5. Dorna Controls MotoGP and WSBK
The rivalry between the production-based World Superbike Championship and the prototype-based MotoGP Championship came to a head this year as both series were placed under the stewardship of Dorna Sports.
Dorna, the longtime promoter of MotoGP, and former WSBK promoter Infront Motorsports are both owned by an even larger conglomeration called Bridgepoint which acquired Infront in 2011. Motorcycle racing was seen as just a small portion of the deal, as the acquisition also gave Bridgepoint control over FIFA soccer coverage including the World Cup. Motorcycles were left more or less alone until this October.
That was when Bridgepoint decided to put Dorna in charge of WSBK while shifting Infront into a marketing partner and global adviser for both series.
“Under the new structure, the two leading motorcycle road racing events are now set for sustainable further growth and development,” says Philippe Blatter, president and chief executive officer of Infront Sports & Media. “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.”
It’s too soon to tell where this new world (championship) order will lead us, but the most immediate changes will be in the regulations for both series. By operating both series, Dorna can create the rules in coordination to better separate the two.