Twenty-two drivers are competing in the premier class, the majority of whom are Spaniards (10) and Italians (6). The France has two representatives - Johann Zarco and 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo - while Portugal, Japan, South Africa and Australia have one each.

QUESTION: The 2023 calendar has a record 21 races. Should we expect even more races in the future?

ANSWER: "Until 2026, we can expect there to be up to 22 depending on the agreement with the teams. It is not yet known if there will be 22 but it is possible that there will be fewer in the Iberian Peninsula and more in other countries. For the rest, nothing is decided."

Q: Along with Kazakhstan and India, two new Asian countries are on the calendar this year. How do you explain that MotoGP is doing so well on this continent?

A: "We are a world championship and if Europe is lucky enough to see most of the drivers come from home, it doesn't mean that we only have to race there. The place where the motorcycling industry is most developed is Asia. We should succeed in having the majority of Grands Prix contested in Europe, but there is no doubt that for a motorcycle world championship, as for the manufacturers, it is important that we go to a continent where the grandstands are full and where the TV audiences are very high.

Q: What changes would you like to see in MotoGP in the coming years?

A: "What is certain is that we will not have more teams, it would not be beneficial for the discipline. This season, they are already eleven for 22 drivers. We would like to have a little less. Twenty drivers would be ideal because depending on the money we have to redistribute and share, increasing the number of pilots is not part of our objectives. Above all, I would like to see more nationalities represented among the drivers. We also want to reduce our carbon footprint, which has been one of our main areas of work for several years."

Q: Precisely, the question of ecology is a major current issue in the discipline. How do you plan to make MotoGP a greener championship?

A: "We are already trying to group several distant races together so as not to make long trips for a single GP. The biggest impact remains air travel, but we are doing our best to reduce our carbon footprint. For example, we have concluded an agreement for freight that will allow us to consume less. Where we used to use four (Boeing) 747s, now we use three (Boeing) 777s that are more modern and consume less. The issue of ecology is one of our main concerns. 100% of the fuel used in 2027 will be sustainable, and 40% by 2024."

Q: The absence of women in motorcycle speed, a mixed discipline, is a subject that also comes up regularly on the table. Why aren't there more in the different championships?

A: "We have always wanted men and women to be able to compete in the same category, this has been seen in other disciplines. We are working on this to get more. In the future, we are thinking about creating a women's world championship, which could then allow some of them to compete with the men. At the moment, there are not many women in our championships (there is one in MotoE this season and one in Moto3, editor's note) because they are already not many in the lower categories.

Interview by Nicolas BLASQUEZ

© 2023 AFP