Here Are The Winners And Losers Of The MotoGP Sprint Revolution
Many riders are concerned about the potential impact of sprint races on the course of the season in 2023. However, not every rider is affected the same.
Which riders could be profiting?
Looking back at last season and especially at the last three race weekends, there is one clear favourite for the most pole positions in 2023 – Jorge Martin.
The young Spaniard took five pole positions last season and burned some incredible laps into the asphalt.
Since qualifying will determine the starting positions for both the sprint race and the Grand Prix from the new season onwards, Martin should be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new MotoGP set-up.
In addition, thanks to the regulations for the sprint races, his Ducati will be less affected by the previous fuel consumption problems.
In a logical approach, the amount of fuel for the short sprint races will be reduced, however, not proportionally to the number of race laps. Having to do 50% of the Grand Prix laps, the teams will have 55% of the fuel available.
So for all the Ducatis on the grid, who in the past often had to turn down the engine power due to excessive fuel consumption in order to make it through the full race duration, there could be a possible advantage.
Who will be at a disadvantage?
As last year’s third-placed Enea Bastianini dubbed himself even before the Sepang test, he sees himself as one of the losers of the sprint race introduction should he not be able to adapt his riding style for the new season.
Bastianini, a four-time race winner last year, is exceptional at preserving the Michelin tyres. In 2022, the Italian was able to outpace his rivals in the final third of every Grand Prix claiming his four wins all late in the race.
For the short sprint races, “La Bestia” thus loses his greatest strength from last season. In addition, the Italian already showed last season that qualifying is not necessarily his strength.
The greater focus on the time chase in 2023 is likely to hurt Bastianini, who, on top of all that, is a rather miserable starter.
The sprint entry looks just as dark for KTM. The Austrians have shown a massive qualifying weakness in recent years, but especially in 2022.
Brad Binder and Miguel Oliveira have always been able to convince with fantastic catch-ups, but in a 10-lap race this would only be marginally promising.