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“Fabio Quartararo has everything to become the ambassador of motorcycling in the world”

After two years without spectators or in reduced gauge, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 100,000 spectators are expected on Sunday May 15 at the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans for the Grand Prix de France, the only French stage of the world championship of MotoGP.

This affluence confirms the growing attraction for the premier category of speed motorcycling, fueled in part by the“Fabio Quartararo effect”the reigning French world champion pilot, who has also been shown by television audience records for more than a year. Carmelo EzpeletaCEO since 1991 of Dorna Sports, the promoter of MotoGP, explains the ingredients of this success and analyzes the situation of the speed motorbike industry in France.

Read also With Formula 1 and MotoGP, motorsports are attracting an increasingly large audience

Since the start of the season, there have been five different winners in six races, each of the six manufacturers having been on the podium at least once. Never has a championship been so undecided. How to explain it?

With manufacturers, teams, riders and the International Motorcycling Federation, we have all grown together. We have made choices that have helped make MotoGP a television show that is very successful around the world.

In 2012, we set up a system allowing private teams to compete with the chassis of their choice and standard (or derived) 1,000cc engines.3, which enabled them to lower their costs. This period lasted four years. Today the teams “satellites” can buy high-performance engines from the manufacturers at capped prices, and compete with the factory teams, even if they do not benefit from the latest technical developments.

The other major development was the adoption, from 2014, of “concessions”. Honda and Yamaha, which dominated the championship at the time, agreed to a system allowing the less competitive manufacturers, in particular those who are starting out, to benefit. For example, the teams that benefit from it have the right to use nine engines per driver and per season, instead of seven, and they are free to develop their bikes during the championship. They are also allowed to introduce more than one aerodynamic update during the season.

Ducati benefited first, then Suzuki and Aprilia from 2015, then KTM in 2017. Due to the good performance of its rider Aleix Espargaro [l’Espagnol est deuxième au classement mondial derrière le Français Fabio Quartararo], Aprilia lost these advantages at the beginning of May, and no team currently benefits from them.

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