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MotoGP pushes season to June with postponements of Italy and Spain

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The start of the 2020 season for the premier class in MotoGP has been pushed until at least mid-June by two postponements announced Tuesday morning.

The Italian GP, which had been scheduled for May 29-31, and the Catalunya Grand Prix, which was slated for June 5-7, will be rescheduled at dates to be determined.

The 2020 season currently would be scheduled to begin with the June 21 grand prix at Sachsenring, Germany, for the premier class, which has yet to hit the track. The Moto2 and Moto3 classes competed in the Grand Prix of Qatar last month before their seasons were put on hold.

MotoGP’s premier division’s first eight races of 2020 have been canceled or postponed: Qatar, Thailand, United States, Argentina, Spain, France, Italy and Catalunya.

The Thailand Grand Prix was moved from March 22 to Oct. 4. The Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, was shifted from April 5 to Nov. 15. The Argentina Grand Prix moved from April 19 to Nov. 22. The rescheduled races also forced the season finale at Valencia, Spain, to move from Nov. 15 to Nov. 29.

A statement from MotoGP said “a revised calendar will be published as soon as available.”

Here’s the statement Tuesday from MotoGP:

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the postponement of the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley and Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, which were set to be held at the Autodromo del Mugello from the 29th to the 31st of May and at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from the 5th to the 7th of June, respectively. The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has obliged the two events to be rescheduled.

As the situation remains in a state of constant evolution, new dates for these Grands Prix, as well as the recently-postponed French and Spanish GPs, cannot be confirmed until it becomes clearer when exactly it will be possible to hold the events. A revised calendar will be published as soon as available.

Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

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The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).