MotoGP announces full details of sprint race format, rules

The MotoGP field at the Red Bull Ring

The event schedule and sporting regulations have been revealed for the start of MotoGP’s sprint race era in 2023.

From next year, the standard Sunday race will be supplemented by a sprint on Saturday afternoon which will pay about half as many championship points.

The radical change was announced at Austria’s Red Bull Ring last month, although finer details had not been confirmed at that time.

Now, the standard weekend schedule has been released, with changes decided on by the Grand Prix Commission (GPC) for all three world championship classes.

For MotoGP, as foreshadowed, the Sprint Race effectively replaces one of the existing four free practice sessions.

Practice 1 remains 45 minutes long but Practice 2 will be extended to 60 minutes, with those two sessions to determine the starting order for Qualifying 1.

Saturday morning’s Free Practice 3 will essentially function as the present-day Free Practice 4, running for 30 minutes, with no formal bearing on qualifying and hence is an opportunity for teams to concentrate on race set-ups.

The two-part qualifying format remains, with the Sprint Race to be run to half the number of laps of the traditional Grand Prix Race (rounded down where necessary).

Furthermore, the Warm Up session has been trimmed to 10 minutes from 20.

As previously announced, points for the Sprint Race will be awarded from first to ninth as follows: 12, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Unlike in Formula 1, qualifying will determine the grid for both races but penalties to be served in a race will only apply to Sunday’s Grand Prix encounter.

For example, in the case that a rider incurs a long lap penalty or grid penalty in a practice session, it will only apply in the Grand Prix Race.

For the junior classes, races and practice time have also been snipped, and the Warm Up axed altogether.

“To bring Moto2 and Moto3 in line with other competitions on similar machinery, it has been agreed to target new approximate race durations of 36 minutes for Moto2 and 34 minutes for Moto3,” the GPC explained.

All Moto3 practice sessions will be shorter, as will FP3 for Moto2, and only the first two sessions will count with respect to which riders drop into Q1 and which go directly to Q2, just like MotoGP.

MotoGP 2023 standard event format

Start Finish Class Session Length
Media Day
09:00 09:35 Moto3 Practice 1 35 min
09:50 10:30 Moto2 Practice 1 40 min
10:45 11:30 MotoGP Practice 1 45 min
13:15 13:50 Moto3 Practice 2 35 min
14:05 14:45 Moto2 Practice 2 40 min
15:00 16:00 MotoGP Practice 2 60 min
08:40 09:10 Moto3 Free Practice 30 min
09:25 09:55 Moto2 Free Practice 30 min
10:10 10:40 MotoGP Free Practice 30 min
10:50 11:05 MotoGP Qualifying 1 15 min
11:15 11:30 MotoGP Qualifying 2 15 min
12:55 13:10 Moto3 Qualifying 1 15 min
13:20 13:35 Moto3 Qualifying 2 15 min
13:50 14:05 Moto2 Qualifying 1 15 min
14:15 14:30 Moto2 Qualifying 2 15 min
15:00   MotoGP Sprint Race  
09:40 09:50 MotoGP Warm Up 10 min
10:00   MotoGP Rider Fan Show 30 min
11:00   Moto3 GP Race  
12:15   Moto2 GP Race  
14:00   MotoGP GP Race  

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