Today marks the beginning of the 2023 MotoGP season with the Tissot GP de Portugal, right from Portimão, in the south of Portugal. After Bagnaia claims his championship title in the final race of last season, 2023 is set to give us lots of thrills and excitement for all MotoGP fans, with new additions to the schedule and a whole new format that promises to shake things up this season.
New Format: MotoGP Sprints
This year, MotoGP decided to follow F1’s lead by introducing Sprint races to the calendar, living fans excited around the world. However, unlike in F1, MotoGP Sprints will happen in every race of the season, with the points gained in these races not counting toward the overall rider’s standings, but to a separate leaderboard instead. Besides that, the Sprints, which will be around half the length of the final race won’t determine the grid to the main event, as it will still be determined by Q1 and Q2 results.
The Longest Calendar in MotoGP History
The 2023 season is showcasing an unprecedented 21 races throughout the year, making it the longest campaign in history. While some venues weren’t able to make it through to the calendar, both India and Kazakhstan are going to host their first-ever MotoGP races.
India isn’t new to hosting motorsport events, as the Buddh International Circuit, which is where the Indian MotoGP race is taking place, has already hosted the F1 Indian Gran Prix. Kazakhstan, on the other hand, is hosting its first-ever big motorsport race, taking the MotoGP community to an uncharted territory at the Sokol International Racetrack.
Portugal Kicks-off the Season
After having Qatar start the season for 16 consecutive years, MotoGP turns to Europe in 2023 and kicks off the campaign at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve. Known for its famous slopes, this is one of the most complex tracks to ride on. In 8 of the 15 corners, the riders have to break for an average total of 28,5 seconds per lap, which equals 29 percent of the whole race. The continuous slopes make this course even more challenging by having the riders focus to calibrate every braking session, avoiding braking early uphill or going long downhill.
On Your Marks
Now that you’re all caught up to speed on the changes made to the MotoGP season and what to expect from 2023, be sure to ride with us, as we follow this year’s calendar around the world. We’ll be leaving our thoughts and comments here, in MatraX blog.