It appears that even 007 himself, James Bond, isn't immune to the coronavirus. The official Twitter page announced the new unfortunately-titled film 'No Time To Die' which was originally due to be released on 3rd April has been delayed by seven months and is due for release on 12th November. This news is of course relevant to partners of the film, including Triumph Motorcycles.
Update: 4th March, 16:49
Two more of the big early-year motorcycle shows – the Tokyo Motorcycle Show due to be held from the 27th to 29th March and the Osaka Motorcycle Show scheduled for the 20th to 22nd March – have been cancelled as Japan’s coronavirus lockdown widens.
The nation has already closed schools and the government is trying to prevent large gatherings of people.
A notice on the website of the Osaka Motorcycle Show reads (translated) “We have been preparing for 2020, but the government has requested self-restraint due to the spread of the new coronavirus, and it is not possible to predict the future of effective therapeutic agents and countermeasures, As a result of putting the health and safety aspects of each person first, it was determined that avoiding the risk of infection spread was the most important.
“We are very sorry that we were unable to meet the expectations of all those who have been looking forward to attending, exhibitors, tickets sold in advance, etc. for the event. We look forward to your understanding. In addition, all advance tickets purchased will be refunded.”
The Tokyo Motorcycle Show’s site says (translated): “The 47th Tokyo Motorcycle Show has been cancelled due to the government's self-restraint policy for the spread of new coronavirus infections and the safety of visitors, exhibitors and staff.
“We are very sorry to all the motorbike enthusiasts who have been looking forward to the exhibition, the exhibitors who have prepared, and the related parties and organizations who have cooperated, but we appreciate your understanding. Thank you.
“Refunds will be given to those who have purchased advance tickets.”
Update: 3rd March
The Dortmund motorcycle show - Motorräder Dortmund – could become the next victim of the coronavirus. Due to start in just a couple of days on 5th March and run through until the 8th March, it hasn’t been cancelled but major exhibitors have started to pull out.
The German press reports that Suzuki and accessory firm Wunderlich are leading the exodus, cancelling their plans to display at the show. Both explained that they don’t want to do anything that increases the risks to their employees and customers.
Leading German publisher Motor Presse Stuttgart, which operates Motorrad magazine, Europe’s biggest motorcycle print publication, has also decided to withdraw from the event. Motorrad reports on its website that its editorial team’s planned visit to the event has been cancelled.
ORIGINAL STORY - Monday 2nd March
COVID-19 – or the coronavirus as it’s become widely known – is starting to impact many aspects of life all over the planet and motorcycling hasn’t escaped.
Although outbreaks are appearing all over the globe, areas that are vital in motorcycle and bike component production including Japan, Italy and China are among the most severely impacted both by coronavirus cases and restrictions on movement.
On Sunday 1st March the FIM announced that the headline event at the opening round of the MotoGP championship in Qatar – the MotoGP race itself – has been cancelled. It was due to take place on 8th March. The Moto2 and Moto3 races are still scheduled to take place, since teams are already in Qatar for testing, but a mandatory 14-day quarantine period being applied by Qatari authorities to visitors from Italy means it’s impossible for many of the MotoGP teams’ personnel to be at the event.
Just hours later the Thai government announced that it was postponing its MotoGP event, which was due to run on 22nd March, although it’s currently in the hands of the FIM, IRTA and Dorna as to whether a date can be found to run the event later in the year.
That means the series is now not due to start until the race in Austin on 5th April. However, the USA is already on high alert and over the same weekend imposed a ‘do not travel’ warning regarding some parts of the world including virus-hit parts of Italy, so the Texan round of the series will depend on what happens over the coming days and weeks.