Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

MotoGP can cash in on F1 collaboration, says former world champ

American corporation Liberty Media to own F1 and MotoGP by the end of the end of 2024.

Former Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve believes Liberty Media’s recently acquired majority stake in MotoGP is a lot more beneficial for motorcycling’s premier class than it is for F1.

The American corporation, owner of F1 since 2017, last month announced its planned acquisition of 86% of Dorna Sport, the owner of MotoGP and Superbike World Championship (WSBK), by the end of 2024.

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MotoGP will benefit

“I don’t see the point of it for F1. It might be good for motorbikes,” Villeneuve told Casino Online.

“MotoGP is pretty much Spain versus Italy in terms of riders with a few others thrown in. It is like a local championship which is not that appealing.

“They will make MotoGP a lot bigger than it is now and hopefully make it more international. There is a lot to be built and a lot of potential.”

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There has been lots of speculation around the possibility of Liberty Media hosting F1 and MotoGP events over the same weekend. While safety regulations will not allow four- and two-wheelers on the track at the same time, Villeneuve is keen to see whether both disciplines is possible over the same weekend.

Lots of potential

“I’m wondering if they will think about having the two together and hold races on the same weekend. There is obviously something in the pipeline,” the 1997 F1 world champion said.

“I’m not sure how that synergy will work. The two worlds are so different. Even if you look at the fans, the riders and the drivers are two extremes. I am not sure what their plan is.”

MotoGP lines up for the Catalunya Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, one of the tracks that could have the potential of hosting a double header. The 4.567km circuit has hosted F1 since 1991, MotoGP since 1996 and WSBK since 2020.

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Brad Binder looks to bounce back

Red Bull KTM rider Brad Binder will hope he has better luck at Catalunya this year after retiring from the main race last year.

After starting the season like a house of fire both two runners-up spots in Qatar, Binder has gone off the boil due to all sorts of issues. He has slipped back to seventh in the title race on 67 points behind Jorge Martin (129), Pecco Bagnaia (91), Marc Marquez (89), Enea Bastianini (89), Maverick Vinales (81) and Pedro Acosta (73).

The 12-lap sprint race starts at 3pm on Saturday and the 24-lap main race on 2pm on Sunday.

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