Thanks to the global COVID-19 lockdown, MotoGP’s had to cancel and re-schedule a bunch of races. Dorna’s keen to keep the fans engaged, though, and as such, has scheduled the first-ever virtual race for the series.
Here’s what’s happening: Dorna’s scheduled a face-off between a bunch of the series racers, using the MotoGP 19 videogame to battle it out at Mugello, and the whole thing will be broadcast on the MotoGP website as well as some TV channels.
Seven MotoGP riders are participating, including Fabio Quartararo, Marc Marquez and Maverick Vinales—but not Valentino Rossi, possibly because he is turning into a grumpy old man in isolation, or possibly because he would prefer to ride real motorcycles at his ranch, resting between flat track practice sessions on a mattress stuffed with money.
More details on the virtual event below:
MotoGP™ Virtual Race: everything you need to know!
The full lowdown on the upcoming event, set to be broadcast on Sunday
As announced on Tuesday, this weekend will see a MotoGP™ first: a Virtual Race. A star-studded line-up headed by the likes of Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) and Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) will get back on track, this time virtually, in a special event played on the official MotoGP™19 Videogame from videogame developer, publisher and longstanding partner Milestone.
The competitors will be taking on the stunning digital rendering of the Autodromo del Mugello and the race length is SIX laps. Before the race begins, a five-minute qualifying session in time-attack mode will decide grid positions.
The event will be broadcast in full on Sunday the 29th of March at 15:00 (GMT+2), with qualifying shown before the race. Fans can watch on motogp.com and esport.motogp.com, on selected TV broadcasters, and across social media platforms including YouTube (via the MotoGP and MotoGP eSport channels), MotoGP eSport Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (via both the MotoGP and MotoGP eSport pages).
Broadcasters will include SKY Italy, Canal+ in France, DAZN in Spain and DACHS, BT Sport in the UK, Servus in Austria and Germany, Eurosport in the Netherlands, OTE in Greece, SwissTV in Switzerland, Viasat in Sweden, Pop in Slovenia, SportTV in Portugal, Sport5 Israel, Sportklub in Serbia, MTV Finland, NBC in the USA and ESPN in Latin America, amongst others.
The riders will each be playing via a private “Race Direction” lobby, set up to invite each rider to the event – and send them the bike settings.
Repsol Honda Team: Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP*: Maverick Viñales
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Aleix Espargaro
Team Suzuki Ecstar: Alex Rins, Joan Mir
Petronas Yamaha SRT: Fabio Quartararo
Red Bull KTM Tech 3: Iker Lecuona, Miguel Oliveira
Pramac Racing: Francesco Bagnaia
Make sure to stay tuned across social media platforms as the riders get ready to race and the countdown begins, with plenty in play on Sunday – not least a little pride, and the first win of the season so far!