Everything you need to know about the exciting new look 2023 weekend format
As a new era for MotoGP™ beckons in 2023, fans have plenty of questions about what the format of a GP weekend will look like going forward. Well, fear not if you have any doubts, as everything is explained in detail below!
The first track action begins on Friday as usual and, as it has done in previous years, contains two practice sessions for each class, now called P1 and P2. In Moto2™ and Moto3™, these two sessions will count towards qualifying in addition to the Saturday morning session, called P3. However, things are slightly different in MotoGP™.
The premier class results will determine who makes it into Q2 automatically, and who has to go down the Q1 route. Qualifying will take place on Saturday mornings, starting at 10:50 for MotoGP™, after a 30-minute Free Practice session, and the results will determine the starting positions on the grid for both the MotoGP™ Sprint, and Sunday’s full race.
How tough will it be to do the Sprint and Grand Prix double?
How will the main event on Saturday work? Well, it’s quite simple. As mentioned, qualifying determines the grid, and the riders will line up in their respective positions for lights out. The Sprint lasts roughly half the amount of time of Sunday’s race, which will vary from Grand Prix to Grand Prix. So, if Sunday’s race is 30 laps, then the Sprint will be 15 laps. Championship points will be awarded at half the ratio to Sunday, with the maximum being 12 points, going all the way down to 1 point for the top 9 finishers. With the shortened distance, you can be sure there will action from the get-go as riders go all out to gain any advantage they can. Lights out in the Sprint will be at 15:00 local time.
There will be a podium ceremony too, but it is due to take place in a different area of the circuit to help get fans closer to the action and the stars of the show. It’s also worth noting that victories and podiums don’t count towards a rider’s Grand Prix total, but rather, a new category will be created for the history books to keep the accolades separate. Regardless, it’s sure to be a joyous occasion for any rider who can get themselves onto the box. Celebrations can’t last too long though, as the weekend isn’t over yet!
Sunday sees a change in the morning schedule too, with MotoGP™ riders getting 10 minutes on track for some final tweaks ahead of the big one. Racing gets underway at 11:00 local time with Moto3™ up first before it’s the turn of Moto2™ at 12:15. Then it’s time for MotoGP™ to go racing at 14:00 in the full race, with the podium ceremony pencilled in for 15:00.
With 21 destinations awaiting, it is set to be a bumper year for the sport with the revamped format only adding to the spectacle.