The 2020s have been a wild time for MotoGP. While the global pandemic of course affected everyone, live events particularly took a beating. As different regions opened up and people began to gather in large numbers again, the crowds have returned. Take MotoGP races in 2022, which welcomed a total of 2,427,928 spectators over the course of the season (minus COTA, for which numbers are not available). 

In 2022, the top five MotoGP race weekends with the highest attendance were as follows: 

  1. Sachsenring (Germany), with 232,202 total attendees all weekend 
  2. Le Mans (France), with 225,000 total attendees all weekend 
  3. Termas de Rio Hondo (Argentina), with 186,759 attendees all weekend 
  4. Chang (Thailand), with 178,463 attendees all weekend 
  5. Valencia (Spain), with 170,380 attendees all weekend 

All in all, only six MotoGP weekends for which there is official data (in other words, not including COTA) saw total weekend attendance numbers under 100,000. The 2022 MotoGP weekends with lowest recorded attendance were: 

  1. Qatar, with 17,972 attendees all weekend 
  2. Motegi (Japan), with 57,482 attendees all weekend 
  3. Mugello (Italy), with 74,078 attendees all weekend 
  4. Portimao (Portugal), with 75,900 attendees all weekend 
  5. Aragon (Spain), with 86,803 attendees all weekend 
  6. Phillip Island (Australia), with 91,158 attendees all weekend 

For the most part, even the numbers at the low end still show decent signs of recovery over the past couple of years. Phillip Island, for example, hasn’t seen in-person race attendance numbers this good since 2012. As places opened back up, many people were extremely eager to get back out and start enjoying their favorite things (and people) in person, and spectating at MotoGP events was no exception. 

While we don’t have MotoGP numbers for COTA in 2022, in October of this year, COTA chairman and co-founder Bobby Epstein floated the idea of adding motorcycle racing to the U.S. Formula One GP in the future. Although he said it didn’t have to be MotoGP, and that it could be another motorcycle series, a lot of other media outlets seemed to fixate on the idea of an F1/MotoGP race weekend in the States.  

It’s difficult to see that idea materializing, for a number of reasons that are outside the scope of this piece. However, since US F1 GP attendance numbers clocked in at 440,000 for the 2022 race weekend, that would certainly be one way to get a lot more live and in-person eyes on the MotoGP paddock. 

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