Have you ever convinced yourself you didn’t like a food, only to then eat that food and realize it’s the most delicious thing in the world and you’ve been depriving yourself of something incredible for years? Yeah. That’s how I’m feeling about watching MotoGP.
Last weekend, I told y’all that 2020 is the year I learn to love MotoGP and that I’d be blogging my way through this journey of self-discovery. Well, after watching the first two rounds in Spain, I have great news to report: I am officially a convert, and the thing that got me even before I’d watched a lap of racing was the broadcast.
I can’t say that I’m someone well versed in the art of the broadcast. I can usually pinpoint what I like (easy-to-read tickers) versus what I absolutely hate (do we really need the F1 fancam?). And, I’ll be honest, I usually find myself in the latter category. Some broadcast pundits are just terrible when it comes to offering interesting information, and some networks insist upon increasingly terrible graphics packages that offer information you just don’t need.
I really want to focus on those graphics today, because they’re just gorgeous. They’re simple and clean. They’re easy to follow and genuinely informative. You’re not being bombarded by tons of pointless stats that mean nothing to new viewers. I’m so used to F1's recent broadcasts that clutter the screen with nonsense that I just ignore that I was actually surprised to find myself enjoying all the popups that accompanied MotoGP.
I think my personal favorites were the tire graphics and the cornering information. I had no idea that MotoGP tires were asymmetric. It made sense that there would be different compounds, but I didn’t know how to tell apart. I didn’t understand why you’d even want asymmetric tires. In one handy little graphic that lasted about thirty seconds, I got everything I needed:
It’s similar with the additions of cornering info, like speed, lean angle, and more. It gives you an appreciation of what it takes to ride a MotoGP bike, but it’s also super clean. The stats pop up to the side as they are. No pesky boxes or unwieldy intrusions. Any information offered in the MotoGP broadcast feels really natural, from the reason why you’d want to pay attention to it to its implementation.
It made the race not only pleasant but instructive to watch. If you can check out a race for the first time and almost immediately have a pretty good grasp on what’s happening, then the broadcast did its job.
Take the NASCAR broadcasts on NBC and ABC for example. While both are different, neither really drew me in. I’d watched NASCAR as a kid and had a vague idea of what went on, but when I started watching it regularly with my husband, it took about a year before I could fully grasp the series and its rules—and that was with extensive research of my own. That’s not ideal.
In addition, if you’ve bought the video pass on the MotoGP website, you can watch races both live and at any other time that suits you—and if you watch it later, you’ll get a little treat. All the key moments of the race are flagged with different colored marks on the video progress bar. Click on one, and you’re transported to a key battle or a race-defining slip-up. Those flags are also accompanied by a little popup in the top righthand corner letting you know why it’s been flagged.
While the site has recaps highlighting those same moments, it’s neat to watch as a first-time viewer and have things flagged that you may not have realized were important.
I was impressed by MotoGP within the first seven minutes of the pre-race show. I continued to be impressed throughout the race itself. And I have to say, the journey to appreciating MotoGP has been made much easier by the genius behind their graphics package.