F1: Add MotoGP to the list of motorsports series losing fans to F1

–by Mark Cipolloni–

What do NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, WEC, Formula E and now MotoGP all have in common?

Read on to find out.

As we have written several times on these pages (example here), Formula 1’s immense popularity is sucking the lifeblood out of all other forms of motorsports. Like a black hole in space sucking everything in.

Not only are its TV ratings rising (70 million viewers per race globally), so is race attendance and the number and amount sponsors pay to be in the sport.

Its drivers are the highest paid in the world.

Where F1 is really sucking the lifeblood out of all other forms of motorsport is in the all important 18-49 year old age group, and woman.  Women now love F1.

Women who were completely clueless about Formula 1 are now eager about the series, the drama, the bromances, and they even know the names of the racers since the Netflix Series Drive to Survive debuted 5 years ago. It even shines a light on the reality that men can hold grudges, take out their anger, and still be extremely competitive – all while doing it with the sportsman spirit.

Men love to paint women as competitive, insecure mammals, who view every other female person as a potential adversary.  The Netflix producers turn the table and enable women to see men captured on camera as the catty ones for once. And oh my, does it make great entertainment.

F1 gets almost 50% of its viewers in the 18-49 year old category – which is used to set advertising rates, and it is the age group most companies want to sell to because of their buying power and their willingness to spend.

MotoGP is now also being hit by Formula 1

So popular for so long, MotoGP is facing a popularity crisis when it comes to the sport’s future.

  • TV viewing figures dropping dramatically
  • In-person attendance is plummeting
  • Mainstream media coverage is all but nonexistent
  • MotoGP failed to replicate F1’s success with Drive to Survive with its own Amazon Prime Video series

It comes at a time when longtime rival series Formula 1 is going from strength to strength.

“I think that we need a change,” said reigning world champion Pecco Bagnaia when asked about it by the media ahead of the opening race of the season.

“We need to demonstrate that we are a really high-level sport. It’s good to have some changes, and of course, at the start it’s scary but I think we are moving in a good way.”

“It’s difficult to say,” added Fabio Quartararo, “because I am a rider and not really looking at everything. But for sure we need a change because our sport to watch is one of the best.

“Of course we want to make it higher, and we need to make a big, big change.”

“I want to let the people know better our sport,”  Luca Marini told The Race during a podcast appearance last year. “That is one of my missions. Our sport is incredible, and it’s completely out of this world that MotoGP is going down in viewers. Why?

“In my opinion on track this is the best moment of the MotoGP era, and it’s impossible that people in all the world, all the countries, don’t understand this.

“It’s part of our job to try and make the people fall in love with the sport another time [again].”

Luca Marini testing at Sepang – February 2023


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