Fabio Quartararo: MotoGP sprint races ‘not a good idea’

Does MotoGP need spicing up with sprint races and qualifying points?
Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP race, 19 June
Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP race, 19 June

That was the question put to reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo and third in the standings Johann Zarco on Thursday at Assen.

Both options are included in an official survey launched by MotoGP to try and understand what fans currently think of the sport.

“I think qualifying is good because it's only a few laps and is quite a mythical part of a weekend,” said Quartararo. “Qualifying is for putting yourself in the best position for the race. So I think a sprint race is not a great idea.”

The Yamaha rider likewise poured cold water on the idea of awarding points for qualifying but did suggest MotoGP could learn from F1 and “put an extra point like for the fastest lap of the race.

“This can be something fun, but qualifying is something a bit different.”

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Zarco was also unsure about the prospect of sprint races, as now used in both WorldSBK and F1.

“The sprint race is giving a nice show, but with how intense MotoGP is at the moment I don't see myself able to do a race on Saturday and be ready for the Sunday,” he said.

“Maybe Superpole can be good to watch, because it's pure speed for one lap, without following anyone. So that can be an idea for MotoGP and better than a sprint race I think.”

While the competition in MotoGP is closer than ever, some have found the lack of overtaking at the front somewhat boring this season.

But compared to F1, MotoGP’s shorter race distance already helps avoid such stagnation and Zarco isn’t sure reducing it further for sprint races would make much difference.

Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP race, 19 June
Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP race, 19 June

“Compared to Formula One, we have a race of 40 minutes instead of one hour and a half and this keeps people a bit more awake in front of the TV, and that's quite important,” he said.

“But maybe if we have even a shorter race of 30 minutes. Why not? Depends also, because after 40 minutes in Sachsenring it was already a quite big gap between the riders.

“So this can be annoying for people who watch the TV, but for a sport man that is giving the best energy in the race it's very interesting.

“Because you can work well in the practice, try to do everything possible to be as fast as possible and then the race is another story.

“So if you understand how the race weekend builds, it's interesting. If it's just for the show, clearly we could move a few things.”

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