Are broadcasting rights killing motorsport?

Australian V8 Supercars, Fiasco Sports, Film and TV, Formula 1, MotoGP

With media deals happening in every category for 2015, are these new pay-TV deals pushing fans away from the sport?

Broadcasting rights all point towards Fox. Photo: Fox Sports

With a sport that costs a lot of money to run with the fancy bodywork, complicated engineering and the drivers that are paid by the millions, there is also the media side of racing that costs channels millions each year, resulting in major series of motorsport no longer available free-to-air.

MotoGP is one category with a faint future on free-to-air, with fans purchasing a Foxtel sports package to watch their favourite rider or constructor win the world championship.

Network Ten are currently in their final year of televising the MotoGP, but will only retain full live coverage of the MotoGP until the end of 2014. Fox Sports are broadcasting every Moto2, Moto3 and MotoGP practice, qualifying and races live in 2014.

Marc Marquez in MotoGP. Photo: Fox Sports

Another broadcasting amend includes the new contract in V8 Supercars, with Seven losing the rights to Network Ten, Foxtel and Fox Sportswith only six of the races in the 2015 championship to be available on free-to-air channels.

Former TEN CEO and current CEO of V8 Supercars James Warburton signed the new broadcasting rights deal, including a $241 million media deal with Foxtel, Fox Sports and Network Ten for all media rights including $196 million cash and $45 million of advertising, making this deal the biggest in V8 Supercars history.

The new deal means that only the Adelaide, Townsville, Sandown, Bathurst, Gold Coast and Sydney V8 rounds will only be shown free-to-air.

“This is a tremendous and significant deal for our sport,” Mr Warburton said.

“It is a great boost to our amazing race teams and fans and will lead to unprecedented coverage on multiple platforms for our sport, never before seen on such a scale.”

Mark Warburton. Photo: V8 Supercars

Formula 1 is set to stay on free-to-air with the coverage supported by Network Ten, the only major motorsport category worldwide not under the Fox banner in 2015.

Currently on free-to-air channels in Australia, only the Formula 1 and V8 Supercars are shown live to racing fans.

Other categories shown within free-to-air are broadcasted a week or so later, including ONE HD’s coverage of the World Series Sprintcars, Australian Rally Championship and NASCAR.

Fans have expressed concern about the new broadcasting rights, stating it is another expense they cannot afford.

After interviewing fans at Winton Raceway during the V8 Supercar event at the Winton 400, most said they were outraged and disappointed about spending money every month to watch motorsport.

Nothing yet has been confirmed towards the coverage for motorsport after 2015.

By Loren Hazelwood. @LorenHazelwood

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MotoGP Championship wide open after Lorenzo’s Australian victory

Fiasco Sports, MotoGP

Jorge Lorenzo has kept the 2013 title hunt going, taking a controversial win at Phillip Island in Australia.

Jorge Lorenzo (left) and Marc Marquez (right) battling for the championship in Australia. Image: Darren Staples/ABC News

Jorge Lorenzo (left) and Marc Marquez (right) battling for the championship in Australia. Image: Darren Staples/ABC News

Jorge Lorenzo has kept the title chase alive, taking the win in today’s Australian Grand Prix at the Phillip Island circuit.

The Spaniard started on pole position ahead of his championship rival Marc Marquez, with Marquez unable to wrap-up the title in Australia.

With the Phillip Island circuit recently resurfaced, this caused major tyre degradation, with  Bridgestone ruling a mandatory bike swap in the middle of the race, causing a major change in the outcome of the race.

Lorenzo had a great battle with the Repsol Honda team of Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, holding the pair off going into the mandatory bike swap pit-stop.

Pedrosa pitted first from the winning trio, but later had to drop a position when he was caught exceeding 60km/h in pit-lane.

Lorenzo and Marquez stayed out when Pedrosa was pitting, with the pair set to pit at the same time, but a communication error saw Marquez hold out an extra lap, therefore missing the pit window of Lap 10.

Marquez was then penalised by being black flagged from the grand prix, resulting in a DNF for the 20-year-old.

The battle was then between Lorenzo and Pedrosa, but the Yamaha factory rider was too strong, taking the win and crawling back an 18-points gap for the MotoGP title.

Pedrosa finished second, with Valentino Rossi making the podium in third place.

Only two rounds remain in the MotoGP 2013 season, with the next round held at Suzuka next weekend.

Written by Loren Hazelwood

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Lorenzo Claims Italian MotoGP Victory

Fiasco Sports, MotoGP

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Jorge Lorenzo - Photo: Dave Contini

Jorge Lorenzo – Photo: Dave Contini

Jorge Lorenzo steered clear in an eventful grand prix at the Mugello circuit, leading every lap of the Italian grand prix, coming home with the win.

