MotoGP riders

When will MotoGP have a British rider again?

The Monster Energy British Grand Prix took place on 6th August 2023, with an exciting conclusion.

Spanish rider, Aleix Espargaro, overtook the reigning MotoGP World Champion, Francesco Bagnaia, on the penultimate corner at Silverstone, helping both himself and Aprilia Racing to their first wins of the season.

However, once again, the event saw no British participation. So when will MotoGP have another British rider in its ranks and who is currently in contention?

Absence of British riders

It is unlikely that many of those with MotoGP tickets to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone will have felt short-changed in any way.

The crowd, which was noticeably larger than in 2022, was treated to a race that went right down to the wire, helping to showcase why MotoGP race weekends remain some of the best value in live motorsport.

Increasing attendance figures during a cost of living crisis in the UK is no easy task.

However, as senior figures at Silverstone continue to explore ways to attract even more spectators in 2024 and beyond, one of the ways they could be given a boost is through the emergence of a British rider.

This would be especially beneficial at a time when MotoGP is behind the paywall of TNT Sports, limiting its television exposure to more casual racing fans.

Britain has been without full-time representation on the MotoGP circuit since Cal Crutchlow retired in 2020.

While Crutchlow later returned as a stand-in during 2021 and 2022, he has expressed disappointment at the lack of Brits ready to step up and compete at the highest level of Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

British MotoGP prospects

The absence of British full-time riders may never have happened, as veteran Bradley Smith stood in for Aprilia Racing in 2020, after Andrea Iannone was banned for doping.

Many expected him to remain in place, but he was replaced by Lorenzo Savadori. Fortunately, there are signs that another British MotoGP racer could fill the void.

According to a report from Crash, British rider Jake Dixon has been speaking to MotoGP teams since July and rumours have been swirling that he could soon find himself riding for Gresini Racing.

The Moto2 rider boosted his chances of making that step up back in June, winning the Moto2 Dutch Grand Prix at the Assen circuit.

Certainly, at present, Dixon looks to be Britain’s best prospect of finding a seat on the MotoGP starting grid.

With Formula One enjoying another excellent season in 2023, with British representation from not only Sir Lewis Hamilton, but also Lando Norris and George Russell, it would be great to see British involvement in MotoGP again soon.

Final thoughts

Whether the 2024 MotoGP line-up includes a British rider remains to be seen, but it does feel like Jake Dixon is ready for the opportunity and the whispers emerging from the sport seem promising for the 27-year-old.

The presence of a British rider in a competitive team, like Gresini Racing, would surely generate even bigger crowds at Silverstone in 2024.

Either way, fortunately, MotoGP can always be relied upon to provide compelling racing action and drama.

Featured image credit: Adrian Saxton via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY 3.0 licence

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