Engagements, skiing trips and star-studded encounters! Find out how MotoGP™ riders spent their holidays ahead of the 2023 campaign
As the new year begins, the 2023 MotoGP™ campaign is fast approaching. Before the pre-season Tests and Team Presentations, riders are taking advantage of their time off the track and enjoying the downtime. However, for some, the past few weeks have been eventful, even away from the track. As we gear up for another exciting season of MotoGP™ action, let’s take a look at what the riders have been up to during the off-season.
As has become tradition, MotoGP™ Legend Valentino Rossi held the 100km di Campioni at his Ranch in Italy just prior to the holiday season, the eighth edition of the race. Some of the sport’s biggest names were in attendance, including 2022 World Champion Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team). The Italian finished fifth in the standings, with victory going the way of Elia Bartolini and Lorenzo Baldassarri.
For Pecco, he made sure 2022 would be a year he’ll never forget as he popped the question to his now fiancé Domizia over the festive period shortly after the two had been holidaying in Dubai.
The reigning Champion wasn’t the only rider celebrating an engagement, with KTM’s Brad Binder and his fiancé Jordyn hosting an engagement party back in South Africa.
There’s even further good new on the family front within the paddock, as Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) announced that he and his wife Laura are expecting their family to grow even larger, with twin boys on the way.
Congratulations to the riders and to their families on the news!
Over the festive period, several MotoGP™ riders hit the slopes for some skiing. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Team Racing) enjoyed the slopes in the Dolomites, in addition to attending the 100km di Campioni. Like Marini, Alex Rins (LCR Honda Castrol) and Augusto Fernandez (Tech GASGAS Factory Racing) both competed at the VR46 Ranch before carving up the snow ahead of new on track adventures in 2023.
Indeed, skiing and snowboarding were popular pastimes for many, with Joan Mir (Repsol Honda Team), Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) and Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) all hitting the snowcapped mountains in recent weeks.
Not all riders fancied a European winter, with plenty of others jetting off for sunnier climates in recent weeks.
Jack Miller (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) went back Down Under to catch up on some fishing in Australia, even managing to hook a big one, before visiting neighbouring New Zealand with his wife Ruby during the off-season.
Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) found his paradise in Bali, while Aleix Espargaro was spotted on a Safari in Kenya.
2021 World Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) did stay closer to home after injuring his hand in a MX accident, but still found warmer waters on the French Riviera and Saint Tropez.
MotoGP™ riders are stars in their own right, and it’s no surprise to see some of them mix with the biggest names in sport and entertainment. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) was part of a star-studded Portuguese cast on a special edition of Porquinho Mealheiro, a well-known game show in his homeland.
Elsewhere, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Alex Marquez (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) met up with Manchester United goalkeeper and Spanish international David de Gea, while the eight-time World Champion also caught up with Tennis star Rafael Nadal, Spanish singer Aitana and his Red Bull counterpart in Formula1, World Champion Max Verstappen.
As the holidays come to a close and the 2023 campaign approaches, the riders can look back on a festive period filled with skiing trips, family celebrations, and even some glittering encounters. However, with the new season on the horizon, it’s now time for the riders to refocus their attention on the track and start preparing for another exciting year of MotoGP™. With the pre-season Tests and Team Presentations just around the corner, riders will no doubt be eager to get back on their bikes and start competing once again. Here’s to another thrilling season of MotoGP™ racing!