Following leaks in the paddock, the subject was largely deflowered and the riders even had the opportunity to comment on a measure that had not yet been released with mixed opinions: from 2023, the MotoGP world championship will include Sprint races on Saturday, in addition to the traditional Grand Prix on Sunday.
But what is it exactly? What frequency? How far ? What implication on the starting grid of the Grand Prix?
This Saturday, a press conference bringing together Jorge Viegas (FIM), Hervé Poncharal (IRTA) and Carmelo Ezpeleta (Dorna) came to provide all the clarifications.
The main lines:
- Sprint races will take place at every Grand Prix!
- Sprint races will not count towards the Grand Prix starting grids.
- The Sprint race will be half the distance of the race.
- All the teams are for this measure.
- Sprint races will replace FP4s, so as not to give additional work.
- The kilometers traveled, the engine and tire allocations are not upset, so the costs are not changed.
- The teams were informed. Some have announced this measure with their pilots, others have not.
- Jorge Viegas recalls that there are three races per weekend in Superbike (to counter the argument of physical fatigue put forward by some riders).
- Hervé Poncharal recalls that this project is a basis for work and that the opinion of the pilots will be taken into account to finalize the details.
- The idea of creating an association of pilots is debated but should go through Dorna…
- The televisions support the Sprint races and will broadcast them.
- Sprint races will provide half of the Grand Prix points.
- The number of Grand Prix will not be reduced.
The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna Sports can now announce a new sporting format that will be introduced for the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship from 2023. Sprint races will be introduced at all Grands Prix, creating a program exciting and action-packed for fans every day of a MotoGP™ race weekend and maintaining a consistent format across the calendar.
The Sprint races will take place at 3:00 p.m. on the Saturday of each Grand Prix and will represent approximately 50% of the total race distance. The Sprint race will have a 15-minute grid procedure, and the sporting rules will be the same as a full Grand Prix race on Sunday.
In Sprint races, points will be awarded as follows:
▪ 1st Place: 12
▪ 2nd place: 9
▪ 3rd place: 7
▪ 4th place: 6
▪ 5th place: 5
▪ 6th place: 4
▪ 7th place: 3
▪ 8th position: 2
▪ 9th place: 1
Sprint races will not determine the starting grid for the Grand Prix race. Riders must be free to race on Saturday, without having to consider their position on the Sunday grid. The grids for the Sprint race and the Grand Prix race will be established from qualifying, which will retain their Q1-Q2 format.
The introduction of Sprint races enables each day of a race weekend to provide fans and broadcasters with the best possible experience on and off the track, with on-track action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday focused on a maximum of spectacle to show the best of MotoGP™. In addition, the new format will provide more engagement opportunities for fans, broadcasters and media across the event and will raise the profile of the MotoGP™ class without reducing that of Moto2™ and Moto3™.
Race Weekends 2023
The MotoGP™ class will have two practice sessions on Friday, which will be of longer duration. The combined timesheets of these sessions will determine direct Q2 attendees, ensuring Friday has increased prominence and exposure.
On Saturday morning, the MotoGP™ class will have a 30-minute free practice session (similar to the current FP4), followed by Q1 and Q2 for qualifying. The Sprint race will then take place at 15:00, creating an incredible program of action on the MotoGP™ circuit on Saturday.
Sunday will remain a spectacle for fans and broadcasters alike, with Moto3™, Moto2™ and MotoGP™ Grand Prix racing. The aim will also be to have MotoGP™ as the last race on Sunday at each event, which will enhance the podium ceremony, on-track celebrations and the possibility of track invasions by fans at each venue. .
MotoGP™ sessions will be the last of each block, further standardizing the race weekend format and maintaining the same order throughout each event. Moto3™ will be followed by Moto2™, then MotoGP™.