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Why F1's opener hosted the MotoGP launch season finale

by Simon Patterson
2 min read

Of all the places to see a MotoGP bike unveiled ahead of the start of the 2024 season, perhaps the most unlikely is front and centre on Bahrain International Circuit - a track MotoGP doesn't race on - ahead of Formula 1's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Yet that’s exactly where the Prima Pramac Racing team - MotoGP's reigning teams' champion, no less - headed to show off its 2024 Ducati Desmosedici GP bikes, marking the end of the MotoGP 'launch season'.

Bahrain GP, F1

And while immediate attention might be focused on the new black, red and purple livery - a striking departure from Pramac's previous colour scheme - there were also plenty asking another question: why was F1 giving up valuable time and space ahead of its own season-opening race to launch a team from a rival championship?

Well, firstly, this extends an already-existing partnership between the Pramac team and F1 that’s been ongoing for a few seasons - and first caught the eye with an F1 logo being carried on the Pramac-run Ducatis' seat unit a couple of years earlier.

Pramac Ducati F1 logo

In a move born out of a friendship between Pramac owner Paolo Campinoti and F1 boss Stefano Domenicali, the logo made its appearance on the satellite Ducatis shortly after Domenicali took over the reins of F1.

“Our two sports, MotoGP and F1, are the pinnacle of their class and bring excitement to our fans around the world," F1 said at the time.

"[Dorna Sports CEO] Carmelo [Ezpeleta], Stefano and Paolo are close friends and both want to do more together to showcase our amazing events and sporting excellence to ensure more fans become followers of both series.”

Secondly, The Race understands there are also links between Campinoti (who unusually serves as both team boss and owner of the title sponsor Pramac) and both the Bahrain circuit and state.

Paolo Campinoti, Pramac Ducati, MotoGP

As for what MotoGP and Pramac themselves get out of it - well, it allows them to cash in somewhat on a bigger stage for their presentation, in front of the assembled F1 media and other attendees and with a bit of glitz and glamour that’s perhaps occasionally missing from the world of bike racing.

It’s not by any stretch of the imagination going to change the world in terms of marketing, but it’s a little boost that’s going to help out the team - which is running 2023 runner-up Jorge Martin and 2020 runner-up Franco Morbidelli this year - ahead of the start of the MotoGP season next weekend at Lusail.

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