Verdict on MotoGP Sprint races? "Some points, not enough! Maybe you risk?"

The first Sprint race of the 2023 season is on Saturday afternoon at the Portuguese MotoGP - these are the fears, concerns and beliefs from riders about the significant new change to the schedule.
MotoGP bike line-up, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March
MotoGP bike line-up, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March

Rules of MotoGP Sprint races

  • Every round of the 2023 championship will have a Sprint race.
  • Two Friday practice sessions are extended, the results determine entry to Q2.
  • The starting grids for the Sprint race and for the full Sunday race are both determined by the qualifying results from Saturday.
  • The Sprint race is half the normal race distance, and half points will be awarded (12 points for a win, 1 point for 9th).
  • Results are not listed in the MotoGP history books - they are listed separately.

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Aleix Espargaro: "It will be demanding physically. You can risk so much, finish seventh, win three points, but it’s nothing!

"For sure, the Sunday race remains key for the championship. I’m really excited. I will try to organise us as best as possible. The second weekend will be better than the first, the third even better.

"Last season, Friday was not important. But this year, Friday is very important so you have to wake up more aggressively.

Marc Marquez: "Sprint races, honestly I like them. The weekend is too demanding for riders. FP2 is like qualifying. It is demanding to have 42 races.

"We will enjoy the sprint race, and so will the spectators. As Dorna said when they introduced the schedule, in the future we will adapt. We need to consider all these things."

MotoGP bike line-up, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March
MotoGP bike line-up, Portuguese MotoGP, 23 March

Miguel Oliveira: "Every day will count. I don’t know what to think. It depends in which position we qualify! There are some points, not enough, maybe you risk, but the risk-reward is not great, and it won’t change Sunday’s grid."

Francesco Bagnaia: "It changes the strategy of the weekend. With the second practice there is more time. I tried a sprint race and felt good, but it’s a different way to approach a race.

"You have to push like hell without considering the rear tyre. After three or four races, we will understand better how to approach the weekend."

Fabio Quartararo: "We are coming from 21 races to a full season of sprints. If it helps the fans to grow the sport, it’s good. But also it’s an extra risk." 

Enea Bastianini: "I have to be very fast from early, which is not my strategy in a long race. It will be new for everybody."

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