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F1 and MotoGP Merge Complex Yet Promising

F1 and MotoGP Merge: Complex Yet Promising

27/04/2024

F1 and MotoGP potentially sharing a weekend spotlights the strategic Liberty Media takeover.

Liberty Media has been walking a tightrope since acquiring MotoGP: to appease European anti-competitive authorities, the Americans have assured that there would be no synergy (or not too much…) between F1 and MotoGP.

However, it would make sense for Liberty Media to benefit from this acquisition—for example, by organizing a joint F1-Moto weekend. Both disciplines currently share circuits at Silverstone, Barcelona, Red Bull Ring, and Lusail in Qatar, as well as the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.

Would Bobby Epstein, the promoter of COTA in Texas, be very interested in hosting F1 and MotoGP on the same weekend? Perhaps to boost the popularity of two-wheel racing in the USA, where it remains modest?

For him, on paper, things seem more complex than anticipated…

“There are complications that go beyond what seems obvious to us.”

“The first ones that come to mind are the physical aspects, but from the perspective of sponsor activation… these sports bring different sponsors, different activations, and different manufacturers. From this point of view, we would be overwhelmed.”

“Moreover, numerous signage changes on the track would be required, and the media center would be a bit too crowded. But it’s possible. I don’t know if it’s probable.”

Yet, Epstein finds the prospect of crossing F1 and Moto on the same weekend very attractive. To shine a light on a discipline still snubbed by many Americans…

“We are very enthusiastic, probably more than anyone else. I think MotoGP has come to the United States and hasn’t really been given much attention, and once the race is over… it’s kind of the end (of Moto’s presence in the USA)—that’s all you hear for the next 51 weeks. So, it would be fantastic not to be the sole standard-bearer for MotoGP in the United States (with F1) and to support this series that we have been committed to for 12 years and in which we really believe.”

“It’s a fantastic competition that just needs to be discovered by more people. So, I hope we will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of this acquisition of the sport.”

“I don’t think they (Liberty Media) need to change the sport entirely, they just need to focus on bringing it a bit more into the limelight and giving it visibility.”

Like with F1, Liberty Media intends to develop MotoGP primarily in the United States.

Could there then be room for one or two additional races in the USA on the Moto calendar? For Epstein, who naturally has his own interests to consider, that is not yet the case!

“It simply depends on the number of fans. For now, there are enough fans for one race, and even that isn’t a sell-out. Fans love to come, but there aren’t enough people who know about this sport. This leads us directly to the next question: can you make more people in the United States aware of this sport? For now, there aren’t enough fans for more than one race.”

Epstein rather hopes that Liberty Media will grow MotoGP with its marketing and media clout…

“Whether it’s through a direct broadcasting deal or via television, the internet, or social media, whatever you do to promote something, I think they have the necessary channels. And I think they have the capability.”

“I don’t think they are just an investor in MotoGP, which would be very different for them. I think they have a media empire.”

F1 and MotoGP Merge Complex Yet Promising

F1 and MotoGP Merge: Complex Yet Promising. F1 and MotoGP Merge: Complex Yet Promising

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