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MotoGP on the BBC

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Belinda Moore Belinda Moore | 16:02 UK time, Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Welcome to the first MotoGP blog which I’m writing at 39,000 feet on my way back from Shanghai, after Casey Stoner won a thrilling race in the China Grand Prix last weekend.

I’m BBC Sport’s TV motorsport producer and I’m going to start writing here regularly so I can answer your questions and comments – to start off with, I thought I’d deal with some of the issues that most frequently come up in the e-mails sent to our website.

A question we are often asked these days is: “Why don’t we broadcast MotoGP in widescreen?” All the broadcasters take their race coverage from the host broadcaster, Dorna, and they only offer this in 4:3 ratio.

I don’t know what other broadcasters do, but the BBC always transmit live sport as it originates, rather than zooming in to create a false widescreen, which can degrade the quality of the picture. The rights holders are currently experimenting with HD and hope to be able to offer race coverage in High Definition (HD) from 2008 or 2009, which will also mean you get to see the races in widescreen.

Australian rider Casey Stoner celebrates after winning the MotoGP race at the Grand Prix of China
The other thing you want to know is; why don’t we cover World and British Superbikes alongside our MotoGP coverage? Whilst as a petrol head, I’d love to be able to show everything and some four-wheel action as well, the reality is BBC Sport has only so many hours in which to cover a huge range of sports and there currently isn’t the airtime for another series.

However, we will be covering the NW200
for the first time this year on Sunday 20th May, as well as the TT which this year celebrates it’s centenary. All the details can be found on the BBC bikes website.

Finally why did we choose MotoGP over WSB or BSB when the other series have more Brits racing up the front? First and foremost MotoGP is the premier class of bike racing, showcasing the extraordinary talents of riders such as Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa and Casey Stoner amongst others. The lack of a British rider on a competitive bike in MotoGP is a big issue and one which we are working hard with the rights holders to address.

There are some good prospects coming up through the other classes and Bradley Smith in the 125 championship is certainly a name to look out for in the future, but it’ll be a few years before he gets to MotoGP. James Toseland is having a good season in WSB and his name keeps cropping up in the MotoGP paddock, so hopefully we’ll get to see him here on a competitive bike next year.

The team have been in Shanghai for the and the long-hauls are always a challenge. In Europe we have an Outside Broadcast truck and a team of people that help put the show together, but it’s a much smaller outfit for the fly-away races. Suzi, Matt, Charlie and Steve present and commentate on the race, my cameraman and soundman come from New Zealand and I get to do pretty much everything else - filming the features, engineering the commentary box and directing on race day.

Right, the next MotoGP stop is Le Mans - let's hope for another weekend of breathtaking racing!

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