Ride And Survive: F1-owner Liberty Media Buys Over MotoGP

Jehan Adil DarukhanawalaApr 2, 2024

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The American firm buys an approximately 86% of Dorna, the parent company who will still own and run MotoGP

Adding yet another stellar motorsport discipline to its ranks, Liberty Media is now the new boss of MotoGP, and no it isn’t an April’s Fool’s Day Joke, although the timing could have been different. Liberty had already bought out Formula One and its controlling rights from Bernie Ecclestone in 2016 and now, it has added MotoGP as well, thus having the pinnacles of two- as well as four-wheel motorsport under one umbrella.

Liberty has done something similar to what it did when it went about buying F1. The American firm has bought over 86 percent of Dorna, the Spanish company who was the owner and promoter company of MotoGP, with the previous management now retaining 14 percent of the business. Liberty Media has made sure that Carmelo Ezpeleta will remain the CEO of Dorna, just as Bernie Ecclestone remained for a year. However, unlike Bernie and his eccentric ways, we don’t quite think that Ezpeleta would be relieved of his duties in the future.

Ezpeleta truly wants the sport to grow, especially in new markets where it hasn’t been yet. He was one of the main driving factors for the Bharat GP to take place in 2023 and he even lauded the UP Government for their support for future iterations to come. Liberty will definitely fuel this ambition and make the sport more accessible.

We have seen Formula One gain a whole lot of new fans, with the annual Netflix racing documentary series – Drive To Survive – to be given a lot of credit for it. Dorna tried a pilot programme series for MotoGP as well with Amazon Prime: MotoGP Unlimited. However, being region locked to just a handful of countries didn’t help grow its reach.

While the serious and ardent fans of the F1 have typically scoffed at the new DTS fans, we think bikers are a lot more inclusive and would only like to see the sport that we so well and truly love grow to new heights. And even if it means that we have to put up with over dramatised episodes of our favourite racers, that would be a small price to pay for us Indian fans to dream of an advert free race viewing experience.

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