'We do not want to silence bikes' - FIM President Jorge Viegas

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In December 2022, Jorge Viegas was re-elected as the president of the FIM (Federation of International Motorcycling). Having made sweeping changes during his first four-year term to improve transparency of the sport’s governing body he also had to deal with the Covid pandemic and the devastating effects it had on the world.

Now in his second term, the Portuguese former racer has big plans and opinions on the racing world, from where it is now to what the future holds. MCN’s Sports Editor Michael Guy travelled to the FIM’s HQ in Geneva to meet racing’s big boss….

FIM President Jorge Viegas on a MotoGP grid with Carmelo Ezpeleta

MCN: What is the roll of the FIM?

JV: The FIM has three main pillars – the first of which is sport; we make the laws, we enforce the laws and we punish if necessary. This covers medical, technical and environmental issues and keeps almost 400 people busy – both professionals and expert volunteers.

The second is tourism and touring – there were 35 events in 2022, ranging from parades, historic events, tours of races, endurance touring, adventure touring. We also launched the FIM motorcycle card which gives rider benefits like insurance cover.

The third is mobility, and we have people working with the United Nations and Brussels in favour of the laws that affect motorcycling. Our team pay attention to what is happening in the legislation in terms of road safety by the bureaucrats in Brussels – it’s not just racing.

FIM President Jorge Viegas with Valentino Rossi

And how is the FIM funded?

The FIM is funded mainly by the promoters contracts. Dorna (MotoGP and WSB promoter) represents approximately 40%, with MotoGP, WSB, MotoE and JuniorGP. The second biggest contract is Warner Discovery with speedway. We have SX Global for supercross and InFront for motocross – these are the main four promoters we work with, but there are 50 more covering enduro, rally ice speedway, etc.

Another source is the licence for the riders. Now we have a world policy where every rider who has an FIM licence is insured – including cover for repatriation.

Each year we deliver subsidies to each individual federation for projects – last year we distributed around €4m. A major part of these subsidies goes to the weakest federations – mainly Africa, Asia and Latin America. We are trying to develop sport in these areas.

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