The proposal was initially met with mixed opinions from riders on Friday, p Espargaro is one of those who thought it was not right for the championship – until earlier on Saturday Marc Marquez has exclusively told Autosport that the sprint races will be “more spectacular” for MotoGP.
During the press conference of the announcement, the president of the International Racing Teams Association (IRTA), Hervé Pancharal, said that the addition of sprint races will not change the amount of track time we have now.
In a press release issued afterwards, MotoGP confirmed that Friday will consist of two slightly longer practice sessions ahead of the 30-minute FP3 on Saturday before qualifying, which will determine the grid for the sprint (which will take place after qualifying) and the main grand -at.
But Espargaro – who qualified ninth at the Red Bull Ring on Saturday – said the idea of track times being the same in 2023 was “nonsense” given FP4 and the sprint race that will replace it cannot be compared in terms of effort and risk.
“I want to believe that the management of the championship thinks that this is the best for the show, for the popularity of the championship,” said the Aprilia rider.
“I do not share this opinion, this is my opinion. I don’t think this is a solution, I think the risk would be too high.
“I think 44 starts in MotoGP is too many. They say the track times will be the same, so nothing will change.
“It’s nonsense because it’s not the same FP4 as a points race.
Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team
Photo: Gold and Goose / Images of motor sports
“But we will try, we need to adapt to the championship.
“They choose what they want and we have to adapt. Perhaps this is a good way out.”
Espargaro admitted he was unhappy with some of the things said at Saturday’s press conference, adding: “I prefer not to comment on anything from the press conference.
“I didn’t like a lot of things at the press conference, so I prefer to remain silent.
“I still have a lot of work to do this weekend, I still have a lot of pain in my heel [from my Silverstone crash]. That’s why I want to relax.”