Factory Yamaha rider Lorenzo although did not take an easy win, with team Repsol Honda duo Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez applying the pressure from behind throughout the race.

The Mugello crowd were left shocked in the start of the race, with their hero and multiple world champion Valentino Rossi involved in a huge crash on lap one with Rossi collected by Alvaro Bautista at turn four, forcing both riders into the barriers at high speed. Both riders walked away from the crash.

Pedrosa had the jump on the start, but it was only until turn two that Lorenzo took the lead from the Honda rider. Marc Marquez had a great jump at the start of the race from the second row to take third place, defending his position to Andrea Dovizioso.

The top three riders started to drift away from the rest of the pack, with Marquez and Pedrosa both hungry for the race lead. Crutchlow started to catch the front three after he slipped passed Douvizioso.

Jorge Lorenzo eventually gained a strong lead on the Honda duo, out in front by 5 seconds. The battle was then on for second place, with Marquez making his way to second passing Pedrosa.

Unfortunately for 20-year-old Marquez, he crashed out while in second position with three laps to go. Marquez endured his first DNF for the season and handed podium positions to Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow, with Crutchlow amazingly still racing with a broken leg.

The last lap saw Stefan Bradl make a last-turn move on Dovizioso to take fourth place, ahead of Ducati riders Nicky Hayden and Michele Pirro.

After taking the Italian MotoGP win, Lorenzo has closed his championship gap to Dani Pedrosa to 12 points.

The next MotoGP race will be June 16 at the Circuit de Catalunya for round six of the championship.


Race Results

1. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing

2. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team

3. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3

4. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP

5. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team

6. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team

7. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Test Team

8. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar

9. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3

10. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens

11. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar

12. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project

13. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing

14. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing

15. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing

16. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport

17. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport

18. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini

19. Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project


Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team

Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing

Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens

Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing

Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini

Dani Pedrosa on Pole for Italian MotoGP



Dani Pedrosa has taken his maiden pole position for the MotoGP season this year, recording a record-breaking time in an exhilarating qualifying session at the Mugello circuit.

The current MotoGP series leader wasn’t setting the pace early on in the session as he struggled for a clean lap, but later in Q2 managed to set a record pole time of 1min 47.157secs.

Yamaha Factory rider Jorge Lorenzo set the pace early in Q2, but Pedrosa came from lower in the order to pip Lorenzo later in the session, pushing Lorenzo back to second.

Local rider Andrea Dovizioso impressed his fans by qualifying on the front row in third, despite having an injured neck.

After crashing out at turn 3 earlier in the session, Cal Crutchlow managed to get back on his bike and qualify on the second row in fourth, with Stefan Bradl and Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez rounding out the second row.

Valentino Rossi raised hopes for his home crowd running inside the top-three throughout Q2, but struggled towards the end of the session and qualified seventh.

The Italian MotoGP will begin at 7:00 PM tomorrow night on ONE HD.


1. Dani Pedrosa ESP Repsol Honda Team 1m 47.157s

2. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Yamaha Factory Racing 1m 47.226s

3. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team 1m 47.628s

4. Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 47.632s

5. Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP 1m 47.737s

6. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team 1m 47.763s

7. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha Factory Racing 1m 47.872s

8. Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team 1m 48.006s

9. Alvaro Bautista ESP Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1m 48.355s

10. Michele Pirro ITA Ducati Test Team 1m 48.564s

11. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 48.706s

12. Aleix Espargaro ESP Power Electronics Aspar 1m 48.765s


1. Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team 1m 48.524s

2. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1m 48.860s

3. Andrea Iannone ITA Energy T.I. Pramac Racing 1m 49.265s

4. Randy De Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar 1m 49.266s

5. Hector Barbera ESP Avintia Blusens 1m 49.847s

6. Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project 1m 50.518s

7. Colin Edwards USA NGM Forward Racing 1m 50.701s

8. Claudio Corti ITA NGM Forward Racing 1m 50.729s

9. Michael Laverty GBR Paul Bird Motorsport 1m 50.787s

10. Karel Abraham CZE Cardion AB Motoracing 1m 51.089s

11. Yonny Hernandez COL Paul Bird Motorsport 1m 51.239s

12. Bryan Staring AUS Go&Fun Honda Gresini 1m 51.981s

13. Hiroshi Aoyama JPN Avintia Blusens 1m 52.148s

14. Lukas Pesek CZE Came IodaRacing Project 1m 52.345s

Stoner in Australia? Bloody Oath

Australian V8 Supercars, MotoGP, Spultured

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Casey Stoner in V8 Supercars

I remember it was about this time last year, when the media was talking about Casey Stoner retiring and how much it was going to hurt the MotoGP category. Everyone had their opinion about why Stoner should stay, how useless he was going to be in a V8 Supercar and how Honda would not be able to find a replacement for the Australian world champion.

