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‘F***ing themselves over’ – Miller on depleted Italian GP crowds

by Simon Patterson
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Red Bull KTM racer Jack Miller has called out the organisers of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix at Mugello after a visibly disappointing opening day crowd at the iconic Italian circuit.

This followed last year’s race where the reduced crowd was initially put down to a slump in sales following the retirement of fan favourite and Italian hero Valentino Rossi.

Only 40,000 people attended the race at Mugello last year, half of the previous year before the coronavirus pandemic and only 40% of the number who attended at the race’s peak Sunday crowd in 2016.

However, with ticket prices at the Tuscan venue also considerably higher than at other MotoGP races with sell-out crowds like the French race in Le Mans, it seems that that might be playing an even more substantial role in seeing small crowds, especially amidst the cost of living crisis that continues to persist in Europe.

With lower crowds than ever visible on the opening day of action at the track on Friday, the KTM racer delivered a typically Miller-esque rant to the media about the noticeable impact that the low attendance had made on the weekend so far.


“Yesterday afternoon [wife] Ruby and I went to walk the track and there was some d******d on a 50cc scooter with no exhaust on it!” he joked.

“There wasn’t a sound all around, it was so quiet and he went ‘BAAAAAAAHHHHHH’ at walking pace making the most immense sound, and he rode it all the way from one side to the other f***ing side! Well, then he decided to go back again at 3am this morning! Mugello with no noise, it was beautiful and I was asleep, then ‘BAAAAAAHHHHHH.’

“Don’t get me wrong though, that’s not what we’re here for. Le Mans was the perfect example: that weekend was mega. They’re putting the Italians to shame. I don’t know what it is because Ducati won the championship last year, Pecco [Bagnaia] won the championship, he’s [already] quite an iconic rider, and they’ve got a lot of Italians doing well.”

With weekend tickets at Le Mans starting well short of the €150 price that Mugello charges for general admission for the three days of the weekend, Miller is adamant that the circuit needs to understand that it can’t continue to rely on the attraction of Rossi and instead needs to look at new ways to draw fans in.

“Clearly they’re charging the people too much money,” he insisted. “I’m listening to people being charged 200 bucks for general admission, and that’s f***ing ridiculous. You can’t expect a normal person… In Le Mans they charge €90 for the whole weekend and that’s reasonable. They all turned up on Monday, they were all f***ing there, and that’s how it should be.

“In this day and age no one can afford that, even if you’re on a good wage. If you try and bring your average family, wife and three kids at €200 a pop, you’re dreaming. They’re f***ing themselves over, but they did it already last year and we all said the same thing.

“They try and make it all out of 6,000 people instead of getting 60,000 people here – who are all going to buy a lot more drinks and food.

“It makes no sense to me. I think they’ve had that high level of price from the Valentino Rossi era and people aren’t willing to pay that. I wouldn’t pay it.”

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