Nick’s Blog

THE AUDACITY TO ORGANISE THE COLLEGE GIRLS SPRING BREAK

This is a message to all those lucky people on the long flight to Sepang for the first MotoGP test of the 2018 season. Back in the day long before official test sessions for all the teams had been dreamed of we were sent to Daytona for the 200 miler event, which many of the top grand prix riders used as a pre-season test.

What a nightmare assignment it was as I’m am sure you can imagine. Two long weeks in the Florida sunshine at the end of February having to watch 750cc missiles race round the most famous piece of banked tarmac in the world. To make matters even worse you had to watch and yes even report on Supercross and short track racing, while witnessing more Harley Davidsons than you’d ever seen in your life parade up and down the Daytona strip every warm evening before enjoying more than one cool beer. Would you believe on a couple of occasions they even had the audacity to organise the college girls spring break at the same time of the races, now just how inconsiderate was that.

One year I even had to share a room with a colleague. The fact that it was enormous and overlooked the massive long beach with the sound of the Atlantic Ocean luring you to sleep each night, or in most cases early morning, was irrelevant. After so much hard work some nights it was difficult to take an early night because the band and particularly the girl lead singer who both looked and sounded like Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac for you youngsters) were too loud. They played in the bar of the hotel five nights a week, not that we went to the bar on that many occasions in those 14 tough days. On another occasion our sleep was interrupted when they launched a moon rocket from nearby Cape Canaveral, just another thing to moan about to my editor on return to a cold wet England in early March.

At the circuit some days you often had to keep out of the sun while watching a young Freddie Spencer in action for the first time on the four-stroke Honda taking on the likes of Kenny Roberts and Graeme Crosby on those frightenly quick 750cc Yamahas that would twitch and wriggle at over 150 mph on the banking.

It was a nightmare and you people on that long flight to Sepang just don’t know how lucky you are!

By | January 25th, 2018|Nick's Blog|4 Comments

OVER TWO AND A HALF MILLIONS FANS CAN’T BE WRONG

I’m so naive about believing facts and statistics. Like many people I’m happy to use them when they suit my purpose and to hide them when they don’t while not really knowing deep down if to believe them or not. However, I do believe the facts produced by Dorna regarding last year’s MotoGP World Championship because I was there first hand to check. I’m not pretending that I spent every race weekend counting the number of spectators in the grandstands on my fingers but I’m not surprised that the average attendance for each race weekend was just under 150,000 and was in fact 148,100.

It’s a staggering figure which was rarely eclipsed by any other 18 round World Championship in any sport and certainly in any other form of Motorsport. Two million six hundred and sixty five thousand eight hundred and six fans witnessed the action last year despite rain at some stage of the three day race weekend at 11 of the 18 events.

The final showdown of the season in Valencia attracted a sell-out crowd of 110,220 fans on race day and a weekend attendance of 209,707 to witness Marc Marquez capture a memorable championship. The Red Bull Ring in Austria was jam packed with 201,589 MotoGP fans which was around three times bigger than the attendance for their Formula One event. Sepang in Malaysia staged its last Formula One race for the time being while the MotoGP race brought in nearly 100,000 race day fans despite the rain.

Despite all the uncertainty about its future The British Grand Prix at Silverstone still attracted a weekend crowd of over 128,00 which should increase this year with Silverstone endorsing it’s faith in the event. Another venue looking for an increase is the legendary Sachsenring in Germany. Despite a date change which affected the ticket sales nearly 165,000 fans watched their local hero Jonas Folger finish second.

Naïve I may be about attendance statistics but I do understand they are a true indication just what a great show MotoGP produces for the masses. The equally impressive social media figures are more of a grey area for a grey head like me but on good authority, by people considerably younger than myself, I’m told they are equally impressive – I have to believe them.

The official MotoGP web site attracted 70 million visits, 24 million unique users with 208 million pages being visited which sounds like a lot to me. Facebook attracted 12.7 million fans, Instagram 4.9 million followers, Twitter 2.3 million followers and YouTube 1.2 million subscribers. The new MotoGP eSport Championship was a massive success with 25 million video views, 2.8 million engagements and a reach of 75.5 million.