Well look who’s laughing now.

If anything, the 27-year-old made his best decision of a lifetime. I mean, he has a family now and with the recent death of Marco Simoncelli, it’s definitely safer to be on four wheels than two.

And not even that, Stoner made way for a true star in the making. Marc Màrquez who is only 20 years old, a few weeks ago became the youngest ever rider to win a MotoGP race. Incredible! Màrquez also finished second at the Spanish Grand Prix to his teammate Dani Pedrosa from Repsol Honda. If anything the team is on better form than what they were this time last year, with the team not even barely damaged with the loss of world champion Stoner. Now whoever said Stoner was “irreplaceable” was clearly not thinking about the future.

Even though Casey Stoner is only racing in the Dunlop Development Series (category below V8 Supercars) he has been working with arguably the best V8 team in the main game (RedBull Racing Australia – Triple 8 Race Engineering) and is now an official representative for Holden Australia. Not only is Casey’s credibility growing, he’s now getting a lot more media attention. The MotoGP champ has only raced two championship rounds this year so it is still early days to determine whether he is good enough for the main game next year, but the team I’m sure will focus on Casey’s early development in the Holden VE Commodore and will see out the rest of the season in the development series.

Unfortunately with MotoGP being apart motorsport, it receives minimal media attention, either in print or broadcast journalism as of course, it isn’t as popular as the AFL, NRL etc. Not only has Casey Stoner grabbed the media, he’s also promoted the Dunlop Development Series, which for years has been underrated, with no coverage what-so-ever. Only problem here is that the only person who gets coverage in the series is Casey and the focus has been stolen from the young kids winning the races in the series.

Stoner I don’t believe has the amount of race craft at the moment on four wheels as some of the younger drivers in the development field, so he will have to test like crazy with his team from Triple 8 Race Engineering. Not only is the MotoGP with the best team, he also can receive some of the best V8 mentoring from current V8 Supercar Champion Jamie Whincup and also newly crowned all-time-best V8 driver Craig Lowndes. I mean Stoner has some of the best help on offer, so by the end of this year’s development series Stoner should be on the money.

I know Casey Stoner has a massive fan base from many Australians – on the other hand there are also many Australians who dislike Stoner and would rather someone like Valentino Rossi win races. It is a massive culture change for Stoner to come back and live in Australia so I believe we should all stop bagging him and support the Aussie who wants to race over here. Yes, he has a long way to go, but he’s only raced at Clipsal and Barbagallo. There is plenty more tracks for Stoner to prove himself to the V8 field and I can tell you, it will be one interesting year with the MotoGP champ in V8s.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t end up like Wayne Gardner…

Casey Stoner announced his retirement, is Australian V8 Supercars now an option?

Australian V8 Supercars, MotoGP, On The Record

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Current World MotoGP champion Casey Stoner recently announced that he will retire from the MotoGP category at the end of the 2012 season, after a long family decision.

The Australian is only 26 years old, with his decision to retire shocking the motorsport world. Although the rider is still young, Stoner believes the sport is changing and he doesn’t have the passion to race in MotoGP anymore.

“After so many years of doing this sport which I love, and which myself and my family made so many sacrifices for, after so many years of trying to get to where we have gotten to at this point, this sport has changed a lot and it has changed to the point where I am not enjoying it,” he said in a press release.

“I don’t have the passion for it and so at this time it’s better if I retire now.

“There are a lot of things that have disappointed me, and also a lot of things I have loved about this sport, but unfortunately the balance has gone in the wrong direction. And so, basically, we won’t be continuing any more.

“It would be nice if I could say I would stay one more year, but then where does it stop? So we decided to finish everything as we are now.”

With the two time world champion still young, it is believed that Stoner has his sights set on racing in the Australian V8 Supercar category within the near future, similar to what other Australian MotoGP World Champion Wayne Gardner did, who retired from the MotoGP category and raced in V8 Supercars.

Over the 2011 V8 Supercars season, Casey Stoner was seen at Bathurst and the Sydney Telstra 500 supporting Team Vodafone’s Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.

It was believed then that Stoner was looking into racing in the Australian series, alongside the Triple 8 Engineering race team.

