MotoGP And World Superbike To Be “Brought Together”

10/02/2012 @ 11:26 am, by David Emmett26 COMMENTS

MotoGP And World Superbike To Be Brought Together Friday Misano San Marino GP MotoGP Scott Jones08

Bridgepoint has announced today that it has brought MotoGP and World Superbike, the two motorcycle racing series it owns, under a single umbrella organization. The reorganization will see Dorna Sports become the parent organization for both series, though Infront will operate as an independent entity and continue to organize World Superbike under its own banner. Infront has also been named as “marketing advisor and global advisor” for both MotoGP and WSBK.

The implications of this announcement are huge, but not immediately clear. The logic behind the move is impeccable: the two series are spending too much of their time competing against each other instead of working together to promote the sport of motorcycle racing. By combining their marketing efforts, the hope is that both series will be made stronger.

The move is also not unexpected from Bridgepoint’s perspective. The venture capital firm purchased Dorna in 2006 when the MotoGP series was at the height of its popularity. It made a conscious decision to buy MotoGP. World Superbikes, on the other hand, came as part of the package when Bridgepoint took over Infront Sports and Media, the parent organization of Infront Motor Sports. Bridgepoint wanted Infront Sports and Media because of its strength in much larger sports markets such as soccer and winter sports. Ending up with the two world championship motorcycle racing series was never part of the plan.

Over the coming days, we shall be examining the full implications of this huge announcement. For the moment, we have published below the official press release from Dorna, InFront and Bridgepoint, along with the reaction from the FIM:

Joint Press Release from Dorna and Infront Motor Sports:

Bridgepoint brings together MotoGP™ and World Superbikes

Infront Sports & Media to act as marketing partner and global advisor for both championships

Bridgepoint has announced that Dorna Sports and Infront Sports & Media have reached agreement to bring both their motorcycle racing interests under a single umbrella organisation. Dorna is the organiser of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix (“MotoGP™”), whilst Infront organises the eni FIM Superbike World Championship (“WorldSBK”) through its subsidiary Infront Motor Sports.

As a consequence, MotoGP and WorldSBK, will be integrated within the Dorna Sports group but managed as separate events with a view to enhancing the two distinct championships. The objective is to allow both series to develop and enhance their championship personalities, retaining their leadership positions in the arena of world motorcycle road racing – WorldSBK, with its focus on production-based racing, and MotoGP with its focus on prototype racing. At the same time, both championships will benefit from joint marketing and commercial strategies.

Alongside this re-organisation, Infront has been appointed as marketing partner and global advisor to both championships.

Philippe Blatter, President & CEO of Infront Sports & Media, said: “Under the new structure, the two leading motorcycle road racing events are now set for sustainable further growth and development. A true win-win situation has been created. Both Dorna and Infront can now further strengthen and focus on their core competencies and, in addition, achieve leading positions in their specific area of expertise.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, added: “We’re very excited to have the two top motorcycle road racing series under one roof. We fully expect to develop and strengthen the distinct nature of both MotoGP and WorldSBK as separate properties and remain committed to working with teams and manufacturers, circuit owners, sponsors and broadcasters to give fans the best experience yet.”

Commenting on the re-organisation, Bridgepoint said: “This is a logical and exciting development which should ensure that both these fantastic Championships continue to flourish.”

FIM Statemeent following the announcement by Bridgepoint

The Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) has taken due note of Bridgepoint’s announcement that it is reorganising its motor sport interests by bringing MotoGP and World Superbikes together under one umbrella organisation. The FIM President Vito Ippolito said of the reorganisation: “I welcome Bridgepoint’s decision to bring the two championships together within a single organisation. We shall shortly be holding a meeting of all the stakeholders in order to reposition the two championships annd look into the technical and operational implications. We shall then be able to adapt the regulationns to ensure that they have a distinct identity in future.”

Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. Keet says:

    this is a lose lose for everyone! i’m sure the ego’s will not let WSBK keep on being the better show, so it will surely be dumbed down. :(

  2. KFG says:

    Awful! So the most boring show on earth (MotoGP) is now going to drag WSBK down with it… good times! They should sell exclusive world wide TV rights to SpeedTV for the trifecta…

  3. Skuzzy says:

    Well, i think you are over reacting. It does not say, MOTO-GP bought WSB, it says Bridgepoint bought them both. If Moto GP purchased WSB, then i can see exactly where your thoughts are coming from, but that is not the case. Rethink it

  4. Bob says:

    I really don’t think Dorna has some sort of agenda to reduce the SBK audience only to make MotoGP appear more popular. I think Dorna has noticed how well Infront operates and they want to have Infronts expert hands in MotoGP.
    WSB is Infront Motorsports baby. They are in business to make money (lots of it) but I’m sure they cannot see a future for WSB without themselves being at the helm of at least marketing and promotion. I don’t believe for a second that Infront would let Dorna push them around and ruin an amazing sporting organization that they have helped bring into the 21st century.
    But, then again, who knows? I mean, Infront Motorsports suggested replacing the two race system for one long race with pit stops. So, they’re not using their heads ALL the time.

  5. sburns2421 says:

    MotoGP is the marquee series. WSBK is for also-rans and never-was riders. I have zero doubt that the powers that be in MotoGP will be listened to more than those in WSBK.

    WSBK is a far better show that I enjoy watching more than MotoGP. The dual race format is great and every rider is “going for it”. At least in that series a decent bike and great rider can get results. It seems in MotoGP if you cannot get the latest parts you are mid-pack.

    The truth is MotoGP could learn a thing or two from WSBK about how to make racing exciting again. but I think the opposite will happen.

    The only positive I could possibly see is if having them both under the same umbrella motivates certain manufacturers to particpate in both series.

  6. TeeJay says:

    RIP WSBK

  7. Jake F. says:

    Much ado about nothing. Bridgepoint already had a controlling interest in MotoGP and WSBK well before this announcement. If the sky was going to fall on either series (as alluded to in the clever picture choice of this article) because of Bridgepoint’s involvement, it likely would have already happened.

  8. jamesy says:

    Man, thats a lot of damn tires for SOME manufacturer.
    A few things could happen to the rules:
    1, WSBK becomes more production based (closer to superstock spec- cheaper- with claiming provisions) so that there can be a clear difference (and Ducati can regain its edge!)
    2, MGP drops to 750CC turbo with super tight petrol rules
    3, World supersport remains and moto2 is gone
    4, Moto3 is sealed 250 twin ala moto2 with smaller motor and racing on Friday
    5, Several tracks will have 2 dates per year (the most popular, prosperous venues)

    Such a series would get my attention

  9. smiler says:

    Good that infront are now owners. Really hopeless decision to make Dorna or is it dorma or dormobile the operational controler of both.

    If they are smart they will drop CRT’s bring in some simpler items to motogp and make it strictly prototypes. The current CRT system is a farce and will never be successful. If they reduce the costs of real motogp bikes it might entice BMW and Aprilia to upgrade.

    As for WSB, think it is safe because of the costs and the format. Infront know where the money is there.

    Just poach Bernie from F1 to sort motogp.

  10. Mikeg81 says:

    “WSBK is for also-rans and never-was riders.”

    Yeah, Troy “Never-Was” Bayliss has a nice ring to it.

  11. jamesy says:

    Mikeg81; Right on point!!!
    And, actually Bayliss WON the only MotoGP race he was in. I forget who he filled in for at, was it Aragon, Spain? An incredible feat really. Funny peoples perception of things…

  12. Crashmanjay says:

    I hope that WSB offers a season internet package like MotoGP does. As an American who dropped cable in part because of the crap coverage by Speed the cost of the MotoGP package (99 UK Pounds at whatever that equated to in US $) has been well worth it and it saved me over $100 a month for cable. I’d pay the same for a WSB pass.

