In a rare and unprecedented move, the stars of MotoGP convened for a private, behind-closed-doors meeting just ahead of the Catalan Grand Prix. This clandestine gathering marked a unique opportunity for the riders to delve into some of the most pressing issues plaguing the championship.
The meeting, held on a Thursday night, saw the majority of MotoGP riders in attendance. Notably, they participated in this event alone, devoid of any managerial or entourage presence, highlighting the significance of this hush-hush gathering.
While the riders have remained tight-lipped about the specific topics discussed, a few have acknowledged the importance of such an assembly, emphasizing its value in uniting the current crop of MotoGP riders without the influence of team or series officials.
This gathering, an unprecedented occurrence in MotoGP, mirrors the informal yet semi-regular meetings held in other motorsport series like Formula 1. Sources in attendance revealed that the meeting aimed to foster unity among the riders, particularly concerning issues such as contracts, stewarding, and safety.
Pol Espargaro, speaking about the meeting, remarked, “It was good… this is not to go against anyone – just to… ensure that our differences between the riders do not go against us.” He further confirmed that the meeting sought to align the riders on various matters.
Fabio Di Giannantonio of Gresini Ducati echoed these sentiments, describing the gathering as “productive.” He emphasized the importance of riders coming together to strengthen their bond and address common concerns, an initiative born out of their WhatsApp group chat.
The WhatsApp group, though initially intended for professional discussions, soon took on a more casual tone with the exchange of memes. Di Giannantonio humorously noted, “It started like a super professional thing, and then it started with a lot of memes. But it’s OK. We are still young guys, so it’s normal!”
While there are no immediate plans to make such meetings a regular occurrence, the positive reception from those involved suggests its potential for future implementation. Aleix Espargaro, known for advocating safety in MotoGP, highlighted the necessity of bringing the group together, especially after incidents like the controversial Silverstone race.
Possible topics of discussion in the closed-door meeting included safety concerns, particularly regarding the upcoming race in India. Riders have expressed unease about the track’s readiness for MotoGP, with circuit homologation scheduled just one day before the event.
Another issue that has gained prominence in the paddock is riders’ contracts, with several racers in the junior classes facing mid-season dismissals.
In this clandestine gathering, MotoGP riders have forged stronger bonds and demonstrated their commitment to enhancing the championship’s future. While the specifics of their discussions remain confidential, the impact of this meeting on the sport could reverberate in the coming seasons. Communication, they say, is the foundation of progress, and this secret assembly might be just the beginning of positive change in MotoGP.