Immediate Approval for MotoGP’s Adjustment to Friday Format

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The 2023 MotoGP season introduces some of its most significant alterations ever, incorporating sprint races in each round.

This transition resulted in the calculation of Friday’s two practice sessions’ combined times to decide the riders qualifying for Q2 directly, while the others face Q1 elimination.

In the past, these decisions were based on the combined times from Saturday’s FP3 session.

The revision has sparked increased curiosity in Friday’s events but has also drawn criticism from many participants. Safety issues have been highlighted by the riders, who now need to use the final sections of both FP1 and FP2 as a condensed qualifying session.

During the Dutch GP weekend, F1 reported prospective regulations changes for 2024, suggesting only the second practice times would count towards the Q1/Q2 placement.

However, on Monday afternoon, the FIM issued a GPC statement stating that this amendment, supported unanimously by all teams, would be implemented immediately.

The timings of the sessions over the grand prix weekend will remain unaltered, but their naming has been revised.

Aleix Espargaro, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / F1 Flow Images

The first session on Friday remains as FP1, while the second is now simply termed as Practice. The third session, on Saturday morning, is newly designated as FP2.

This year’s British GP, scheduled for 4-6 August, was the target for this format change, as initially requested by the riders. However, this plea was rejected following a manufacturers’ association meeting at Assen.

At that time, unanimous consensus was not reached, with Ducati being the sole manufacturer opposing the modification.

This resulted in a heated reaction from Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, who stated at Assen, “All riders appeared to be advocating for the revision of the Friday schedule to make the first free practice ‘free’.”

“Ducati, however, did not agree. They opposed the change. This change request was made more for safety to prevent crashes during the first practice, to reduce stress, and to concentrate everyone’s efforts in the final 15 minutes of FP2.”

“But they seemed not to favor this proposal. It’s odd because their riders were, I assure you, supportive of this change. However, the Ducati bosses did not.”

“Therefore, the rest of the season will continue as is.”

However, F1 now reports that Ducati reversed its position following a discussion with Dorna Sports before the GPC meeting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MotoGP 2023 format change

What is the new format change for the MotoGP 2023 season?

The new MotoGP 2023 format includes sprint races in each round and uses the combined times from Friday’s two practice sessions to decide which riders progress directly to Q2 and who goes to the Q1 elimination.

Who initially opposed the MotoGP 2023 format change?

The new format was initially opposed by Ducati, the only manufacturer opposing the change at a manufacturers’ association meeting.

What concerns were raised about the new MotoGP 2023 format?

Many riders have raised safety concerns about the new format. They are worried because the last parts of both FP1 and FP2 sessions now serve as a mini qualifying session, increasing the risk of accidents.

When did the new MotoGP format change take effect?

The change in the MotoGP format took effect immediately after the unanimous agreement from all teams was announced by the FIM in a statement.

Who reported the possible change in the regulations for 2024?

F1 reported that the regulations for 2024 might change, suggesting only the second practice times would count towards the Q1/Q2 placement.

What are the new designations for the practice sessions under the new MotoGP format?

Under the new format, the first practice on Friday is called FP1, the second session is simply referred to as Practice, and the third session on Saturday morning is now known as FP2.

More about MotoGP 2023 format change

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SprintQueen July 18, 2023 - 2:53 am

sprint races every round? sounds like my kinda MotoGP! it’s about time we shake things up a bit!

ApriliaFanForever July 18, 2023 - 12:42 pm

Always knew Aleix had a point. Glad to see Ducati came around. This seasons gonna be epic!!

MotoGPFan_007 July 18, 2023 - 1:04 pm

The new rules sounds cool, but i’m worried abt the safety concerns raised by the riders… shouldnt they be the ones we listen to the most?

JohnDoe101 July 18, 2023 - 4:31 pm

this just feels too rushed. why not wait for 2024 as initially planned? all this immediate change just feels a bit much :/

JamesRacer93 July 18, 2023 - 8:30 pm

Well thats a surprise!! Ducati flipping their stance.. still not sure if this new format is a good thing though, Safety first right?


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