Talking Point: Points in MXGP qualifying races

Jonathan McCready: You get the feeling that the riders who complained that the qualifying race was pointless have ironically had that issue resolved in a very different way than they intended!

The introduction of points was tried a couple of years ago, but rider opposition thwarted that plan before it started. This year, however, it’s happening, and with 10 points for a win down to 1 point for tenth, it could be crucial to world championship aspirations, a rider certainly won’t be able to say the race has no meaning anymore, it couldd prove absolutely crucial for the world championship contenders.

From a rider’s point of view you can understand the reservation and extra risk factors but, for the public, a more intense sprint race for points especially amongst the title contenders definitely adds more entertainment for the fans on a Saturday.

Riders no longer have the opportunity to ease their way in. After free practice, every session matters and it will bring extra intrigue to a Saturday on an MXGP race weekend. The points paying moto’s adds extra spice to a long, grueling championship. Every point counts across the weekend and now every race matters.

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For me, it’s a big step forward and with F1, MotoGP and WSB all now having sprint races, it shows that MXGP have been ahead of the curve on that regard. Points for qualifying was needed and it should complete what is a great weekend product for the fans at home and at the event.

Andy McKinstry: I personally think introducing points for the qualifying races is a good move. I’ve actually thought for a while it would be much better because the riders don’t like the extra race because they see it as an extra risk. Rather than scraping the qualifying race they’ve decided to add points which I think is the right move. Personally when I go to MXGP of any event for that matter I go for the racing so the more there is the better.

Whilst I acknowledge riders see it as an extra risk I would still rather the race stays, personally. It adds to an already exciting Saturday with all the EMX action and then if a rider you might not expect impresses on Saturday you are left pondering over night if they can replicate their performance the next day.

I was a bit worried in case the points earned in qualifying would count towards the Grand Prix but it was a good move that these points only count towards the championship and not the overall GP in which Sunday’s races will only count so there’s no change in that regard.

We will have to see how the change is viewed by the riders but we don’t have long to wait as the first MXGP sprint races will take place this Saturday in Argentina and I can’t wait for the action to kick off.

Podcast: Jonathan McCready and Andy McKinstry look ahead to the 2023 MXGP series – does Herlings win his sixth world title after a year off?

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Image: InFront Moto Racing