Watching MotoGP–broadcast, video feed

By Bruce Allen

Lots of conversation amongst you motorheads about watching the races, TV vs. the Dorna video feed and so forth. The only race I’ve ever watched on TV was the 2008 classic at Laguna Seca, where Rossi out-raced Casey Stoner, eventually putting his dick in the dirt. I remember this one, because my write-up of that race earned me the lofty title of MotoGP correspondent at for the next 10 or 12 years. I was unaware that it was one of the most exciting races in MotoGP history. I remember not appreciating the TV commercial breaks and thought the announcers were new at their jobs, too.

Fourteen years later, I’m starting to get this sport figured out. I’ve purchased the video feed during the entire period and have never regretted doing so. There’s so much more content available on it–all four classes (counting e-bikes), practice sessions (where FP3 is occasionally more interesting than the race itself.) Moto3 is usually the best race on Sunday. Then there are the announcers.

I can’t speak to the TV announcers, but am happy to talk a little bit about the crew on the video feed. I’ve always been a fan of Matt Birt, even though he jocks the sport way too hard, in my opinion. He often describes a win as “a famous victory,” which is a hoot, given the fact that MotoGP is a parlor game in the world of sports. Famous wins take place around the world in soccer and in the three or four major sports in the U.S.

For 2022, color man Steve Day has been relieved of his duties for this season, replaced by the obscure but capable Lewis Suddaby. One thing I won’t miss about Mr. Day is the incessant high-pitched shrieking he brought to every overtake in every race, raising my hackles. Appearance-wise, he reminded me of Flounder in Animal House (“You f**cked up, Flounder. You trusted us.”) Then there’s Simon Crafar, the former rider stationed in the pits.

Opinions on Simon’s skill set vary widely. Having been a rider, he can and does provide useful insights as to what’s happening on the track. This part of his job he does very well. But no one can argue that his interviewing skills are non-existent. He seems incapable of framing good questions for the guys he interviews, and doesn’t appear to be at all familiar with what are generally referred to as “follow-up questions.” It appears he also doesn’t do his homework and comes unprepared for the interviews. Most of the time, he flails around making a comment about the subject at hand, appears to give up, and asks the interviewee, “So, what did you think?” or something equally inane. “What do you think?” “What are you thinking?” Here he is, supremely qualified to pose technical questions to riders and team bosses, and he consistently drops the ball, going instead with his dopey question, as if he’s taking a survey.

For those of you either too cheap or insufficiently interested to spend $125 on the feed–which works out to about $6 per round–I’ve posted the TV schedule for the entire season. You will notice that most of the races are tape-delayed, meaning you will often know the outcome of the race before it is shown. If that works for you, be my guest. Spend your $6 on a large frappuccino with an extra shot, heavy on the whipped cream. Enjoy the commercials and the lightweight commentary. And don’t worry about taking part in the conversations about Moto2 and Moto3, (I suppose you could visit to find out what happened in the lightweight and intermediate classes. If that’s the case, prepare to get flamed by guys like OldMoron and Starmag for bringing opinions similar to the North Platte River in Nebraska–a mile wide and an inch deep.)

Let’s discuss.

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12 Responses to “Watching MotoGP–broadcast, video feed”

  1. Buzz Says:

    NBCSN was shut down a few months ago. I think NBC will drive to drive people to the Peacock streaming service at some point for NBC sports. It’s great that they are still broadcasting for now.

    I pay for the MotoGP service anyway because Moto 3 is the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vrooom Says:

    I used to purchase the package, but honestly my time is pretty limited between riding, hiking, bicycling, working, maintaining a 5 acre property and following GP, so I barely can set aside time for the broadcast race. Admittedly the commentary does suck.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mad4TheCrest Says:

    I have the GP feed but also checked out the broadcast on TV, because I wanted to see what happened to Miller and backing up the feed isn’t as precise as using a DVR. Upshot is the broadcast dropped lap 12 entirely for a commercial. That is very no bueno. Get the feed if you love this sport.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mad4TheCrest Says:

    About Simon – I was not impressed for the first years he had this gig, but I’ve grown fond of his humble ways. He asks imperfect and unchallenging questions because he’s friends with everyone. I stopped looking for insights and just learned to enjoy his friendly puppy approach.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. paulevalence Says:

    I’ve come so close to purchasing, but as long as I can find the race Sunday on the “high seas” of the internet for free, I’ve put it off.. The MotoGP race is enough for me; it seems to be the right amount of time for me to fold laundry.

    Totally agree about Simon.. Also, whenever they cut to him during the race, he starts talking and then BL!HEA@RWARIA!! the bikes all pass by and you can’t even hear what he’s saying, haha. The Formula 1 equivalent, David Croft, does a MUCH better job.

    As for the main race commentators, everyone is a sad replacement for Nick Harris

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Old MOron Says:

    Bruce! You could not be more wrong about Simon Crafar.
    Have you listened to him, or are you just parroting what other morons say?

    Listen to this exchange with Alberto Puig.
    Simon is on point, and he’s fearless.
    He compares the Honda to the Yamaha, and he holds Alberto’s feet to the fire. Advance the video to the 6:00 mark:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Old MOron Says:

    Hey, Bruce! You going to post anything for Mandalika?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Bruce Allen Says:

      Just a brief summary of the salient points on Sunday. Short and sweet. Still can’t get Evans to cough up any more $$$$.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Old MOron Says:

        Right, I’ll look forward to reading your summary right here.
        In the meantime, FP2 was pretty exciting.
        Factory Yamaha started poorly but finished well.
        The 2021 Ducs are outdoing the 2022 Ducs.
        Suzuki are hurting for grip.
        MM97 looks a little lost. Too much sliding and saving.
        Surprised to see BaggyEyes and Pol Esp languishing.
        Baggy got caught out by yellow flags during his hot laps.
        Don’t know about Pol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Bruce Allen Says:

          I think Mandalika will be about the bikes as much as the riders. The heat is apparently paralyzing, and there is a real possibility the racing surface is going to break up, shooting stones out from the back wheels like David vs. Goliath. The Yams appear to have the advantage on the short straights, but the Ducs now seem to turn as well as any of the bikes. Don’t know what’s up with the Hondas unless they’re having trouble breathing, too.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Old MOron Says:

            As for the track conditions and the bikes, Simon made a good observation about Suzuki.
            Michelin brought very hard tires to the event, but Suzuki are known for being gentle to tires. It may be that the Suzukis don’t stress the tires enough to get them working at their optimum.

            As for the track conditions and the riders, one would expect younger physiques and cooler heads to prevail. That bodes well for BaggyEyes and maybe Quartarockhead. Bezz, too.

            Liked by 1 person

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