"We Need a Riders' Association" - Alex Marquez Calls For Union
While renewed discontent in the MotoGP rider field revives calls for a riders’ union, Alex Marquez carries the demands to the open.
The first two Grand Prix of the 2023 MotoGP season caused heaps of turmoil in the paddock. There is a lot of discontent surrounding the lack of the riders’ involvement in important decision-making.
In addition to the introduction of sprint races, about which neither teams nor riders were consulted in advance, inconsistent rule decisions and various discrepancies regarding the safety conditions of the tracks also caused harsh criticism.
However, while in other racing series, the riders join forces and take joint action against alleged discrepancies, in MotoGP those who bear the highest risk are left to fend for themselves.
In recent years, there have always been calls for a riders’ association, and Pol Espargaro’s serious crash in Portimao in particular has now rekindled the discussions.
Alex Marquez Calls For Union
After the Argentine Grand Prix, one clear advocate of a Riders’ Union seems to have emerged – Alex Marquez.
The Spaniard demands: “We need a ‘Riders’ Commission’. That’s the future and we have to have that to avoid problems, like what happened with Pol.”
“We as riders have to talk about it and see who makes the first step. But we need to have a riders’ association like there is in all sports.“
Marquez would like the riders to have more of a say, especially on safety-related issues.
However, he says this cannot be implemented without a riders’ association.
Currently, Dorna holds a meeting with the riders every Friday of a race weekend, where the pilots can voice their concerns.
But despite the opportunity to take part in the discourse, by no means do all riders in the field attend.
“If there is a riders’ association, at that moment it’s simple: more than 50 percent say no, then it means no,” Alex Márquez underlines. “This has to be the future.”