The worldwide success of MotoGP is a clear indication that by producing a spectacle that excites and stimulates the fans whether at the venue, on the television or social media is the key to success. Build the infrastructure round the principle that the product has to be right before you can gain the benefits – Other sports should take notice and follow their example.

By | January 18th, 2018|News and Events, Nick's Blog|1 Comment

THE TWELVE DAYS OF MOTOGP CHRISTMAS

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Zarco’s debut podiums three.

 

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Second place for Dovi

Zarco’s debut podiums three.

 

On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Three wins for Maverick

Second place for Dovi etc …….

 

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

4.9 million Instagram followers

Three wins for Maverick etc ……….

 

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Five gold Rins

4.9 million Instagram followers etc…….

 

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Six Franco poles

Five gold Rins etc ……

 

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Seven Sepang swimmers

Six Franco poles etc ……..

 

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Marc’s eight Tissot watches

Seven Sepang swimmers etc …..

 

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Nine Luca’s coaching

Marc’s eight Tissot watches etc …….

 

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

Ten Joan’s winning

Nine Luca’s coaching etc ……..

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

150,000 fans at each grand prix

Ten Joan’s winning etc ……..

 

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love sent to me:

12 European venues

150,000 fans at each grand prix

Ten Joan’s winning

Nine Luca’s coaching

Marc’s eight Tissot watches

Seven Sepang swimmers

Six Franco poles

Five gold Rins

4.9 million Instagram followers

Three wins for Maverick

Second place for Dovi

Zarco’s debut podiums three.

By | December 22nd, 2017|News and Events, Nick's Blog|1 Comment

OLIVER TWIST – NOT ASKING FOR MORE, JUST A PARAGRAPH

I still love newspapers – perhaps it’s my age but while my younger colleagues scan phones, tablets and computers to keep up to date, usually when we are eating, I still like the rustle of news print. My delight on a MotoGP weekend is to find an English newspaper at the airport on Monday morning and spend the flight home scanning the page of football results, often to the annoyance of the passenger next to me who is busily checking the news on his tablet causing no inconvenience to anybody.

 

So imagine after the memorable Valencia weekend I arrived at the airport on Monday morning, nursing a sore head, to find a copy of the most famous English newspaper in the world on sale for four precious euros. It was surrounded by all the Spanish dailies with massive front page pictures of Marc Marquez celebrating his MotoGP World title. Rather than the usual football page I looked forward to reading what the esteemed publication reported from Valencia.

 

After all the Valencia Grand Prix was the biggest sporting event of the weekend in Europe and probably in the world. A championship still to be decided at the final round of eighteen, a weekend crowd of 209,000 and a race day crowd of 128, 00 was surely a clear indication just what a massive event this was. A championship that had provided 73 overtaking manoeuvres between the top six riders three weeks earlier in Australia. Certainly the social media following gave a clear indication the world was very interested indeed. Facebook reported 51 million video views from the official feed with 4.8 Million Instagram followers thirsting for information. There was no doubt this was a major sporting event.

 

Having parted with my four Euros I settled down for my favourite Monday morning read. I ploughed through two pages reporting on the Formula One race in Brazil although the championship had already been decided, pages of Rugby Union, ATP tennis and Ashes cricket. These are sports I love and thoroughly enjoy the coverage but where was the news on Marc Marquez’s win. I looked and looked and found absolutely nothing. I doubled checked and still nothing although the results were shown in the results section but not a word, line, paragraph or photograph from the race. For once the football results page was unread as my favourite newspaper for the last 50 years found itself on the rubbish bin at Valencia airport.

 

Apologies if the English edition did contain a report because when I got home my daily delivered copy of the unread newspaper also found itself in the rubbish bin. Perhaps those younger colleagues are right I need to change my reading habits to keep up to date with the real sporting news.

 

I’m not Oliver Twist asking for more but just for something. Just a paragraph would be a start. Otherwise that tablet could be top of my Christmas present list.

 

By | December 1st, 2017|Nick's Blog|5 Comments

Belfast Met Radio Interview 2016

The interview with Jordan Moreland for Belfast Met Radio talking about the upcoming MotoGP season:

Click the video below to hear the interview. Thank you to Moreland for a being a great interviewer.

By | September 1st, 2016|News and Events, Nick's Blog|1 Comment