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MotoGP: calendar, favorites, sprint races and absence of women, the 2023 season in question


MotoGP restarts this weekend in Portugal. Everything you need to know before the first laps and an expected duel between Bagnaia and Quartararo.

A sprint race on Saturday for more entertainment?

MotoGP has seen a drop in attendance at certain meetings in Europe.

To win back the public, both on site and on television, the discipline will imitate Formula 1 by setting up sprint races in order to increase the spectacle.

This meeting will be held on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. during each race weekend and will represent the equivalent in distance of half of the Grand Prix contested on Sunday.

These sprints will also award championship points - half of the points awarded in the main race on Sunday.

The weekend schedule is changing: only two practice sessions will count for qualifying (compared to three until last year, with a final session on Saturday morning).

The drivers will compete in these two practice sessions on Friday - the first will be 45 minutes, as has been done until now, the second will be one hour, 15 minutes longer than in 2022. The following day, the drivers will have a free practice session (without stakes), followed by qualifying from 10:50 a.m. and the sprint race in the afternoon.

The qualifications, which keep the same format as in 2022, will determine the starting grid for the sprint.

The start of the main race on Sunday, whose starting grid will also be determined after qualifying, is maintained at 2:00 p.m. local time, preceded in the morning by the traditional warm-up session shortened to 10 minutes.

MotoGP is reinventing itself with the arrival of sprint races.


A calendar with 21 dates, and soon 22?

Like Formula 1 too, the calendar only expands over the seasons.

It will include 21 dates in 2023, one more than last year with two new races: in Kazakhstan and India, opening the Asian tour.

On the other hand, the Grand Prix of Aragon goes by the wayside.

There will therefore be “only” three events in Spain, the bastion of the world of motorcycling competition.

France is indeed on the menu, at Le Mans from May 12 to 14.

In the future, the calendar could have up to 22 races, not more.

An agreement has been reached with the teams on the subject until 2026.

The MotoGP calendar:

1. Portugal, Algarve - March 26

2. Argentina, Termas de Rio Hondo - April 2

3. Americas, Austin (USA) - April 16

4. Spain, Jerez - April 30

5. France, Le Mans - May 14

6 Italy, Mugello - June 11

7. Germany, Sachsenring - June 18

8. Netherlands, Assen - June 25

9. Kazakhstan, Sokol - July 9 10.

Great Britain, Silverstone - August 6

11. Austria, Spielberg - 20 August

12. Catalonia, Barcelona - September 3,

13. San Marino, Misano (Italy) - September 10,

14. India, Buddh - September 24,

15. Japan, Motegi - October 1,

16. Indonesia, Mandalika - October 15,

17. Australia, Phillip Island - October 22

18. Thailand, Buriram - October 29

19. Malaysia, Sepang - November 12

20. Qatar, Losail - November 19

21. Valencia, Spain - November 26

The 2022 Catalunya Grand Prix. In 2023, Spain will host three rounds of the World Championship.

David Goldman

A field of 22 drivers to be reduced?

Eleven teams and therefore twenty-two drivers will set off to attack the 2022 season. This plateau is set to decrease for financial reasons because the more there are candidates for the title... the greater the share of the revenue pie distributed to each decreases.

We would like to have a little less.

Twenty drivers would be ideal because depending on the money that we have to redistribute and share, increasing the number of drivers is not one of our objectives

", confided Carmelo Ezpeleta, the boss of Dorna, promoter of the Championship of the world.

In detail, the Suzuki brand left the category but was not replaced.

Five manufacturers are registered: Yamaha (one team), Ducati (four teams), Honda (two teams), KTM (two teams) and Aprilia (one team).

The MotoGP rider field could be reduced soon.

David Goldman

Who are the big favorites for the title?

On paper, Ducati and its eight riders, including Johann Zarco with the Prima Pramac Racing team, seems to be the manufacturer best equipped to monopolize the top of the ranking sheets.

Francesco Bagnaia is even a big favorite to keep his crown.

The 26-year-old driver ended the pre-season as a boss after the last winter tests in Portimao, two weeks ago by setting the circuit record.

We will closely observe his expected teammate and compatriot Enea Bastianini, but his greatest rival may be Fabio Quartararo, 2021 world champion but revengeful with Yamaha, even if the Frenchman has experienced contrasting pre-season tests.

Read alsoMotoGP: fifteen anecdotes that you (perhaps) do not know about Fabio Quartararo

Marc Marquez, who returned to the track last September after three dark years marked by injury and health problems, will be keen to seek a 60th victory in the top flight, but the winter tests were not very encouraging for the Honda clan could still drive a long time before restoring its illustrious coat of arms.

Nor should we rule out the KTMs of South African Brad Binder and Australian Jack Miller, Bagnaia's former teammate last year at Ducati.

Neither the Aprilia of the Spaniards Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro, 4th surprise in the championship in 2022. Aprilia will also have two more motorcycles in its ranks this year with the RNF team (ex-Yamaha), now equipped by the Italian brand.

Fabio Quartararo and Federico Bagnaia, duel announced for the coronation in MotoGP David Goldman

Where are the women ?

Women will still and always be the big absentees from the MotoGP platform even if Dorna is working on this file.

We have always wanted men and women to be able to compete in the same category, it has been seen in other disciplines.

We are working on it to get more.

In the future, we are thinking about creating a women's world championship, which could then allow some of them to compete with the men

, ”assured Carmelo Ezpeleta to AFP.

Two women will still try to do well, one in the electric championship, the other in Moto3, the third division of the World Championship.

Ana Carrasco present in Moto3 with the BOE Motorsports Panoraimc team


The preparation of the Blues before facing the Netherlands this Friday (8:45 p.m.)

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-03-24

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