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2020 Is The Year I Learn To Love MotoGP

Illustration for article titled 2020 Is The Year I Learn To Love MotoGP
Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP (Getty Images)

When we’ve written about MotoGP in the past here at Jalopnik, many fans have raised some very valid criticisms about why we cover sensational crashes or retirements without actually digging deeper into the sport. And you know what? Y’all are right. And that’s why I’m spending 2020 learning to love MotoGP and blogging my way through it.

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I had a hell of a fun time attending MotoGP events at the Circuit of the Americas when I lived in Austin. I pledged to myself every year that this would be the year I start following the series, that I’ve already watched a race which will make it all the easier to seamlessly enjoy the series.

I’ve never quite been sure what it is about MotoGP that’s made it hard for me to enjoy. I’ll watch pretty much any other form of racing with indiscriminate joy, but you throw bikes on the TV and suddenly I can’t motivate myself to turn it on. Part of me is kind of terrified by the fact that riders are just exposed. Part of me doesn’t know what to make of such small machines when compared to the formidable boat that is a Formula One car these days.

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I’m assuming that’s just because I’ve never given it a fair shake—how can you get invested in a racing series that you haven’t actually ever made an effort to watch?

So, after I commented on how wild it was to me that Marc Marquez was trying to return to racing right broke his arm, a Twitter friend reached out to let me know that she’d bought my husband and me a yearlong subscription to MotoGP’s streaming service, which would let me catch up on races on my own time and more intimately get to know the bike racing world. And what better way to thank her for her going out of her way than to really get down and dirty in the bike world?

If you’re wondering where your coverage is today, be patient: I have not yet had a chance to sit down and watch the racing from the start of the season with the attention it deserves. But I’ve been doing my practical research and trying to understand some more about championship points and history so that I can really grasp what’s happening during an event.

So get ready, folks. Be patient. Your MotoGP coverage is on its way!

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

You picked the wrong season to get into MotoGP, alas... stupid COVID.

I got into it a decade ago after I started riding. I enjoy it— and even went to a Austin for a race one year— but it suffers from the same problem all premier racing series do: it’s too easy to get outta ahead and lead an entire race to victory. After the first 3-5 laps of a GP race, barring a mistake or technical failure, odds are the leader wins 20 laps later. NOTHING is worse than watching a Lorenzo or Marquez four seconds ahead for 3/5ths of the race while everyone else is doomed.

That said, again, that’s not a problem unique to MotoGP, but also plagued open-wheel racing.  As I’ve gotten older I find the Moto2 and 3 races tend to be better competition because they tend to stay closer for longer. And, of course, if you don’t care who wins a GP race, and you’re just following your favorite riders, then the action in the middle of a pack is always fascinating.

Plus, the races are super awesome in person, even when they’re boring (Austin’s been the Marquez Invitational, that’s a fun track to watch a race at but an inexcusably boring track for motorcycle racing; I had more fun enjoying demo rides and Ducati Island and all the infield/outfield stuff than most of the races).