    As far as the ‘types’ of bikes being raced, I’m just a dude who rides and likes bikes but in my world WSB would be very production based for all teams in all aspects (engines, frames, suspension, tires and electronics) making riders matter more than factory vs ‘privateer/satellite’ teams and MotoGP would be the ‘here are the min/max displacement, weight, tires, ECU…. you decide everything else’ like Formula 1 but with as many cylinders, frames, suspensions, etc. as you see fit dropping cash on. And CRT would be gone. Ideally the big Japanese companies along with BMW, KTM, Aprilia and Ducati would be in the show with 2-3 riders each max. and no satellite teams. That’s 8 teams with 16-24 riders on pure prototypes. Get it more like Stoner says it should be where the riders combined with the ingenuity of the bike make winners and losers. WSB should be the bikes that create the ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ effect.

    But like I said, I’m just a guy who rides and likes bikes.

  13. jamesy says:

    Back to the point of combining series; I dont see much choice for them other than to run them both as 1 series, if not immediately then in due course. It will be all about the economics in the brave new world of worldwide recession that is on our horizon (laugh clown, laugh. I WISH it were not so). In fact, they may do well to save racing AT ALL.
    Mark ye; it will be about the ability of ANY series to continue to command a gate at tracks and their ability to remain in business. The Series owners will have to act with that fact in mind.
    Now go ahead and make up your own scenario

  14. Halfie 30 says:

    They should trim the fat from both series. Run around 25 WSBK riders and 18 prototype and satellite riders in Moto GP. Both series would be primed for success again, and other series around the world would be more focused on getting top level talent out of regional racing like BSB, AMA, and others. Dorna’s obsession with full grids has ruined Moto GP, and frankly there are just too many also rounds in WSBK.

  15. Crashmanjay says:

    I also think both series need to look at another F1 thing (not saying F1 is almighty…. Ecclestone is a tool if ever there was one); they need to get out of Europe. South America and Asia need both WSB and MotoGP and WSBK to accept that they are part of the world and hold more races away from home. We don’t need 3 races here (GP if Indy stays and Austin happens), Spain doesn’t need 3 GP’s, etc. Brazil and Argentina rounds, India, and so on. I know WSB goes to different tracks but the reality of ‘motorcycling’ is these markets sell a LOT of bikes and that is why racing exists, to move product. TV revenue deals like the NFL, etc. cut are the real money makers, not gate receipts.

  16. All I want from this is a subscription to WSBK races on the web as I have with the 720p feed at motogp.com. As it stands now, WSBK is not featured at all (that I can find) here in Japan on any channel period.

  17. Mikeg81 says:

    “And, actually Bayliss WON the only MotoGP race he was in. I forget who he filled in for at, was it Aragon, Spain? An incredible feat really. Funny peoples perception of things…”

    Valencia, 2006, in place of Gibernau. I can’t believe that someone can be so ignorant as to call a 3 time World Champion a “has-been/never-was”.

    MotoGP is junk. Out of all three formulae, only Moto3 is worth watching as the close racing has thankfully held over from the 125 days. All this spec tire/ecu/Moto2 engines/whatever needs to stop(and that includes the WSBK spec tire rule). End the ban on forced induction(the rule only exists because supercharged 500′s were faster than N.A. 500′s back in the ’30′s and ’40′s. Give turbo/super bikes a displacement handicap). Drop Moto2 to 500cc and allow direct injection two strokes in any class. The technology exists to make them ‘clean’, so if the manufacter can do it, fill your boots.

  18. sburn2421 says:

    I’ve watched WSBK since it’s inception, and if you think the uality of riders in the series were equal to GP you are are insane. Keep in mind I like WSBK more than GP and if I could only watch and follow one series, it would be WSBK.

    Bayliss rode the desmosedici or Ducati in 2003 & 2004, where he basically did nothing of note. Next year on a Camel Honda, again no real results to mention. Valencia 2006 is probably the most memorable GP I have ever seen, and yes Bayliss was the class of the field that day.

    Fogarty was not at Doohan’s level, and Carl knew this which is one reason he remained in WSBK.
    Scott Russell, Anthony Gobert, Doug Chandler, Troy Corser, Neil Hodgson, Akira Yanagawa, Nori Haga, Colin Edwards, Reuben Xaus, Shayne Byrne…all of these riders got a crack at GP greatness after winning races or championships in World Superbike. The number of GP wins among the list above? ZERO. At the GP level, they were the never-was crowd.

