MotoGP to Have Sprint Races in Every Round From 2023

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MotoGP will have Formula One-style sprint races in every round of the championship from 2023, the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and organisers said on Saturday ahead of qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg.

Formula One in February approved a plan to hold three sprint races instead of six in 2022 after trialling it at three races last year, and MotoGP said it would follow suit although their sprint races would have no bearing on grid positions.

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”We are going to introduce starting next year a sprint race on the Saturday in every Grand Prix,” FIM President Jorge Viegas told reporters.

”We think after two years of COVID, all of us have made incredible sacrifices to keep having this important championship and it’s time to give more exposure on television but also to the spectators. We need more spectators and a better show.

”There are some details to be decided together with teams, riders and manufacturers. These sprint races will not count for the grid. That will be defined by qualifying.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, the CEO of MotoGP promoters Dorna Sports said it had been the aim of the championship to try to improve every aspect.

”We’ve been looking at other sports, different possibilities to offer a better show,” Ezpeleta said. ”It has been discussed with the FIM, the manufacturers and teams.”

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo lashed out on Friday against plans for sprint races.

”I’m not the one who makes decisions about race formats, but I think we’re entering a totally stupid format,” Quartararo was quoted as saying by Autosport.com.

”If we do it from time to time, like in Formula One, I think it can be interesting, but every Saturday. Honestly, there are circuits where you’re physically exhausted, like Assen, Mugello.

”When we finish the race, we’re exhausted. Honestly, I don’t think it’s right to do this without asking the riders’ opinions. Or at least, I wasn’t asked.”

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