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Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team, Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team
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Can anyone stop "changed" Bagnaia as Ducati tightens its grip on MotoGP?

As if a record 21 grands prix isn’t enough for this year’s MotoGP schedule, there will be 42 races… And reigning champions Francesco Bagnaia and Ducati are looking tough to topple

MotoGP’s new campaign begins at this weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix with the biggest format shake-up the series has undergone in decades as the sprint revolution comes to town. In a kneejerk bid to overturn the slide in television and trackside interest suffered by the series over the past couple of years, every round of the 2023 calendar (and there is a record 21 of those) will feature a sprint race run on Saturdays to half the distance of the following day’s grand prix.

Unlike Formula 1’s sprint races, which are essentially a final stage of qualifying, MotoGP’s Saturday race will be independent of the grand prix and the grid for both will be decided via the usual time attack. How the sprint races will actually increase enthusiasm for MotoGP is uncertain at this point, but what is sure is that it will have a major impact on the destiny of this year’s world championship.

Previous article MotoGP sprint races: Everything you need to know
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