It will run on the Saturday before every Grand Prix and will award points to the top nine, but it will not set the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
MotoGP in Zeltweg, Austria, for round 13 of the season that sees Pecco Bagnaia chasing Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro in the world rankings. But Zeltweg 2022 will also be remembered for the official announcement of the most significant regulatory change of 2023 that divides the circuit in an almost identical fashion. MotoGP, like Formula 1 since last year, will propose a sprint formula on Saturday. It is relaunched, not only on three occasions (this year in Imola, Austria and Brazil) as in the World Motor Championship, but in all Grand Prix races.
The goal is to bridge the popularity crisis that discipline has suffered in recent years, as well as to repair the economic damage that the Covid crisis has inevitably wrought. The farewell to racing Valentino Rossi, the man who was a symbol (and not only on an Italian level) of discipline, gave a boost and a declining average attendance at the races forced Dorna to think seriously about how to bring the Queen’s two-wheeler discipline back to life. What little Liberty Media and Stefano Domenicali have done with Formula 1 which, thanks to the Drive to Survive series also on Netflix, has captured new outlets of fans and opened up new markets, especially in the US (historically cold on discipline), enough to have three races on the calendar in the United States next year.
The sprint race will not determine the race grid but award points
So, from 2023, MotoGP will initially return with this new format: a short-distance race on Saturday (which, unlike Formula 1, will not set the starting grid for the next day) which will award points for the top 9 (12 for the winner, 9 for the second, 7 for the third, 6 for the fourth and so on until the ninth).
It’s free practice
Additionally, according to the filters, the two sessions on Friday will be a quarter of an hour longer (they will take an hour instead of the current 45 minutes) and will work out which 10 drivers will enter Q2 directly.
Saturday should be the day of the third free practice session, after which qualifying day which will determine the starting grid for both the sprint race (which will take place at 3pm on the same day, over a minimum of 10 laps) and the following day’s race. On Sunday there should only be the race, without the warm-up, as there is still some resistance from some manufacturers and an ongoing discussion about whether compromises should be found.
But if some pilots like the new look (for Miller, we have to risk more, this is not the ballet), then the pilots are divided above all between those who demand greater participation than those who decide and those who reject the form altogether. Starting with the reigning world champion and world leader Fabio Quartararo: I don’t like it, it’s dangerous and stupid. It would be a meaningless race. On the contrary, Enea Bastianini spoke about her in positive terms: I think it could be a good thing. On the other hand, Bagnaia calls for the union of pilots: This is an important decision, about which I really knew nothing and I think that in some things our voice should matter. union? I would put Alex Espargaro up front, he always has something to say on a political level.
Aug 20 2022 (change on Aug 20 2022 | 13:44)
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