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Liberty had “outpouring of interest” from OEMs after MotoGP takeover news

Liberty Media’s CEO Greg Maffei says the company had an “outpouring of interest” from numerous parties, including manufacturers, after announcing its buyout of MotoGP.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

In early April, Liberty Media announced it had acquired Dorna Sports and MotoGP in a €4.2 billion deal it expects to close come the end of the year.

The Formula 1 owner has yet to talk about plans it has to grow the exposure of MotoGP, though increasing the series’ presence in America has been touted as a key pillar of its takeover.

During an investors’ call this week, Liberty boss Maffei says interest in MotoGP from prospective partners – which includes manufacturers – has been significant.

MotoGP currently has five manufacturers on its grid, though in recent weeks BMW has expressed an interest in potentially becoming the sixth in the future.

The series’ recent 2027 regulations announcement is also being looked at as a potential gateway for new OEMs.

“So, on MotoGP, after the announcement, we had an outpouring of interest from both potential broadcast partners, OEMs, potential sites, all of which are very interesting,” Maffei said.

“Unfortunately, due to the nature of the regulatory process, we will be formulating those amongst ourselves and our plans.

“But we really can't reach out and do anything concrete with the MotoGP management team to avoid gun jumping until we have regulatory approval.

“So, we are conjuring plans. We have some really good ideas, I think, I hope, and we hope to get permission to execute on those sooner rather than later.”

Dani Pedrosa, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Dani Pedrosa, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: KTM Images

Liberty is confident it will gain regulatory approval for its MotoGP buyout, with the process “progressing” in the right direction according to Maffei.

He added: “I want to reiterate the attractive qualities of this asset: a global league level sport with incredible racing.

“For example, across the first four races, we've had 10 riders across seven teams reach the podium, and the average time to decide the race winner has been about a second.

“On Monday, the new technical regulations for the sport were announced for the 2027 timeframe.

“They expect even closer racing. And more overtaking utilising these new technical regs.

“Attendance at the races is performing very well. For example, the Portuguese GP at Portimao was up 41% versus the prior year and the Spanish GP at Jerez had the highest attendance since 2015.

“The sport is awesome, and Liberty has experience to help them hopefully grow the exposure across the world.

“A couple of deal updates here. We're also progressing on required regulatory filings.

“We have syndicated the financing commitments and hedged our foreign exchange exposure, and we still expect to close by year end.”

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