testing for MotoGP is now due to take place in Qatar in mid-March.