Why I'll be watching Moto GP for the first time in 2019

Although I'll never like bikes as much as cars, last night has convinced me to put at least some effort in with the two-wheel world

If you're into motorsport; normally you're either a car person or a bike person.

Don't get me wrong - you can appreciate both - but 99 per cent of people at least have a preference. For me, cars are infinitely better than bikes. Every day of the week.

I was adamant I wouldn't be swayed on this opinion, but last night I had the pleasure of being part of the live audience for BT Sport's annual end-of-season Moto GP review.

While it didn't change my ignorant opinion, it did serve as a timely reminder to stop neglecting bikes purely because they don't possess the correct amount of wheels.

As much as I enjoyed it, I couldn't help but feel I stuck out like a sore thumb.

No, not because I'm the lankiest human to ever exist and was stood next to the 5'2" bloke next to me, but because of my astounding lack of knowledge compared to everyone else in the room.

But it wasn't just the guilt I felt for not 'deserving' a spot in the crowd that has convinced me to finally get around to watching two-wheeled action next year; it's because I genuinely felt that I've been missing out.

Getting up close and personal to the bikes after the show, welcoming multiple world champion Jorge Lorenzo to the stage as he limped past, and reliving the season highlights certainly made an impression on me.

The 2018 Ducati looking more like a spaceship than a bike

The 2018 Ducati looking more like a spaceship than a bike

Before this, my only real experience with spectating bikes has been at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but even then that was only because they were in the same batch as the F1 cars.

I wasn't completely oblivious to Moto GP - I don't live under a rock - but this season I had become slightly more aware thanks to certain videos going viral.

The obvious one is Romano Fenati's unbelievable behaviour at Misano where he grabbed a competitor's brake, which quite frankly you have to see to believe.

My personal favourite, though, was the bike surfing in the rain at the Red Bull Ring, because that slow-mo shot is just marvellous.

When I got home from the recording, I watched some clips back from the 2018 season, and through the magic of YouTube recommendations quickly found myself watching Moto3 races where riders went seven-wide for the lead on the final lap. Incredible scenes.

As much as I enjoyed these, I found myself left slightly frustrated at the fact I'd neglected what I'd regarded as 'the dark side' of motorsport for so long, and I was unsurprised at the fact that it has such a mass appeal.

Triumph's Moto2 bike was also pretty special up close

Triumph's Moto2 bike was also pretty special up close

So, from now on I vow not to completely ignore the world of bike racing purely on the basis that they're not racing cars.

Now let's see if I stick to it.

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Comments (11)

  • It may be with auto racing it's easy to focus on the car first, the driver second. You really don't see the driver or get a sense of the intense work the driver is doing.

    Motorcycle racing is a lot more visceral. You see everything but the thought processes. Every action and reaction is visible. The lean angles seem impossible. Every jump and landing with a wiggle catches your breath. Riders hanging off and skimming the road with their knee seems like the height of madness. Yet, it can all seem incredibly graceful. So much power, so many variables, so little contact patch from the tires to the road surface.

    Look at the riders and wonder "how can someone that small do that?" It's incredibly physical. You have to be strong, flexible, and durable, like a gymnast.

    Yes, I ride. At one time I considered doing a bit of racing. I've set up a few motorcycles to suit my preference for mountain roads. So I know from "inside the helmet", from the "feel", that's there's a lot more going on than hanging on.

      2 years ago
    • Definitely agree that there's an appeal to seeing all the inputs and reactions of a rider. I'm sure if I actually rode a motorbike my appreciation for what they're doing would increase tenfold.

        2 years ago
    • Riding is an interesting skill set to acquire. It's all involving, challenging, yet relaxing. Racing, moreso.

      It's a bit like driving an old sports car. You know it's little more than an engine and chassis covered with metal. It's a...

      Read more
        2 years ago
  • I'm with you 100%! My biggest grumble about this year is going to my first MotoGP race and having it cancelled because of the rain :( drivetribe.com/p/the-british-motogp-was-a-washout-JCTaxb5YSoCnF4Q4HeMKZg?iid=Fy8Tf3-CTcSkTv-4JI2UiQ

      2 years ago
    • That's just typical. Looked like quite a view from that grandstand for warm-up though!

        2 years ago
  • I was originally an F1 fan and would completely ignore Moto GP. Over the past few years however I can count the number of Moto GP races that I haven't seen live on one hand. The racing is far closer than F1 and, given the fact that even the best riders crash, the championship is often turned on its head multiple times throughout a season. Next year, assuming that Yamaha manage to give Rossi and Vinales a fighting chance, we should see a 5 way title fight. Crutchlow, Miller, Petrucci and the Suzuki boys are also in with a good chance of snatching a win. Don't just watch Moto GP though - some of the best racing is in Moto 3.

      2 years ago
  • If only MotoGP was back on terrestrial TV I think it'd stand a better chance of being more mainstream. Unfortunately when Rossi goes in a couple of years, it'll be a huge blow to the sport.

      2 years ago
  • I hardly watch F1 anymore, other than highlights. Hardly exciting and has kind of lost its way. MotoGP on the other hand is super exciting...You never know who's gonna take pole or end up winning race to race, unlike F1. I find people who don't ride or don't know how to ride motorcycles typically sound like this author (haven't been overly interested in MotoGP). If one learns to ride and gets a sport bike, they'll find MotoGP the most exciting show on earth. See link below for a taste of MotoGP excitement


      2 years ago
    • Wow - that shot of Rossi and Marquez through the corkscrew at Laguna Seca is quite something!

        2 years ago