While having more sympathy for the team members having the extra stress and workload of twice as many races, former British champion and grand prix rider Huewen also highlighted the significance of bonus money to a rider’s pay.

“Top three bonuses are a big thing when it comes to rider earnings,” he said. “But a Sprint race is not a Grand Prix. So it won't be written naturally into all the contracts.

"Some managers will be sitting back and thinking ‘ah-ha, we thought of that scenario a long time ago’ and it’s all covered. But there will be other contracts where you could drive a bus through the loophole.

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“Riders whinging over not getting paid a bonus for wherever they finish in a Sprint race is one thing, but for me it's the mechanics, it's the technicians, it's the people behind the scenes that have been done over.

“When the Grand Prix calendar increased by a couple of rounds, most didn’t get paid any more money. Maybe this is a similar situation again because everyone's going to be working much harder. It might only be a Sprint race, but every single element of the weekend now is going to be tough.

“Although you've got the same amount of track time, you've now got a race at the end of Saturday and that makes the sessions prior to that even more intense. Everybody's going to be thinking, ‘crikey, we are working bloody hard here for the same cash’.

“Riders - and this is going to sound strange coming from me! - I have less sympathy with, if they're worried about the bonuses they might get for the Sprint race.

“Most riders would race on a Saturday and are looking forward to it, I think. The Sprint race is quite an exciting prospect. You are going to go flat out. There's not going to be any management in what you're doing. You're just going to wring its neck and get on with it.

“I think that's quite an exciting prospect for most riders. I'm looking forward to it and I think they should be as well. But I hope the people behind the scenes are being renumerated according to the extra stress levels and the extra work levels that they're going to have.”

Crash.net MotoGP editor Pete McLaren added: “We saw how important the wording of a contract is during the 2020 Covid season, when some people got the same money, at the same time, as a normal full season and others - because there were only 14 rounds - got less than they were expecting.

“We also saw the implications for rider contracts, where they have these ‘options’ that the team can take up to keep the rider for the following year. Those have to be decided by a certain time.

“Some contracts specified the deadline as a date, 1st of July for example. But because the Covid delays meant the season only started in July, some of the options had already expired before the first race.

“So now most contracts will say something like ‘the halfway point of the season’, or ‘after round 8’.

“In terms of the Sprints, it might be a case of, does the rider contract say they are paid per ‘race’ or per ‘grand prix’? The exact terminology that maybe didn't matter in the past suddenly becomes significant.

“And if, because of that, one rider in a team is going to be eligible for bonus money and another isn’t, there is sure to be some friction!”

“It is very, very tricky,” said Huewen. “I did have this exact experience in the pandemic where a contract that I had was read differently by both parties, by each side of the divide, and we had to come to an agreement over that.

“It was quite a negotiation. Of course, I thought I was right, but they had the big lawyers and the corporate side of things with them that thought they were right. In the end, all came out well. But it was a big negotiation and I can see that going on a little bit with these Sprint races.”

Huewen: ‘Bonus clauses are how you make your money’

Huewen continued; “Every rider contract has bonus clauses. It's how you make your money. If you're a rookie for instance, they won't pay you a large amount of money to just ride for them.

“So what you do - if you have confidence in yourself - is you really squeeze them for massive bonuses because a) the team will bet on not having to pay it because you aren’t going to win and b) if you do win, they're going to get that money back in extra coverage or bonuses from sponsors.

“Bonuses are the thing that you make your money out of as an up-and-coming racer. And then for the guys already at the very top, if you can't squeeze the team for the megabucks deal that you want, you get big bonuses written into your contract.

“That's why some managers are kicking off, because some riders won't be getting paid a baseline salary of anything like they want and rely on their bonuses. And now suddenly they’ve got an opportunity to earn perhaps double the bonus money over the weekend.

“Riders are only out there to win races, not count money, but their management is there to look after them and tell them not to be so bloody stupid, money counts and careers are short!

“At any moment you could end up with an injury that precludes you from racing again. The fact is management is there to make sure you're covered as a professional motorcycle racer.”

'Raikkonen's contract gave him €50,000 for every point'

Podcast host Harry Benjamin, whose ‘day job’ is commentating on F1, said:

“Sorry to bring F1 into it but I once had a chat with an interim team principal who looked after the Lotus Renault team in 2013. Kimi Raikkonen had come back with them in 2012 and so 2013 was the second year.

“Lotus had no money, so were probably not paying much of a base salary, but he told me that in Raikkonen's contract they'd agreed the bonus would be €50,000 for every point he scored.

“The first race comes around, and he wins! So already Lotus owed him over £1.2 million!”

“Raikkonen is the kind of guy that would bet on himself, with a low base salary but big bonuses. And there are a lot of riders like that, hugely so,” said Huewen.

“I always think bonus money is like a back-up plan. You try and get the default money sorted out and if that doesn’t work you hit them with the big ‘OK, I'll agree to it, if you’ll pay me £50,000 for a win, £25,0000 for second place etc’.

“But if you can be on points money as well, even better.”

McLaren said: “That’s perhaps where, even though the Sprint is not classed as a grand prix, there will be world championship points awarded becomes significant in the contracts.

“There's definitely have been a few cases where teams have been caught out by the bonus clause in the past. I think Tito Rabat cashed in when, having taken three wins in his entire career, he suddenly won seven races, took 14 podiums and won the Moto2 title in his first season at Marc VDS.”

Huewen: ‘I’m sure he came out with more money than I did!’

“Here’s one for you,” replied Huewen. “The first international I ever won was the NW200, on the roads of Northern Ireland. They signed me up at the Grand Prix at Salzburg and it was quite a complicated deal, for the likes of my brain anyway.

“Included in it was lap money, so every time you got to the finish line, if you crossed it one place ahead of the bloke next to, it worked out you earned an extra £1,000 or whatever. Quite good money.

“John Newbold, bless him and God rest him, every time I got to the line, he pipped me by half a wheel! He grabbed the extra money almost every bloody lap! The only good thing was I cottoned on by the end and won my first international, but I’m sure he came out with more money than I did!”