The 2023 MotoGP calendar will feature a Sprint race at every round but the riders are claiming they should be paid extra for these.

Sprint races on Saturday afternoons will be half-distances and half the points are awarded but there is discontent in the paddock.

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"After three races the riders will freak out,” said Carlo Pernat, who represents Bastianini. 

“For now there is no race bonus in the contracts and if they don't give them to us I don't think we race.

"We have already agreed with Albert Valera [Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Martin’s manager] and with Giovanni Balestra [Maverick Vinales’ manager]. “They are half points, we want half a bonus. With the sponsors we have already included in the contract also the bonuses for the Sprint races.”

Blame is being passed around the paddock, Bastianini’s manager claims, over this row.

“It's a fight between Dorna, the teams and the riders,” he said. 

“I asked Ducati for money and they told me 'go to Dorna', Dorna replied 'go to the team, it's their business'. 

“The drivers will do the first two races because they are obliged, if they do not give bonuses then a mess will break out. This is an imposition that you cannot make.”

Bastianini, and his rivals on the grid, will also be forced with a change of routine and mind-set to accommodate Sprint races.

"He has to change his mentality because he is someone who is strong in the last five laps and here it is eight laps,” Bastianini’s manager said. 

“In the first laps he struggles more, he has to reset his head. There will be a problem with the riders."

MotoGP Sprint races explained

  • They will feature at all 21 rounds on every Saturday afternoon
  • They will not replace the Q1 and Q2 qualifying sessions
  • Sprint races are half the usual distance, with half the points awarded
  • Sprint races will not count as ‘race wins’ in MotoGP history books