Fresh Optimism Emerges for Potential F1, MotoGP Crossover Race

Circuit of the Americas CEO Bobby Epstein has fuelled speculation over a future crossover race between F1 and MotoGP

Valentino Rossi, Lewis Hamilton

It was a topic of discussion this time last year, when MotoGP was most recently in the US for the Grand Prix of the Americas in Texas, and the prospect of a MotoGP race which is combined with an F1 event on the same weekend has re-emerged with fresh optimism ahead of the 2024 Americas GP.

The CEO of the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Bobby Epstein, initially touted the idea of a MotoGP-F1 crossover event at the 2022 F1 US Grand Prix, and in a recent interview with RacingNews365, Epstein has given the view that it is something that remains possible.

This is especially true because of the recent acquisition by Liberty Media, which owns the commercial rights to F1, of 86 per cent of Dorna Sports, which holds the commercial rights to MotoGP. Effectively, MotoGP and F1 are now owned by the same people.

However, although Epstein raises this as a point in favour of a possible MotoGP-F1 crossover event at COTA in the future, he also says that it is important to test the concept before putting the two biggest series’ in motorsports on the same track on the same weekend.

“For now, that is too early,” Epstein told RacingNews365, “and I am looking more at other motorcycle racing classes which could race in the supporting program of Formula 1.”

At this weekend’s MotoGP race, the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers series will contest races as a support class to the Grand Prix categories, and perhaps this is the kind of series Epstein is looking for to act as a support class to F1, which only featured itself and the women-only F1 Academy at its 2023 US GP.

In the case of an F1-MotoGP crossover, though, Epstein alludes to that all of the lower categories of both MotoGP and F1 would be put aside and only the top class of each would race. The crossover “can certainly happen if you put the other support classes aside,” Epstein said, meaning that any event with both MotoGP and F1 would not feature Moto2 and Moto3, for example.

This wouldn’t be something alien for MotoGP, which only featured the top MotoGP class when it ran its US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca between 2005 and 2013, with no 125cc or 250cc - or later Moto3 and Moto2 - races. 

Epstein also said that the race could happen in rotation with the other large venues featured on the calendar of both championships: Silverstone, for example. Like COTA, Silverstone features two paddocks, and there would even be scope for MotoGP to move back (again) to the old start-finish straight while F1 uses the ‘new’ Wing complex and the international pit straight.

Logistical issues still remain, including with marshalling (there are different demands for car racing marshalling and motorcycle racing marshalling) and with collaboration on the event between the sanctioning body of each respective series (FIA for F1 and FIM for MotoGP).

With the event not happening this year, and with COTA wanting to trial the concept with other motorcycle racing series’ first, it seems unlikely at the moment that we will get a crossover race between MotoGP and F1 before 2026, but the appetite, at least from COTA’s side, is still clearly there, even if it still seems hard to avoid the framing of the prospective event as MotoGP turning up as a support category for F1.

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