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MotoGP Austrian GP

MotoGP riders feel “insane” Austrian GP party should be copied by other tracks

Several MotoGP riders have commented that other race hosts need to copy the “insane” party atmosphere created by the Austrian Grand Prix’s organisers.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

The Red Bull Ring has been a mainstay on the MotoGP calendar since it returned to the schedule in 2016, hosting events every year since – including double-headers in 2020 and 2021 during COVID times – and has become a firm fan favourite.

It’s one of the better-attended events on the calendar, with a weekend total of 173,013 – including 93,519 on Sunday – turning up for the 2023 Austrian GP.

While the racing in the premier class proved to be lacklustre, the weekend itself featured numerous initiatives to boost the experience for fans – including live music and the traditional Red Bull air display.

This is in keeping with Dorna Sports’ new push to make weekends much more fan-friendly in 2023, with the Sunday rider parade, rider fan park and signing sessions all a part of this.

World champion Francesco Bagnaia, who did the double at the Red Bull Ring last weekend, says the model the Spielberg race organisers incorporate has to be implemented by other circuits.

“I think that you feel when we have more people seeing us, and it’s something incredible when you finish the race, you’ve done a good job and you look at the grandstand and there are so many people there, happy and cheering for all of us,” the Ducati rider said.

“It makes a difference. We can make the best show possible, but I think also the circuits have to improve on that because for the people [in Austria] it was a party.

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Marco Bezzecchi, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“The music was so high, the DJ [music was playing] around the circuit and for me, it was nice to see all evening, 7pm, 8pm, the music was still there.

“Looking at when we were doing the fan stage outside of the track, there was a big place with a lot of people having parties.

“This is great and I think it’s something all of the circuits have to improve.”

KTM’s Brad Binder added: “For me, I think it’s always amazing when the stands are full, and for us [KTM] when it’s in orange it’s even more special.

“But, I must say the organisers of this GP did an insane job. I think not just like the whole weekend, but for me when we were on the grid there were things going on, there was music everywhere, and the podium was one of the coolest ones I think I’ve ever seen.

“They made it super cool for everybody. Hats off to them and I think it’s a lesson to many other GPs.”

Several events on the calendar have similar impacts, most notably the Claude Michy-organised French GP at Le Mans – which broke attendance records in 2023, thanks largely to its affordable €98 weekend ticket giving fans grandstand access, camping, parking and free entry for under-16s.

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The German and Dutch GPs also continue to do well in drawing crowds, though others lag substantially behind.

The British GP at Silverstone – which took place just a fortnight prior to Austria - attracted 115,959 fans across three days, with a Sunday total of just 48,564.

This was a slight bump on 2022’s figures, with Silverstone pushing to create a more festival-style event for MotoGP fans, which this year included live music acts across the weekend.

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