Riders React On New MotoGP Sprint Race Format - From 'Idiotic' To 'Very Exciting'
Following Dorna’s announcement to introduce sprint races in MotoGP for the 2023 season, riders are reacting to the news. From “idiotic” to “very exciting” – it’s all there.
From 2023 onwards MotoGP will have sprint races placed on saturdays. According to all current riders and team officials, neither riders nor teams or manufacturers even had been informed beforehand.
Therefore reactions on the matter, especially by the riders, are still pure and everybody is expressing their valid concerns.
So far, there is no detailed information on the matter. Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and IRTA President Herve Poncharal have announced an exceptionel press conference for saturday morning.
Riders were surprised when journalists asked about the new format in the media debriefs after Friday’s training session. Next year’s KTM rider Jack Miller feels positive about sprint races:
“Physically, I see no problem. It is very exciting. You don’t have to look for tires, fuel consumptionn or anything like it. I am sure it will be great and the fans will enjoy it a lot.”
For Joan Mir things don’t differ much. The Spaniard wants Dorna to try the new format out:
“I enjoy racing and overtaking more than a Free Practice session. More races means more entertainment on saturdays than the qualifying.”
Stefan Bradl – Image provided by Motorsport Images
However, not everybody in the paddock likes the idea of multiple races per weekend. Honda test rider and Marc Marquez substitute Stefan Bradl sees major problems for weaker teams.
“As a rider, you can’t try out set-ups. It’s going to be tough. If your setup works, it’s good. But when it doesn’t, it’s even worse.”
And Bradl finds support in title contenders Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro. The current championship leaders don’t think much of having to ride several races in a weekend.
Espargaro states: “I don’t like the idea at all. I have the greatest respect for superbikes, but we are not superbikes. MotoGP has a lot of electronics, a lot of aerodynamics.”
“If we reduce practice time even more to race on Saturday. I think it’s difficult. I love racing and I hate winter testing, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
Fabio Quartararo on Thursday’s press conference – Image provided by Motorsport Images
Adding fuel to the fire, Fabio Quartararo goes even further:
“I think it is idiotic. I am not the one making decisions about the race format. But I think we are entering a completely stupid format here.”
“On top of that, I don’t think it is right not to ask for our opinions on the matter. At least I wasn’t asked.”
And the reigning World Champion is rightly angry about Dorna’s actions. Riders were not informed on the matter until after the Free Practice 2 on Friday leaving questions about the promoter’s treatment of their riders.