Today it was announced that Bridgepoint, the private equity firm with holdings in both Dorna and Infront Sports, will take the MotoGP World Championship and the World Superbikes Championship under a single umbrella.
The move will see both the MotoGP and WSBK championships commercial rights held by the same company and could have far reaching implications on the future of both series.
In a statement confirming the news Bridgepoint announced their plans for both series in the future:
“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.”
The new commercial rights holder will have to balance the objectives of both series but both Dorna and Infront Sports are enthusiastic about the future. Philippe Blatter, the president of Infront Sports, has seen the World Superbike championship grow in recent years but was aware that to continue the growth of the sport required a change in the commercial structure for the series.
“Under the new structure, the two leading motorcycle road racing events are now set for sustainable further growth and development,” commented Blatter. “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.”
Blatter’s counter-part at Dorna, Carmelo Ezpeleta, was equally keen to stress the importance of their partnership:
“We’re very excited to have the two top motorcycle road racing series under one roof,” said the Dorna CEO. “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.”
Having spent much of the last two decades competing with one another it will be very interesting to see how Bridgepoint can balance the needs of the production based WSBK championship and the prototype aims of MotoGP.