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MotoGP, Sprint Race in all GPs starting in 2023: "We’ll improve the show"

Everything you need to know about the new MotoGP: Ezpeleta, Viegas, and Poncharal respond to doubts and criticism about the format that’s debutting next season.

MotoGP: Sprint Race in all GPs starting in 2023:

Today, at the Red Bull Ring, the Sprint Race, which will be starting in 2023 in the MotoGP, was officially announced. On stage were Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, FIM President Jorge Viegas, and IRTA President Hervé Poncharal.

They answered all the questions about why they decided on this format change and how it will work.

When and how will the Sprint Race be held?

Viegas: “From 2023, the Sprint Race will be held on Saturday afternoon at three in all the Grand Prixs, and the result of the race will not decide Sunday's line-up, which will respect the positions of the qualification. The Sprint Race will be half the length of  the normal race, and the points awarded will also be half. The podium and awards will follow the Sprint Race. We are still deciding if it will be valid in the statistics. On Friday, there will be two longer free practice rounds that will determine the direct entry into the Q2. Saturday morning, a thirty-minute free practice round will be followed by qualifying.

Poncharal: “The number of engines used will not change, nor will the number of tires available during each weekend for the riders.

What will the Sprint Race score be?

The 1st will get twelve points, the 2nd nine, the 3rd seven, the 4th six, the 5th five, the 6th four, the 7th three, the 8th two, and the 9th one.

Why do you need the Sprint Race?

Ezpeleta: “Our goal is to improve the championship in all aspects, and we have assessed several opportunities to improve the show. We discussed it with FIM, constructors, and teams and found them to agree with us. The objective is to increase the interest of the public, both in TV and at the circuits.

Viegas: “We need to have a better show and more spectators on the circuit. The most exciting part of the race is the start. We’ll have two.

Poncharal: “Not taking a step forward means taking one back. The Sprint Race will help everyone, including business.

Why did you not change the technical regulations to increase the entertainment factor?

Ezpeleta: Aerodynamics is a topic of discussion with the constructors, but we signed a contract with them until 2026, and the regulations cannot be changed without unanimity. We are already talking about the next agreement, but I do not think there is a lack of overtaking in the MotoGP. These are personal opinions.

Why were the riders not informed before the decision?

Ezpeleta: “The teams have to do that. I spoke with them yesterday in Safety Commission, and I will take their opinions into account. There is no other sport in which athletes are as involved as in ours. It is then logical that every rider thinks for himself, so we  have to take into account every opinion, and by whom it was said and why.

Poncharal: “In our championship, riders are always consulted and taken into consideration. After Kato's accident in Suzuka in 2003, Ezpeleta said that we would never go to that track again if they would not removed the wall, and so it was. We could not  give the riders all the details before the official announcement was made.

Would a riders “union” be possible?

Ezpeleta: “They already have their own association, the Safety Commission. I do not care what they say to reporters. If they need anything, they have to talk to me.”

Will doubling the number of races increase the risks?

Ezpeleta: “I know that the risks in our sport are important, but the SBK are just a second and a half  slower  per lap than the MotoGP. They do three races per weekend and have no problems. We are far from the limit of the riders."

Viegas: “We always have the safety of riders in mind. That’s why the Safety Commission exists. If we approach the limit, then we will react. Safety comes first.


Translated by Leila Myftija

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