The MotoGP 2023 calendar features a major overhaul with a MotoGP Sprint race at every round on the Saturday.

Veteran paddock manager Carlo Pernat has been prominent in claiming that riders deserve to be paid a bonus for this extra work.

MotoGP Sprint Races - GENIUS or TERRIBLE? | Austrian MotoGP

“That's a problem of the riders with the teams,” Carmelo Ezpeleta told AS

“I have nothing to do with the money that the riders earn.

“That's a problem for every rider with their team. As for what Pernat said, Carlo is Carlo and I can't take him much more seriously either. 

“It's funny, because he has my phone and he doesn't tell me anything. He never calls me, so something must happen to him so he doesn't call me. All those fears... It's very easy to go around saying those things.”

Sprint races will be half the distance of Sunday’s race, with half the points awarded. It does not replace standard qualifying. And Sprint race results will not be listed as victories in the history books.

“There have always been critics for all the things we have announced,” Ezpeleta said.

“I understand that there is criticism. I've always said that people are very conservative. The first big thing we did was change from 500cc to MotoGP and that was beastly. Then with Moto2 and Moto3, too, the same. And the single switchboard. 

“All the things we have changed have been criticised against and, so far, we have not had to back down. 

“That does not mean that, if we see that the thing does not come out, we would have no problem going backwards. 

“We have to innovate and think about what things can go better so that people get hooked on our championship. 

“We have to go looking for a way and we are concerned with the [quantity] of the spectators that there were in some places. What they are telling us now is that attendances are increasing a lot. I don't know if it's just because of the Sprint races, but we are clearly increasing the number of requests and bookings compared to last year.

“Mugello we don't know yet, because it's going much later, but Portimao is doing much better and the United States is doing much better too.”

Ezpeleta was willing to concede that Dorna’s announcement that they would include Sprint races did not go to plan.

“We posed that press conference badly,” he said. “We raised it defensively and it was the announcement of a great novelty. 

“We posed it badly and I do not understand why something that was an advantage for the championship, for certain things, went wrong.

“We thought that the teams would inform the riders of what we had agreed with them, because everything was agreed with the official and private teams, but they did not do so. 

“And we announced that before the Safety Commission. We should have done the meeting the next day and informed the riders directly or, what I expected, that the teams had informed them. The riders initially said no and then almost all have said that they are fine with it.”

Asked if there could be an increase in injured riders unable to compete in Sunday races due to the Sprints, Ezpeleta said: “There is always a risk and it is a double-edged sword, because that can happen, but I hope not. 

“The rider can fall in the Sprint race and in the warm up. Last year, Marc Marquez in Indonesia fell into the warm up. The risk of falling and hurting yourself in this sport is always there.”

Ezpeleta concluded: “We think it's a good idea. I spoke to Formula 1 and I was fine with what they were thinking. What didn't seem right to me was to do it only in three or six races, because the organisers of the other races would ask us why they wouldn't do Sprint races. 

“This is good for more people to come on Saturdays. We asked the circuits, which are an important part of this matter, and also the televisions, who told us they liked it, because it could increase the audiences on Saturday afternoons. 

“In addition, there is another added issue, which is that the new schedule allows us to have more interaction between riders and public.”