MotoGP has revealed that it has seen a significant increase in viewership and fan event participation so far in 2023 compared to last season.

Dorna Sports, promoters of the MotoGP world championship, extensively modified the structure of each premier class weekend for this season in an attempt to create further growth of the series from both a TV viewership stance as well as the amount of fans attending each grand prix on a live basis.

The Spanish organization followed Formula 1’s example by adding sprint races, which in MotoGP cover half the distance of Sunday’s full-length grand prix event, at each of the 21 events that made up the 2023 calendar.

Sprint races essentially replaced the extra FP4 session that used to run on a Saturday morning, with three practice sessions now running across Friday and before qualifying and the sprint race on Saturday. The introduction of sprint racing was to try and improve fan attendance on Saturdays of each event.

MotoGP has now revealed that the introduction of sprint races has had the desired effect, with an overall growth of around 20% having been seen worldwide in terms of TV audience compared to 2022.   

Sprint races have helped to increase audiences by a huge 51% on Saturdays across the opening 12 events of the ’23 term compared to the same period last year, while the live audience numbers are now higher than they were even before the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019.

MotoGP says that more than half of the 11 events in 2023 that it has data for showed weekend attendance growth of over 30%, with the German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring also recording an all-time high number of fans attending the weekend back in June.

MotoGP’s newest fans are set to be treated to a thrilling title battle heading into the final six rounds of this year’s championship. Reigning premier-class world champion Francesco Bagnaia currently leads the standings by just three points for the factory Ducati squad ahead of Pramac Ducati pilot Jorge Martin.

The Spaniard has reduced Bagnaia’s advantage from 63 to just three across the last four rounds, the 2018 Moto3 world champion enjoying a strong run that has netted him five wins across the last six sprint and grand prix encounters.

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