Being Managing Director at Dorna Sports, Pau Serracanta is responsible for MotoGP’s commercial affairs. And since the series have been celebrated for many different things in the past years, we decided to ask Pau a few relevant questions.
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How is MotoGP doing today, business-wise?
Thankfully, it’s doing great. All our areas (events, media and commercial) are growing and we are achieving stunning numbers so far. A lot of things have changed since I first started working at Dorna in 1999: we have more events than before (now 18 GPs), the media coverage has expanded due to broadcasters that deliver GP content from Thursday until race day and social media, which is an important tool for fan engagement. From a sponsorship perspective, we do not have the tobacco companies as heavily involved as before, but we have diversified the sponsorship program with blue-chip companies from different sectors. It helped that before the start of the season we sold all 18-title sponsors for the GPs.
MotoGP has been deservedly praised for exciting racing and the great organisation recently. Simply put, what’s your secret?
It’s very simple actually – when you put your passion into what you do, when you tailor your objectives around it and the particular sport is the most important thing for your entire team, you achieve great results. I am very lucky to state that all of us working at Dorna are 100% passionate about what we do and we’re absolutely sure who we do it for.
I think it’s very important to thoroughly explain the global heritage of Formula 1 to American racing fans.
How do you find Formula 1 as a sport?
We have no doubt that in the world of motorsport Formula 1 is at the top. They have the car industry heavily involved and that makes the series very powerful. We also have the motorcycle industry involved with us, and I believe our existing race format of 45 minutes makes the racing part a bit more dynamic.
Formula 1 is still looking for its place in the US. What would your advice be to the USA promoters of the sport?
I think it’s very important to thoroughly explain the global heritage of Formula 1 to American racing fans – I’m sure they’ll love this great story involving legendary drivers and iconic teams.
Losing riders like Luis Salom and F1 drivers like Jules Bianchi is always hard on the fans and other professionals of the sport. Do you believe there will come a time where the risk will be shrunk to the absolute minimum?
Losing heroes like those are tremendously sad to accept. We work a lot with the riders, the circuit owners, the manufacturers and motorcycle gear companies to improve race safety as much as possible. We have achieved great improvements, such as the overall airbags in the leathers but there is still room to improve. We will continue working to reduce the risk of our sport as much as possible, but there will always be the element of danger in this kind of racing.
Formula E was a completely new step in motorsport. Do you think Formula 1 or MotoGP should make any drastic changes in the near future?
We have already had some pretty big changes recently when we moved from the 2-stroke engine to the 4-stroke ones. Our bikes are prototypes and we constantly keep developing the technology. I do not see any drastic changes in the near future. However, we must always listen to what the industry is saying – when there is a general feeling inside the industry that it is time to change, we will analyse and implement the best solution.