1000cc prototype motorbikes driven at speed of 320 Km/hr, hard braking on the corner hitting the apex and accelerating faster than jet engine. I find beauty in the slick tyres, areodynamically composed prototype motorbikes costing millions and the best riders taking them to the limit with precision. However I was a bit late to the game. I managed to watch the last half season (2021) of the greatest MotoGP legend, Valentino Rossi (#VR46) before his retirement. MotoGP fascinates me, I feel bad not starting early but I'm hopeful for what's to come. Getting into MotoGP is a bit different from getting in Football. Here's how I got into.
It was peak of Covid19 in 2020. I was working from home. One day I was in a 1:1 with my lead (he's a friend first). We were casually talking about montains and he mentioned how he wanted to travel to Himalayas with motorcycle. I come from the Himalayas and I used to ride motorcycle back home as teenager and bit more. I am fond of riding motorcycle and had gone on crazy trips with my uni friends; to the hills, rivers and unbeaten path. He mentioned watching Long Way Up on Apple TV. That evening I gave it a try. Instant flash back to my early 20's. I didn't ride motorcycle after moving to Berlin or getting married. My wife loves to sit behind (pillion) and feel the fresh air but she is also bit afraid of speed and cornering. Second, my Nepalese driving license was of no use here. Internet provides a rabbit hole for interested ones and so it did for me. I wanted to watch more motorcycle stories.
I stumbled upon Fastest, MotoGP documentary narrated by Ewan McGregor who was on Long Way Up. I watched it one weekend with my wife by my side (this is important part). It goes behind the scene of the greatest riders, their story of win, loss and struggle. It allowed me to be emotionally attached to the idea and lives of some of the riders and experience the thrill via their experience. My wife enjoyed it as well. This gave me anchors to MotoGP sports, if I ever watched any race ever again I would be looking out for few of the riders, know something about them and it would help me immerse in the game. It was too early to jump and watch MotoGP races at this point. 22 riders making 21+ laps very fast, so what right. There's more.
Rabbit hole continues, I found Hitting the Apex (is on Netflix) naratted by Brad Pit which continues with latest events and story which Fastest didn't cover. It was a natural watch choice. Again, got my wife, spent our Friday. We both enjoyed it very much. I felt that people have ability to connect and enjoy things if there is a cohesive story, anchor point and a sense of familarity. I made my wife watch video of Marc Marquez riding motorcycle on ski slopes in Austria, my pitch was we have been to the same ski area in 2019 and shes knows Marc Marquez from previous documentaries we watched. Soon after, I was watching MotoGP highlights on youtube; especially crashes. This continued a bit more and my wife got less TV time for her stuff. She was mocking that I am now invested in motorcycle racing. "At this pace, next week you will start watching races". And sure I did after 2 weeks. You know the best part, we both watched Sunday 2PM (MotoGP Austria 2021) race. That's the best part.
Free stream provided by some ads filled site lagged, was low quality and I wanted the full glory. For the next Race, I got myself MotoGP annual pass for 69 Euros (full season price is 150 Euros). Then we watched 6 more races for the 2021 calendar year together, we witnessed Fabio winning the championship, experienced Valentino Rossi farewell, got emotional and we understood the competitiveness of riders and picked 2 of our faviorites for 2022 season. Its Jan 2022 and I can't wait for the lights to go in Spring.
During the weekdays and weekends, when there was no race, we enjoyed watching awesome race battles from the last decade and here are few of my favorites:
- 2017 Dutch GP
- 2015 Argentina GP
- Here's playlist of free to watch full MotoGP races
Going one step further, now I play MotoGP21 on PS5 and try to improve my lap times. It's a pretty difficult game to start with and requires sharp precision.
Probably the sight of riders with bright leather and helmets getting on slick bikes, cornering beautifully and zooming at 300 Km/hr or more and repeating delicately for 21 laps while overtaking and being overtaken, all shot from great viewing angles and helicopter gives me the sense of joy, makes me forget everything and appreciate the sport. You should probably check out more stories about Valentino Rossi to understand what I mean. Or try checking out some of the crashes. And I thank my wife who is curious and supportive to watch 2 wheels go fast by my side, understanding most of the things and even discussing details during the race. This adds substantial amount of depth to my experience. For more check out MotoGP offical website.
We expect to go to actual races in 2022 and exprience the thrill. Until then, take care, have fun and enjoy.