The time schedule for the 2018 round of MotoGP at Qatar is to undergo a radical shake up. As we have previously reported, from next season, the time slots are to be moved up much earlier, with most of the action taking place during the day, and only the MotoGP race to take place completely at night.
The change has been made to address a range of problems at Qatar. The 2017 race came under threat when rain started falling between the end of the Moto2 race and the planned start of the MotoGP race.
Fortunately, the track dried sufficiently for the race to start with a 45 minute delay, but the later start pushed the race right into the time period during which the dew usually starts to settle on the track, rendering it treacherous.
The dewpoint at the track has caused problems ever since the race switched to being held at night. As temperatures drop during what is the most humid (a relative term, admittedly) part of the year in Qatar.
That part of the year is also the time at which rain is most likely to fall, despite still being relatively rare. In 2017, rain caused the loss of qualifying for all three classes.
Want a better reality TV option than the Discovery Channel’s reboot of American Chopper?
How about something that follows the in-shop antics of a group of people who are actually talented at making custom motorcycles? How about a show that follows people who are funny and entertaining in normal life, and aren’t just TV’s base caricature of the lowest common denominator?
If that sounds like something that would appeal to you, then we think you will like a new RESTRICTED series from the folks at Classified Moto.
The show launches on November 8th on YouTube, and we are eager to see the antics and builds that it reveals.
Hold onto your butts, because the Teutuls are about to have a television show again, as the Discovery Channel is rebooting the incredibly popular American Chopper TV show. In it, Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. will once again stir the pot of their family feud, as they face off against each other as they build custom motorcycles and vie for title of “Biggest Man-Child in the History Humankind” on cable television. The news is of course a double-edged sword for the motorcycle industry, as American Chopper’s popularity was responsible for bringing motorcycling outside of our niche media focus, and putting it into the mainstream public consciousness.
Get them while they’re young. It worked for the tobacco industry, it worked for Michael Jackson, and it is the new mantra for Aprilia Motorcycles, as the Italian marque is getting aggressive with its offerings for young and future motorcyclists.
Regular Asphalt & Rubber readers will know that we have talked at length about the motorcycle industry’s aging demographic, and that the younger generations are not filling in sales that are being left behind by Baby Boomer motorcyclists.
Getting Gen-X and Millennials on motorcycles has been a key part to every motorcycle brand’s marketing strategy, and now Aprilia is taking that move to its next logical level, and focusing on getting kids on bikes at as early of an age as possible.
The last 24 hours have been a strange one for Kawasaki USA. Yesterday, Kawasaki announced through a spokesperson that it was dropping its advertising support of Donald Trump’s new reality show, The New Celebrity Apprentice.
Then today, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer did an about-face on the issue, releasing a statement on Facebook that distanced it from any political motivations in its previous announcement, and declared the departure of the company’s representative who made the statements.
The whole controversy stems from a Reuters story about Kawasaki’s departure as an advertiser on the The New Celebrity Apprentice TV show, where Kawasaki Public Relations Manager Kevin Allen was quoted as saying the following:
“Once we understood the concerns of American citizens, we have taken the approach of agreeing not to participate in the show in the future as long as Mister Trump is involved as an executive producer.”
For the first time in eight years, you can now watch AMA Supermoto racing action on TV, as the rebooted series has signed a television deal with the MAVTV Motorsports Networks.
The TV package is a bit limited, as it includes 12 airings of six episodes (two apiece), which will cover racing from three venues, as well as highlights from the other three races on the calendar, but it is still a step in the right direction for supermoto racing in the USA.
The three race venues that MAVTV will cover are the rounds in Sturgis, South Dakota (round three); Denver, Colorado (round five); Tuscon, Arizona (the season finale).
In addition to the MAVTV package, the main event at the Quebec City race (round four) will get national and international coverage, as its part of the World Rally X Series.
If you are an American who was hoping to see motorcycle racing on basic cable, we have bad news for you all three major series – MotoGP, World Superbike, and MotoAmerica – will air exclusively on the premium TV network beIN Sports this year. The deal with beIN Sports mimics similar deals we have seen Dorna cut elsewhere abroad, where the media rights holder of both MotoGP and World Superbike favors deals with premium television companies over basic broadcast stations. These deals usually mean more money for Dorna, though come with the downside of fewer viewers for the sport of motorcycle racing.
It seems Guy Martin won’t be a BBC Top Gear host after all, according to Britain’s Commercial Motor magazine, as the mechanic from Lincolnshire has seemingly turned down the job offer to be one of the hosts of the infamous British show.
Though a disappointment, Martin has seemingly reached this decision because the rigors of hosting Top Gear would have required him to quit his day job of being a mechanic, and interfered with hit motor bike racing pursuits.
The reliable AutoWeek is reporting that it has the skinny on the new host for the BBC’s popular Top Gear car show, and one of them is a very familiar face: Guy Martin. The famous road racer will be part of a trio of hosts, with Philip Glenister and Jodie Kidd (a pick that ensures a pretty blonde will always be in the front row), who will be replacing Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. For those that haven’t been following the BBC fiasco, Clarkson both physically and verbally assaulted a producer while filming an episode for the show, and was subsequently sacked. In a show of solidarity, both May and Hammond said that they would not do the show without Clarkson, and the BBC has ever since been working to find replacements to call that bluff.
We’ve gotten more than a few emails (thanks!) from American road racing fans about how to watch the inaugural MotoAmerica race on TV. These eager beavers were quick to point-out that CBS Sports Network has no listings for the Austin round this weekend, with only a season preview listed next week, on April 15th. A quick email exchange with MotoAmerica confirms that the Austin round will be shown a week late, as will the rest of the 2015 rounds. The series hopes to change that for the 2016 season. Fans will also be disappointed to learn that the Austin round will not even be streamed live over the internet, though that option will added for future rounds this season, likely starting at Road Atlanta, MotoAmerica’s next stop.
At first it seemed the only way to watch the Daytona 200 was to be there in-person, but DMG has been able to swing a last-minute deal with FansChoice.tv to bring the internet live streaming of the historic race.
Sanctioned now by the American SportBike Racing Association (ASRA), it is not clear at this time what ASRA’s coverage will include, but the green flag drops at 1pm Eastern Time, Saturday, March 14th — commentary, or not.