“MotoGP sprint race like stepping into a boxing ring!” Let’s get ready to rumble

Marco Bezzecchi has likened the crazy nature of a MotoGP sprint race to a boxing match.
Marco Bezzecchi , Grand Prix Of The Americas, 14 April
Marco Bezzecchi , Grand Prix Of The Americas, 14 April

The sprint race at the MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas is on Saturday at 9pm (UK).

The half-distance and half-points rules of the new format have caused plenty of thrills and spills so far - and even an injury to Enea Bastianini which means he will miss the first three grands prix of 2023.

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"The sprint requires a different approach, which is why it is not easy to master,” Bezzecchi said who was 11th-fastest on Friday after a costly fall.

“It's like stepping into a boxing ring. It's exhausting, but it's also a lot of fun. 

“With more experience, we will better understand how to deal with the format."

Johann Zarco added: “The sprint race is very interesting. Really, to prepare for the race on Sunday you get so much information. 

“You have this pleasure to fight with the others, and when you have the power to fight you get even more fun. This is good.

“It’s true with the Saturday, to be focused to have good qualifying and then switch the mind to be ready for the race is asking a lot.

“It’s good to change this to have more of a show, and that’s fine. It’s true that we also, as riders on the sporting side, we enjoy it a lot.

Johann Zarco , Argentina MotoGP, 31 March
Johann Zarco , Argentina MotoGP, 31 March

“But something that is a bit wrong is that they’re asking more on the side of the track. They forget that we have to concentrate to race a bike at more than 300 kilometres an hour.”

Zarco also criticised a new scheduling issue: “On a Saturday morning it will be mandatory to go and see the fans 15 minutes before going on the bike. I do not agree with this. Because it is mandatory, maybe we will get penalties if we don’t do it.

“We have to remember that even if we have FP3 in the morning, it’s still a bike going at more than 300 kph on tracks that are sometimes difficult to race on – like here in Austin, which is the most difficult of the year.

“We need time to concentrate. To make something mandatory 15 minutes before going on the bike is maybe the reason why there is more stress, more accidents, more injuries on the track.”

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