Since the Sydney Telstra 500 last year, Stoner has test driven one of Triple 8 Engineering’s VE Holden V8 Supercars, and seemed he was on the pace and could be ready to race within the near future.

“It is something I am definitely interested to do in the future, but whether I will be fast enough or not is another thing,” said Stoner at the press conference.

For now, Casey Stoner will continue racing MotoGP for the 2012 season and currently sits in second place in the MotoGP World Championship to Jorge Lorenzo.

MotoGP: Casey Stoner claims second victory for the season

MotoGP, On The Record

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Australian Casey Stoner has won his second Grand Prix in two weeks for the 2012 MotoGP season in Portugal, beating fellow rider Jorge Lorenzo in a two-rider showdown similar to last week’s Grand Prix in Jerez.

With two MotoGP victories in just two weeks, Stoner now holds the championship lead, snatching the lead away from Yamaha’s Lorenzo with just one point separating them.

Casey Stoner defend his first place position from start to finish, Lorenzo only attempting a challenge towards the very end of the race.

Stoner’s Repsol team mate Dani Pedrosa finished behind Lorenzo in third position, with Andrea Dovisioso in fourth, ahead of his Yamaha team mate Cal Crutchlow who rounded out the top five positions.

Australian Stoner admitted he felt under pressure throughout the race, even though he was the race leader for its duration.

“I felt good on the first few laps but then we had severe chattering from the bike,” Stoner said after the race.

“In the middle laps I didn’t feel confident and I couldn’t push.

“I just tried to keep Jorge behind me we were lucky to hold on for the win in the end.”

This victory is Stoner’s 35th MotoGP win, with the current world champion looking in fantastic form for round four at the world famous Le Man’s Bugatti circuit at the French Grand Prix.

Race Results













Casey Stoner AUS Repsol Honda Team Honda






Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha






Dani Pedrosa SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda






Andrea Dovizioso ITA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha






Cal Crutchlow GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha






Alvaro Bautista SPA San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda






Valentino Rossi ITA Ducati Team Ducati






Ben Spies USA Yamaha Factory Racing Yamaha






Stefan Bradl GER LCR Honda MotoGP Honda






Hector Barbera SPA Pramac Racing Team Ducati






Nicky Hayden USA Ducati Team Ducati






Aleix Espargaro SPA Power Electronics Aspar ART






Randy de Puniet FRA Power Electronics Aspar ART






Michele Pirro ITA San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR






Danilo Petrucci ITA Came IodaRacing Project Ioda


1 Lap

MotoGP: Casey Stoner Takes Victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP, On The Record

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Australian Casey Stoner has taken out his first race win for this year’s season, winning at the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, in a race Stoner called one of the greatest of his career.

The two-time world Moto GP champion claimed the victory in Jerez to hold off current championship leader Jorge Lorenzo.

The win left Stoner only four points shy of Lorenzo’s championship lead; however, the race although wasn’t an easy win for Stoner.

The current world champion started from a challenging fifth position and from the very beginning, was involved in a fantastic battle for the race lead.

Lap three saw Stoner pass Pedrosa for first place and the race lead.

The Repsol Team Honda lead majority of the laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix, but Jorge Lorenzo was on charge in second place.

With nine laps to go, Lorenzo started battling Stoner for the race victory, only to try and pass the Australian with three laps to go into first corner.

It was there Lorenzo lost ground, handing the Brazilian Grand Prix victory to Stoner.

After the race, the victorious Stoner said his Honda bike was set up for the wet circuit, but on the clearing dry track, the lack of rear-tire grip made the Honda very hard to ride.

The win at the Brazilian Grand Prix looks to be the beginning of Stoner’s 34th Moto GP victory, with the Australian looking on the money to take victory for this year’s season.

Race Results





Casey Stoner Repsol Honda Team


Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha Factory Racing


Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team


Cal Crutchlow Monster Yamaha Tech 3


Andrea Dovizioso Monster Yamaha Tech 3


Alvaro Bautista San Carlo Honda Gresini


Stefan Bradl LCR Honda MotoGP


Nicky Hayden Ducati Team


Valentino Rossi Ducati Team


Hector Barbera Pramac Racing Team


Ben Spies Yamaha Factory Racing


Aleix Espargaro Power Electronics Aspar


Danilo Petrucci Came IodaRacing Project


Mattia Pasini Speed Master


Ivan Silva Avintia Blusens


Colin Edwards NGM Mobile Forward Racing


Karel Abraham Cardion AB Motoracing


Randy de Puniet Power Electronics Aspar


James Ellison Paul Bird Motorsport


Michele Pirro San Carlo Honda Gresini


Yonny Hernandez Avintia Blusens