Valentino Rossi and his Yamaha M1, which has been repainted in Petronas colors, at the presentation before the start of the 2021 season. When the “Dottore” and colleagues in Qatar go out onto the track for the first time, none of this will be seen live. This has not existed for years (© Petronas Yamaha SRT).

Is Dorna fooling its customers for the second time after 2020?

Last year, the corona pandemic not only put teams, drivers and fans to a tough test, but almost all of humanity. In addition, there was the problem with Red Bull Media for TV consumers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Instead of Sport1 and Eurosport before, their stations introduced a catastrophic narrow-gauge program from 2019 after taking over the TV rights for the German-speaking countries. For the first time in over 10 years there was no live broadcast of training sessions and warm-ups. Since the Qatar GP in 2019, the Austrians have only shown around 30 percent of the action on the track live. The only exception to this is their home race, which is not very exciting for the fans due to the boring layout in Spielberg. But it looks like they won’t be the only ones fooling their customers in the coming season.

Photographed behind the Losail grandstand on MotoGP Sunday 2019. Despite an amazing line-up of 6 (in words six) moderators and co-commentators flown in to Qatar for a lot of money, Servus TV limited itself to broadcasting qualifying sessions and races. Red Bull Media could hardly fool the fans worse, and the quality of the moderators was also catastrophic.

MotoGP season begins behind closed doors

On March 2nd, Dorna subdued reported that “the track action on March 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 11th and 12th will not be shown live”. In view of the fact that this was originally promised to subscribers to the video pass, which is sinfully expensive at 140 euros (minus 1 cent so that it looks like cheaper discounters) annual bonus, a slap in the face of every buyer. The MotoGP rights holder had already annoyed his customers last year. Due to the corona pandemic, content was suddenly unlocked for everyone who hadn’t paid a cent for it. Many subscription holders wrote to us asking what this was for. We asked Dorna and only received an insignificant standard mail in response. The same is now also for 2021, when it again looks like many customers are likely to feel tremendously cheated again.

Photographed by us during the Moto2 race in Losail in 2019 – almost empty grandstands. Because Dorna wanted to punch through the start of the season in Qatar, they deliberately accepted a ghost race. Now not even the tests are shown live, which the fans never experienced for years.

Even with a monthly subscription, anything but a bargain
Incidentally, the video pass costs 30 euros (minus 1 cent) for one month. If you look at the month of July with just one race, an almost unbelievably high price. For comparison: Eurosport offers a monthly pass for € 6.99, which includes all the sports offered by this broadcaster. In the Netherlands this means that a subscriber paid less than a quarter than at Dorna and included MotoGP! If the Red Bull broadcaster Servus TV didn’t offend fans as it has since 2019, this would not be such a problem in German-speaking countries.

View from the main grandstand in Losail – whether day or night, spectators only see the drivers here on the start-finish straight and on the monitor vis a vis. The route is not accessible to visitors and therefore this is one of the most boring events for on-site spectators. The food offer is a bad joke. Here, of all places, Dorna is planning a double race in the 2nd Corona year.

The questionable MotoGP calendar for 2021

After the Grand Prix of Argentina and Texas were canceled as we announced on November 6th, 2020, numerous changes can still be expected. Races like Assen and Sachsenring are rather questionable and unrealistic without spectators, as already became clear in the first Corna year 2020. In addition, of course, all overseas Grand Prix, which we also clarified last year. At that time, like many journalists, Dorna still dreamed of a “return to normality”. However, as early as April 2020, experts had warned that this “normality” would not exist for years to come. Even so, this has been completely ignored by countless politicians and journalists. A prime example of this is “Shorty”, Mr. Kurz from Austria, who has been constantly embarrassing himself for months. The Federal Chancellor from the Alpine republic went from being a showcase figure to being a joke, to name just one example.

It is possible that the start of the test and season in Losail in “La Bestia” has already found its first victim. As it became known, Enea Bastianini was apparently unable to take its flight to Qatar due to problems with its Covid test. It looks like the fans are not the only victims of the dubious calendar of Dorna with the start of the season in the seedy desert state of Qatar, which is currently criticized because of apparently thousands of victims from third world countries when building stadiums for the World Cup.