Suzuka Eight Hours motorcycle race scrapped over pandemic

The annual event at Suzuka Circuit had already been pushed back from July to November, with organisers hoping the delay would allow them to hold the event.

The annual event at Suzuka Circuit had already been pushed back from July to November, with organisers hoping the delay would allow them to hold the event.

AFP/JiJi Press

TOKYO - Japan's Suzuka Eight Hours motorcycle endurance race has been called off for the first time because of the coronavirus, organisers said.

The annual event at Suzuka Circuit had already been pushed back from July to November, with organisers hoping the delay would allow them to hold the event.

"But in light of the continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Japan and overseas... the decision has been made to cancel the race," the circuit said in a statement.

READ: Le Mans to be raced behind closed doors due to virus

The decision resulted from Japan's immigration restrictions on international visitors to Japan in the wake of the pandemic, it added.

It is the first cancellation of the Japan round of the world motorcycle endurance championship series since the race was first staged in 1978.

"We must accept the Japanese government's decision that takes into account the safety measures for the health of the population," said Jorge Viegas, president of the International Motorcycling Federation.

Source
AFP