    IIRC only two riders have won a GP after being in WSBK: Troy Bayliss & Ben Spies. That’s it.

    Several riders have been successful n WSBK after a GP career (Chili, Biaggi, Melandri, & Checa to name four). Again at the GP-level, count those as the has-beens.

    Bone up on yuor history guys.

  19. jamesy says:

    @sburn2421:
    It is not your “history” that is at issue here. It is your seeming obsession with the denigration of an entire group of extremely talented/ gifted humans by tarring them as something negative because they didnt win a championship. IN YOUR FAVORITE SERIES.
    The absence of agreement with your pov = “insanity”???

    Bone up on your “nice” dude

  20. sburn2421 says:

    I missed one other rider who won a GP race after WSBK: Chris Vermuelen.

    WSBK is very entertaining, riders is either hopeful to move to GP (Johnny Rea today) or trying to show they are still world-class riders (Checa, Melandri, Biaggi, Hopkins, Aoyama). For most riders this is the highest level they are likely to reach aside from a possible MotoGP wild card (Haslam, Camier, Sykes et al). This is not necessarily a bad thing, winning races on a world level is still winning after all. You get the feeling watching MotoGP that some guys are trying to win, while others are just glad to be there.

    MotoGP talent is simply a notch above WSBK on the average. Moto2 feeds that series today instead of WSBK, and that will only continue in the future. In my observation WSBK isn’t seen as a “breeding ground” for successful GP riders. Spies was probably the last hopeful to transfer, but with a move to the Ducati junior team next year I can’t see how his MotoGP career hasn’t peaked. The guy looked like a man among boys in WSBK and if GP is not an attractive option in later years he will come back to that series. If any rider was going to become a championship contendor, it would have been him. Crutchlow has done well this year and retained his seat for 2013, one podium in a depleted field would not make him a successful GP rider.

    We have not seen a top level MotoGP rider try WSBK yet while at the top of their abilities, maybe Simoncelli for a one-off on the RSV4 where he was very compeititve. All riders who have moved were at the end of their careers in GP. Dovizioso had threatened to jump to WSBK before signing with Ducati, that would have been great to see, if nothing else to gauge how a near-alien in GP would do in WSBK on a full-time basis.

  21. Crashmanjay says:

    I wonder how much individual sponsor money plays into it. I assume that like F1 WSBK and MotoGP riders are expected to bring individual sponsor money to the team as part of the deal (which can lead to issues like when James Stewart was on a Monster bike while having some other crappy drink as his personal sponsor). Is the WSBK rider expected to seek out and deliver less cash than a GP rider? (CRT doesn’t count in any of this to me as it should go away).
    To have seen Rossi fail on the Ducks says a lot to me when I hear the ‘riders don’t matter as much as bikes at this level’ argument people sometimes make. Kind of like how Hayden went from a top tier GP rider to an also ran with the change from the 990′s, saying the new bikes didn’t fit his riding style. Was it the bike or was he unable to adjust like others did showing that his skillset was amazing, but only in a limited scenario? I don’t know and with the yearly rule changes Dorna imposes I don’t think I will. A full injury free season for the top guys would be nice but with the way crashing has become a accepted given that surely won’t happen. For that I blame the riders. Crashing should be the exception, not something that happens a few times per weekend and is OK because ‘we have good gear’.

  22. Mikeg81 says:

    I couldn’t give two s**ts about what Fogarty, Bayliss, Edwards, etc. did or didn’t do in MotoGarbage or 500′s.

    If a guy who is good enough to win multiple championships at arguably the top series in the freakin’ world, that is good enough for me.

  23. tonestar says:

    hey sburn2421, quick question- how many motogp or wsbk races have you won? thought so…

  24. irksome says:

    It’s simple, really.

    When MotoGP mandates a spec-electronics package in 2014, Honda won’t be able to skip out and take their factory support to WSBK because WSBK will also have a spec-electronics package.

  25. jamesy says:

    SPEC Electronics! easily containing code inaccessible to the team, but capable of tweaking parameters by signal- on the fly- and affect performance outcome; ah, the brave new world of “competition”. Think about it