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April 23rd, 2018, 01:30 PM   #1
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How popular is Grand Prix Racing in your country?

There seem to be people from kinda all over in here, so I was genuinely wondering: how popular is Grand Prix Racing (I mean the whole circus so Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP) in your country? Also specify your country and area and tell some stories about riders/GPs/anything really from where you hail from, if you'd like.

Feel also free to tell us how popular riding motorbikes as a sport (by that I mean on a track or trail, wether it's motocross, dirt track, enduro, trial...anything except the road basically) is in your neck of the woods

As for me, I'm from Italy, so Grand Prix Racing is the third most popular sport to watch and talk about after Football/Soccer and road Cycling. Superbike over here is watched only by the "purists", which are quite many, but not even close to the amount of people that watch MotoGP. Motocross is growing too, but way more slowly...
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April 23rd, 2018, 03:58 PM   #2
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In Canada it is not very popular, in fact most people wonder how you even got into watching motorcycle racing.

Hockey, Football(American), Baseball, Basketball. Curling is more popular.

The local race scene is sad, family and friends in the stands. We did get one kid (Brett McCormick) who was promising and made it to WSBK, but Carlos Checa took him out on the track for a whole season and that was that.

Track riding is somewhat popular and you can find track days easily around the major tracks.

Motorcycle riding is fairly popular even though our insurance is bonkers, and the season is very short.
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April 23rd, 2018, 04:34 PM   #3
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What? You don't know about the U.S. of Paranoid? If it was good, Laguna Seca would have ungraded the facility and MotoGP would still be there with record attendance, with or without COTA! Of course, not too long ago, Matt Mladin made more money in AMA than anyone in WSBK. And there was a time riders thought the Grand National was THE championship, because you had to ride dirt and asphalt to win the damn insane thing! Kenny Roberts still thinks it's a big deal. So did Nicky and a guy I know that completed the Grand Slam of the U.S. championship, Doug Chandler. Try to keep-up with that guy at Laguna.

So things kinda suck here, right now. I hope Wayne Rainey is successful and that a LOT MORE PEOPLE come to Laguna Seca for WSBK this year. You can find me there, if you want to do so.

For those who don't know:
Chandler is one of only four riders in AMA racing history to win the AMA Grand Slam, representing national wins at a mile, half-mile, short track, TT and road race
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April 24th, 2018, 02:30 AM   #4
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It's pretty big here in the UK, the domestic superbike series, the BSB is very popular too.
But by popular I mean that the people who are into it are REALLY into it and there are regular big big turnouts to races.
However you're average man in the street doesn't know much about bikes and couldn't pick Dani Pedrosa out of a police line up with a load of Jawas from Star Wars.
I have to say that, despite a level of bias in the commentary, BT Sport's coverage of the GP is really good, I watch all the FPs and qualifying for the big class, but they show everything for all classes.
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April 24th, 2018, 02:58 AM   #5
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In the UK, although Hailwood was a household name - it was Sheene that briefly propelled the sport in to the mainstream and the 1979 Silverstone battle with Roberts was one of the most popular televised sporting events of the year. Sky did a superb job of promoting WSBk through their coverage and the Foggy factor meant that WSBk Brands Hatch became the largest attended sporting event of the year. On the back of this, BSB which also enjoyed comprehensive coverage became very popular too - particularly after the classic Hodgson v Walker showdown of 2000. GP had been largely ignored during the Doohan years in which attendances at Doni fell into the 20,000s. It gained a huge resurgence of interest due to Rossi and the decline of the WSBk series which had basically seen an exodus of talent to GP and due to its bias towards Ducati, the exit of the Japanese factories. BBC switched rights to MotoGP and although their coverage was utterly diabolical the availability of the series for free on terrestrial TV as well as British Eurosport ensured a huge following.

BSB attracts a loyal fanbase, WSBk will never regain its former glory, and although BT Sport have done a great job with their coverage of MotoGP, interest is sure to wane somewhat once Rossi retires. Even in the unlikely scenario of Crutchlow becoming WC, I can't see the sport of motorcycle racing ever capturing the hearts and minds of the public as it did under Sheene.

Football, F1, horses, rugby and cricket.

Last edited by Arrabbiata1; April 24th, 2018 at 03:00 AM.
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April 24th, 2018, 03:07 AM   #6
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In Oz it rates below Netball and is a very small niche sport amongst the media with the exception of when an Aussie does well, or an Aussie crashes heavily and even then, generally it has to be main game rather than the feeder categories.

The only real support it has is amongst motorsports fans and even then it is still a poor cousin (sure domestic racing is a poorer cousin) but it is by no means a major player amongst motorsports enthusiasts, never mind non-motorsports.

Whilst I did mention the Aussies getting some coverage, it is not often and is generally a small mention somewhere although from time to time Rossi/Marquez are mentioned as they have a higher profile, but interestingly I did not see any mention of Argentina on our local news so perhaps even that has dropped off.

Safe to say that among the majority of Aussies MotoGP is long forgotten/overlooked
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April 24th, 2018, 03:15 AM   #7
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Sheene was a driving force here in Aus. too.

Still not anywhere near as popular as the footy, cricket, tennis etc but up there with lawn bowls lol.

But in Aus. We need a top notch participant to attract the numbers. Eg. Gardner, Doohan and Stoner. Bayliss brought many to WSB but back then WSB had the great battles of Edwards and Bayliss.

Speedway used to be on every sunday years ago and mx even had a trial for a few years of our national series.
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April 24th, 2018, 03:19 AM   #8
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I think in the UK, it can feel like quite an investment just to be able to watch it. Yes, there's an hour of highlights on a Monday evening which is much better than nothing. But beyond that, it's paying for Sky, BT Sport, etc which seems a lot for the casual fan...

You just wouldn't go to that trouble unless you were sure you wanted to watch it. I thought WSB was on telly too, but I've never managed to find it.

Horses? Must be racing? I suppose they put Olympia on at Christmas with show jumping but there's not much on any more. Most of the national and international level events for Show Jumping or Dressage do their own live streaming.

F1 on UK TV is currently benefitting from the presenting team who are great, imo. BBC do their best to thwart them by loudly announcing results at every opportunity before the coverage is shown on Ch4.
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April 24th, 2018, 03:24 AM   #9
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I don't mind paying for BT sport though. It shows the 2 main sports that I follow, Moto GP and UFC.
WSBK and BSB is covered by Eurosport and ITV 4 have brilliant coverage of the TT. Other than that I can get the North West 200 on BBC iPlayer, which is great, because I love that race.
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April 24th, 2018, 03:37 AM   #10
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BSB tends to pull good crowds, book your ticket for about 25-30 quid for the main race day and you get to see about 8 races plus morning warm up, great value for money compared to WSB or MotoGP.

The TT numbers seem to be growing, the North West 200 regularly pulls in over 100,000 spectators, Scarborough always seems to be busy(though they've been refused a licence recently hence the cancellation of the Spring Cup, but should be sorted for the summer) Aintree in May is always mad busy as you normally get the big name sidecar boys there, still get there arses handed to them by a father and daughter team though mind.

I've not been to a GP in years, not since the Donington days and it always seemed busy, think that was due to Rossimania though as I remember attendance being pretty poor back in the 90's.
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