Race roundup: World Superbike, MotoGP news

Photo: MotoGP

As EICMA wraps up, we’re seeing news pop out about the world’s top racing series.

MotoGP to Amazon Prime

What, MotoGP is going to stream races live on Amazon Prime next season? Sadly, no. But we will see a new docu-series airing in 2022 that follows the 2021 season. Here’s how MotoGP described it:

Dorna Sports is delighted to announce a new Amazon Exclusive docuseries following the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship. Produced by THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, in collaboration with Dorna, the Prime Video series will premiere in 2022 and takes viewers behind the scenes of the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship, showing MotoGP™ as never seen before.

The new series will feature eight 50-minute episodes that follow some of the biggest names in the sport, including MotoGP™ Legend Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), newly crowned 2021 Champion Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), runner up Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo team), 2020 Champion Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team), as well as team managers and key figures within the paddock. The series will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in France, Italy and Spain, and in more than 150 countries and territories in 2022 including the UK and the USA.

With unprecedented access, the series will take viewers behind doors that, until now, have often been closed. From training sessions to team meetings and everything in between, the sporting and personal side of MotoGP™ will take viewers on a journey through the pinnacle of motorcycle racing, offering unique insight into the day-to-day workings of the teams and riders.

MotoGP absolutely loves these behind-the-scenes video productions, but will it promote roadracing?. Will this bring in new viewers to the series? Or is it one last cynical attempt to cash in on Valentino Rossi’s popularity? Hard to say, but for those of us who already enjoy MotoGP, it’s value-added for Amazon Prime customers.

North America Talent Cup begins in 2022

North American riders – we’re talking about racers from the US, let’s be honest – have been pretty much absent from MotoGP for years. Is the problem with organizer Dorna and the teams in the series, long accused of favouritism for Spanish riders? Or is it because all the proper gateway series to MotoGP are based in Europe?

Whatever the case, MotoAmerica is now working on the problem with Dorna, setting up the North America Talent Cup. In this series, young teenage riders will compete on Aprilia RS250 machinery, on race weekends across the US.

The new North America Talent Cup will partner with MotoAmerica and aims to provide riders across the continent with a vital link on the Road to MotoGP™, creating the stepping-stone between the FIM MiniGP North America Series and the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup or FIM Moto3™ Junior World Championship,” says Dorna’s write-up. “The sanctioning body will be the American Motorcyclist Association and FIM North America.”

Unfortunately, this means that if Canada’s best young riders want a straight shot to the MotoGP feeder chain, they’ll have to leave for the US to race. Really, this has already been going on for years, but this might make it more obvious.

MotoGP to run synthetic fuels

Electric racing has been a bit off a bust so far in MotoGP, but MotoGP needs to get on board with the rest of the world’s move away from fossil fuels. What to do? Easy: Dorna says it’s going to have machines in the premier MotoGP class running on 40 percent fuel from renewable sources, or on synthetic fuel. In 2027, the series will run completely on non-fossil fuels.

There are all sorts of sub-rules on what sort of non-fossil fuels can be used. No word yet on whether the trucks that haul MotoGP bikes from race to race, or the planes that fly teams everywhere, will also be required to run on non-fossil fuels at that point …

2022 World Superbike schedule released

We’ve got a schedule for next season’s World Superbike championship—sort of.

2022 World Superbike schedule

  • April 8-10, Aragon
  • April 22-24, Assen
  • May 20-22, Estoril (Portugal)
  • June 10-12, Misano
  • July 15-17, Donington Park
  • July 29-31, Most (Czech Republic)
  • September 9-11, Magny-Cours
  • September 23-25, Barcelona
  • October 7-9 ,Portimao (Portugal)
  • October 21-23, Villicum (Argentina)
  • November 11-13, Mandalika (Indonesia)
  • Unknown date, TBA, Australia Phillip Island
  • Unknown date, Unknown venue

Wait, so Phillip Island isn’t confirmed yet, and there’s another as-yet-unconfirmed track at an unconfirmed date? Looks like business as usual these days, as COVID continues to make international racing difficult.

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