MotoGP returns to the motorsport fan’s television this weekend. The 2023 MotoGP season begins this weekend at the Portimao Circuit in the Algarve region of Portugal.
While the MotoGP series doesn’t get the attention that Formula One does in America, the racing is often even more compelling. The combination of massive engines, aerodynamic riders, and unbanked turns leads to edge-of-your-seat racing.
The 2023 season could be a make-or-break season for the MotoGP series. Let’s learn more about what to look for in the upcoming MotoGP betting season.
Off We Go: The 2023 MotoGP Season Opens This Week at Grande Prémio Tissot de Portugal
Portuguese motorcycle Grand Prix Race Info
Where: Algarve International Circuit, Algarve, Portugal
When: March 24-26, 2023
Length: 2.85 mi / 4.6kms
Longest Straight: 3182.41 ft. / 970 m
Creating Greater Interest in MotoGP
The audience for motorsports in the United States is growing. With the recent success of Formula One finding younger audiences to tap into in America, other motorsports competitions like MotoGP are eager to find a way to reach the American audience and gain their attention.
Following in Formula One’s footsteps, MotoGP partnered with Amazon to create MotoGP Unlimited, a documentary-style series on the racers and teams. Unfortunately, it didn’t generate the same interest as Drive to Survive, and Amazon canceled it after one season.
Wanting to put a fresh spin on the series after a couple of down years due to the pandemic, MotoGP conducted a fan survey to find out what fans wanted. The fans said they wanted more racing, so MotoGP added sprint races to race weekends this year.
The sprint races will be on Saturday after the qualifying sessions. The starting grid is set based on the qualifying sessions at the beginning of the weekend. Since the race is only half the length of the Sunday Grand Prix, riders will get half the points of a regular Grand Prix race. This new format, popular in other motorsports, should add more drama and excitement to MotoGP race weekends.
A Loaded Field in 2023
The 2022 MotoGP season gave fans a dramatic ending. Champion Francesco (Pecco) Bagnaia made up a deficit of 91 points from the midseason point to win the season title spectacularly in Valencia. He is the first Italian rider to win the points title since the legendary Valentino Rossi in 2009.
This year’s field of riders may be one of the most talented ever. Eleven former World Champions are starting, including eight-time champion Marc Marquez. Marquez is attempting to reclaim his spot on top after an injury-plagued 2022. 2021 champion Fabio Quartararo will also be eager to prove that he can finish a season as champion after blowing a big lead to Bagnaia over the second half of the season.
On the constructor side of things, Ducati’s dominance should continue, based on the prevalence of Ducatis in the field. Last year, they were responsible for one-third of the bikes in the starting grid.
For this weekend’s race in Portugal, look for Bagnaia and Quartararo to run well and pick up where their duel left off last season. Those two riders will both want to prove themselves for different reasons after 2022’s season finale, and they’ll look to start the season off strong this weekend.
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