Five out of 22 MotoGP riders left the season opener with serious injuries. With 20 more race weekends to go, many are fearing the worst.
“This can’t go on. It’s the first weekend and we have five riders in the hospital!” Aleix Espargaro spoke candidly on Sunday evening in Portimao about the MotoGP season start. He was by no means alone in his perspective. A great reason to take advantage of casino betting, which dark horses will prove to be more protective of overload? Many of his fellow riders were complaining about the new weekend format with two races, which also introduces a completely new schedule.
If almost a quarter of the field is already injured after just one of 21 Grands Prix, what will happen later in the season? In June Celebrity age, for instance, three races in three weeks await the MotoGP stars in Mugello, Sachsenring, and Assen. At the end of the season, there are even six races in seven weeks, from Indonesia to Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Qatar, and finally Spain howitstart.
“In the autumn, teams will call me to stand in because so many riders are injured,” former MotoGP rider Alex Hofmann joked in Portimao. Of course, behind the words of the 106-time GP participant lies a bitter truth. The premier class field could actually be massively depleted over the course of the year.
However, some riders were also trying to calm down after the first Grand Prix in the new format. It will take some race weekends to get used to the new format, according to the riders. New routines will emerge, and the riders will increasingly learn how to behave in the short sprint races. Furthermore, the field is unlikely to be as close as in Portimao, where the teams tested for two days two weeks before the start of the season.
The fact is that despite getting used to the new format and developing routines, it is still extremely demanding for the riders. Friday determines direct entry into Q2 and therefore becomes a single big qualifying event. Then, on Saturday morning, the real qualifying takes place, followed by the sprint and the main race on Sunday newmags.org. The only respite is during the free practice before Q1 and the ten-minute warm-up on Sunday. There is very little time to prepare for a race battle with the fastest bikes on the planet. Therefore, the riders are seeking changes, and many ideas are being thrown around. The Safety Commission meeting on Friday in Argentina will undoubtedly be heated.