As part of efforts to increase interest in the MotoGP series on Saturday will present half-distance sprint races every Grand Prix weekend from 2023.
The sprint events will be run for half points and will have no relation to the grid order of the main Grand Prix, as is the case in Formula 1 and World Superbikes for their respective sprint races.
The proposal was met with mixed feelings from the riders, with the six-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez says sprint races will make series ‘more spectacular’while the defending champion Fabio Quartarara called it a “stupid idea”.
The introduction of sprint races will see the weekend format revised with the aim of keeping track times the same as they are now.
Following the initial reveal of the sprint race format, it has been confirmed that two practice sessions will continue on Friday, although they will be slightly longer compared to the current 45 minute walks we run now.
The order of the qualifying groups will be determined by the combined times at the end of Friday’s heat, with a half-hour FP3 taking place on Saturday before qualifying.
Sprint races will take place on Saturday at 15:00, the main grand prix will remain at 14:00 on Sunday. The MotoGP warm-up session on Sunday was also expected to be abandoned.
In a press conference at the Aragon Grand Prix on Saturday, Dorna Sports Chief Sporting Officer Carlos Espeleto revealed details of the 2023 race weekend schedule.
Friday’s sessions will now be called simply practice rather than free practice, with FP1 starting at 10:45 local time and lasting 45 minutes. Practice 2 will take place at 15:00 local time and will last one hour.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Photo: Gold and Goose / Images of motor sports
The third practice, as before, will be called Free Practice 3 and will last 30 minutes at 10:10. Qualifying, which will remain unchanged, will take place immediately after, at 10:50.
The MotoGP warm-up will remain MotoGP-only, lasting 10 minutes at 9:40 a.m., followed by a rider fan show at 10:00 a.m.
Sprint wins will not go down in the history books as Grand Prix wins.
In terms of fuel, sprint races will be limited to the permitted use of 12 liters of fuel. All other sports and technical regulations that apply to the Grand Prix will remain the same for the sprint.
In the sprint race, the number of violations of track restrictions will be reduced from five to three before a penalty is issued. Penalties received in sprint races will be applied in the main grand prix unless the driver already has a penalty in the main race.