Is MotoGP in the middle of a golden generation? It’s hard to argue otherwise. If names like Valentino Rossi, Marc Marquez and defending champion Jorge Lorenzo weren’t enough to spoil fans, the premier class can currently boast eight different winners in as many races, and there aren’t many championships that can boast that in world motor racing.
One of those winners was Britain’s Cal Crutchlow, the straight-speaking LCR Honda rider who triumphed for the first time in his five-and-a-half year MotoGP career at the Czech Grand Prix last month. The 30-year-old Isle of Man resident followed the maiden victory up with second place at the British Grand Prix to the delight of the home fans at Silverstone, and Crutchlow’s success – along with fellow Britons Scott Redding, Eugene Laverty, Bradley Smith and Alex Lowes (standing in for an injured Smith) – is helping to boost the sport onto a platform it has not experienced for some time, especially on these shores.
One of those reasons that the sport is on the up is due to the coverage on BT Sport. Race weekends are broadcast in full from first practice to the grand prix itself and an hour of analysis afterwards, coming from former riders Neil Hodgson and James Toseland as well as an experienced line-up of presenters, commentators and experts. Viewing numbers from 2015 revealed a 50 per cent increase on 2014’s coverage despite its removal from live terrestrial broadcast the year before.
A leading figure of the team is Suzi Perry, the trailblazing ex-Formula 1 presenter who grew into one of the leading names among the MotoGP paddock in what remains a male-dominated sport. Perry may well be known by many from her time in F1, but she cut her teeth in the MotoGP paddock and, when BT Sport announced her return this year, the over-riding feeling was that she had come “home”.
Suzi Perry returned to MotoGP coverage this year with BT Sport (BT Sport)
Asked about the decision to join BT Sport’s MotoGP line-up, Perry told The Independent: “[It’s] Amazing. I hate that word but is actually is, that’s the word to describe it. It’s been such fun to be working with guys I’ve known for 20 years and my whole career and to be back in a paddock where it’s like my second home is really fun.