December 5 2022 11:47 PM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

MotoGP to introduce F1-style sprints

Gasgas Aspar Team's British rider Jake Dixon competes during the second qualifying session of the Moto2 Austrian Grand Prix at the Redbull Ring racetrack in Spielberg on August 20, 2022.
Gasgas Aspar Team's British rider Jake Dixon competes during the second qualifying session of the Moto2 Austrian Grand Prix at the Redbull Ring racetrack in Spielberg on August 20, 2022.(Photo: AFP)
SPIELBERG, Austria — MotoGP is to follow Formula One’s lead and introduce Saturday sprints to race weekends next year, the sport’s governing body FIM announced on Saturday, an initiative denounced as “stupid” by world champion Fabio Quartararo.اضافة اعلان

In contrast to F1, which is staging only three sprints this campaign, MotoGP plans to hold one on the eve of every grand prix throughout 2023.

And in another marked difference, the sprint, half the normal race distance with half the points on offer, will not serve to shape the grid for the following day’s grand prix. With its arrival a rider who wins the sprint and the race itself can collect 37 points — as opposed to the 25 on offer at the moment.

“It’s time to give (MotoGP) more exposure not only on television but also to the fans,” FIM president Jorge Viegas told a press conference at this weekend’s Austrian MotoGP in Spielberg.

“We need more fans, we need a better spectacle and we are going to fill up Saturdays,” he added.

The new weekend sprint schedule has been tweaked, with only two, longer, practice runs before the traditional two-part qualifying session. Q2 comprises the 10 best combined practice times, plus the two quickest riders from Q1.

The qualifying result will shape the grids for both the sprint and the grand prix itself 24 hours later.

The idea has not received universal approval from the pits however, with Quartararo leading the dissenters.

Quartararo’s skepticism was not shared by all though, with Enea Bastianini suggesting the new format “may be a good thing, another reason to do things well”.

The Italian rider was speaking before going out to claim pole for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.


Read more Sports
Jordan News