A new season of MotoGP is just around the corner as Francesco Bagnaia looks to defend his title in 2023 in what should be another thrilling year of top class motorcycle racing.
Twenty-one Grand Prix will decide who becomes champion as a new sprint format is introduced for the upcoming season, which will play a major role in the title race.
It will make qualifying more important than ever, with points now on offer on the Saturday and Sunday of a race weekend.
How to watch MotoGP in 2023
In the UK, every session of MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 will be live and exclusive on BT Sport.
At each event, the Moto3 race will be at 11:00 local time, Moto2 at 12:15 and MotoGP at 14:00.
MotoGP 2023 calendar
A record-breaking calendar will see 21 rounds this year in MotoGP, including the additions of Kazakhstan and India.
There are two triple-headers in the second half of the season, whilst Aragon has been dropped.
|1||Portuguese GP – Portimao||March 24-26|
|2||Argentina GP – Termas de Rio Hondo||March 31-April 2|
|3||Americas GP – Circuit of the Americas||April 14-16|
|4||Spanish GP – Jerez||April 28-30|
|5||French GP – Le Mans||May 12-14|
|6||Italian GP – Mugello||June 9-11|
|7||German GP – Sachsenring||June 16-18|
|8||Dutch GP – Assen||June 23-25|
|9||Kazakhstan GP – Sokol||July 7-9|
|10||British GP – Silverstone||August 4-6|
|11||Austrian GP – Red Bull Ring||August 18-20|
|12||Catalan GP – Barcelona||September 1-3|
|13||San Marino GP – Misano||September 8-10|
|14||Indian GP – Buddh||September 22-24|
|15||Japanese GP – Motegi||September 29-October 1|
|16||Indonesian GP – Mandalika||October 13-15|
|17||Australian GP – Phillip Island||October 20-22|
|18||Thai GP – Chang||October 27-29|
|19||Malaysian GP – Sepang||November 10-12|
|20||Qatar GP – Lusail||November 17-19|
|21||Valencia GP – Ricardo Tormo||November 24-26|
How will the MotoGP sprint format work?
New for 2023 is sprint races which will take place at 15:00 local time on the Saturday of every MotoGP event.
The grid for both the sprint and the main race will be dictated by qualifying. Therefore, if you qualify fifth, you will start fifth for both races.
Only the top nine riders will score points for the sprint with the winner taking 12 championship points, second place will have nine points, third place seven points, before dropping in increments of one point down to ninth.
The sprints will be around 50% of a normal MotoGP race distance.
Can anyone stop Bagnaia?
Absolutely. It was far from plain-sailing for the Ducati rider, who was not even in the top five of the championship standings at the halfway point of last season, before he went on a run of four consecutive race wins and multiple podiums to win the title.
Fabio Quartararo produced some stunning performance to take the championship to the final round, considering Yamaha did not have the best bike in 2022. He will likely run Bagnaia close again this year.
Enea Bastianini has a breakthrough campaign last year and could be a match for his champion team-mate a Ducati, whilst Aleix Espargaro will be buoyed by Aprilla’s continued improvements. Those are the names to look out for in MotoGP 2023.
Let’s not forget the extraordinary Marc Marquez, who could do absolutely anything, depending on his fitness.
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