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Qatar offers COVID-19 vaccinations to the MotoGP paddock

Qatar offers COVID-19 vaccinations to the MotoGP paddock
March 15, 2021

Following the recent announcement that the State of Qatar has offered COVID-19 vaccinations to the MotoGP™ paddock, Dorna Sports Chief Executive Carmelo Ezpeleta shared his thoughts with MotoGP on the opportunity and how important it is to make sure the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship can go racing as safely as possible.

MotoGP: What can you tell us about the opportunity?

Carmelo Ezpeleta: "Since 2004, Qatar has been part of the FIM MotoGP World Championship and from 2007 has been the first Grand Prix of the year. It's become traditional and everyone is very happy to start there! This year, thanks to the relationship between the government and Dorna always being fantastic, and due to the situation and it being difficult to go to the GPs in the Americas, we decided to propose to the authorities in Qatar to organise two consecutive Grands Prix at Losail and do all the tests here.

“This was important for the MotoGP family. The government of Qatar, where the vaccination programme is going so well, then offered us the opportunity to vaccinate the paddock and that's something amazing for us. The whole MotoGP Family appreciate it so much. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to the government of Qatar."

MotoGP: How important is this program in terms of increasing the safety of everyone in the paddock?

Carmelo Ezpeleta: "This is very important for us. During 2020 we have been following very important protocols to maintain a bubble between people in the MotoGP paddock, who are reduced in number in comparison to 2019... but it's permitted us to have a safe season last year. Now, the government of Qatar is offering us the opportunity to be vaccinated, but every individual decides whether or not to accept.

“The vast majority of people have accepted and are so happy to do it, some people for different reasons they can't. But we're extremely happy because these vaccinations permit us to increase safety and decrease contamination. It's very important for safety, of course in Qatar and especially the other Grands Prix. The MotoGP family, the vast majority, will be vaccinated."

MotoGP: Can MotoGP™ riders be good role models to encourage people to get vaccinated?

Carmelo Ezpeleta: "Our riders are people who are very popular, especially for the younger generation. They are very careful about their health and make their decisions to be as strong as they can and avoiding infection. We demonstrated last year with our bubble that it's possible to work around the world with few cases, and even those I hope with the vaccinations can be reduced. I think it's an important model for society and thanks to Qatar, we have the chance to show the world how important it is for all our heroes to be vaccinated."

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