Dorna to run MotoGP and World Superbikes

By Matthew Birt -

MotoGP

 03 October 2012 11:41

A major reshuffle of the organisation of MotoGP and World Superbikes will see Dorna manage both championships in the future.

Bridgepoint, the private equity firm that invested in Dorna in 2006 and World Superbike owners Infront Sports & Media last year, confirmed the re-organisation yesterday.

Dorna will now take full responsibility for MotoGP and World Superbikes, with Infront Motor Sports undertaking a new role of marketing partner and global advisor for both championships.

For years there has been debate about whether MotoGP and World Superbikes could happily co-exist in a shrinking sponsorship market.

Both have been seen to be in competition whereas the new structure it is hoped will strengthen both championships.

One immediate impact of the decision to make Dorna the parent company of MotoGP and World Superbikes will be to make WSB a cheaper and more production-based series like the current Superstock format where minimal performance tweaks are permitted.

A statement issued on behalf of Dorna yesterday read: "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.”