TOAD TALKS: Could MotoGP and WSBK combine when racing resumes?

With the news that Dorna is making racing in any form in 2020 a ‘top priority’, Visordown looks at one possible way it could go

TOAD TALKS: Could MotoGP and WSBK combine when racing resumes?

DORNA Sports, the commercial rights holder for both the MotoGP and World Superbike championships, has today confirmed that they will do everything they can to get top-level motorcycle racing back on the agenda in 2020.

Both series, along with pretty much every other major sporting series on the planet, have been hit hard by cancellations, postponements and schedule changes to try and support local governments with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

But with nobody truly in the know as to where or indeed when travel and social gathering restrictions will lift, it’s impossible to accurately assume when racing could once again begin.

One method that could ease the pain of both MotoGP and World Superbike fans is the notion of the two championships running on the same billing in what could be a shortened championship for both series.

As with anything, pros and cons to the scenario, although with Dorna confirming in a statement that ‘The priority of all parties involved is to race, safely, and bring our fans more of what they love: motorcycle racing.’, it kind of feels like Dorna may have to take a gloves-off approach to getting bikes on track in 2020.

The idea could, in theory work, albeit running to a very complex and busy schedule. World Superbike would always be the series playing second fiddle to the more glamorous and high-value MotoGP championships. It’d probably even sit below the Moto3 in the pecking order of importance – in Dorna’s eyes anyway.

One theory is that the weekend could be extended, beginning a day earlier to allow the World Superbike teams and riders a chance to practice and get qualifying out the way. The lower-ranked series running it’s normal program would probably have to go out the window, although two shorter sprint races running after Moto3 could, in theory, be doable.

Obviously the teams, riders and organisers would have to jump through masses of legal loopholes, and some contracts with media partners that would need to be amended or even torn up. But if Dorna were to see it as the only way to get it’s product into the homes of the millions of fans that tune in each week to watch – those sponsors would probably have to except an ‘it’s our way or the highway’ type of approach.