MotoGP And World Superbike To Be “Brought Together”

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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.