It has been an intense 2020 for everyone in motorcycle racing. Fourteen races in eighteen weeks felt like rushing headlong into an infinite void at warp speed, with never a spare moment to catch your breath.
Add to that the wildest, weirdest, most topsy-turvy season in recent memory, and there was too much to write about and nowhere near enough time to cover it all. In a normal race season, I feel like there is a lot of stuff I can’t cover during a race weekend. This season, despite seeming like I was engaged in a writing marathon, and covered a huge amount of ground, it still felt like I barely scratched the surface.
While all this was going on, there were bigger things going on in the background. My elderly parents were going through a health crisis which required attention and assistance. Fortunately, they have great friends and neighbors to help, and my brother, who is truly the best of us, was able to fly in from the US to provide care on the ground.
Now, it is my turn, both to get some rest from the rigors of the 2020 MotoGP season, and to provide the care and support my parents need and deserve. For the next few weeks, until we get a permanent and professional support system in place, a significant part of my time will be devoted to putting the necessary arrangements in place for my parents’ care.
I am of course very fortunate in this, the nature of my profession giving me the freedom to rearrange my work around other matters. The other side of that particular coin were the 18 weeks which preceded the current period, during which my life was dictated by the rhythm of the MotoGP season, and my duty to the readers who pay me to do this.
All this rather unusual and frank incursion into my private life is a circuitous way of announcing the plans for the coming couple of months on the site. After a stream of content on the site, I will be stepping back the pace a little, and concentrating on quality rather than quantity. There will still be articles coming – there is still so much to write about the 2020 MotoGP season – but they will not be quite so frequent as previously.
News will be covered when it is significant and will have an impact on racing going forward. But there will not be coverage of every minor occurrence in the racing world. If Marc Márquez decides to have a third surgery on his right humerus, we will cover it. If you feel the need for completeness, follow my friend Peter McLaren’s updates on Crash.net, and see GPOne.com for more coverage.
I hope to write about the forces which dictated the way the 2020 season played out, and examine how each factory and all of the players adapted to it. I want to examine what this means for 2021, and how much we might expect to change. Can Joan Mir and Suzuki repeat their success of 2020? Will Ducati’s gamble on youth over experience pay off? Will KTM make another step to be serious championship contenders? What is to become of Yamaha, after a binary year of great success and terrible failure? Will Marc Márquez return fully fit, and will anything have changed? What next for Aprilia?
I also hope to be able to answer another round of subscriber and Patreon questions, on the 2020 season and beyond. There will be other subscriber specials as well.
There are also articles coming from MotoMatters.com contributors. On the role of test riders, on the 2021 WorldSBK season, on the 2020 Moto2 and Moto3 seasons, and much more, from regulars such as Steve English, Neil Morrison, Tammy Gorali, Gordo Ritchie, and others. There will be episodes of the Paddock Pass Podcast (though I will be a less frequent contributor for a while). And selections of photos from this year that didn’t make the website, from Cormac Ryan Meenan and from Rob Gray of Polarity Photo.
The site will also take an almost complete break in the last week or so of 2020 and the first week of 2021. In early January 2021, if all goes well, we hope to return to a fuller coverage of MotoGP and WorldSBK. The emphasis on analysis of what truly matters will remain, however. The big stories will be covered. Social media spats between riders and other racing personalities will not.
Finally, a word of thanks to everyone who has subscribed to MotoMatters.com, or supported the site via Patreon, or just sent money via Paypal or Gofundme. At the beginning of the pandemic, I had no idea whether I would survive financially. With your backing, the site has come through this very difficult year still afloat, with our hopes and plans for the future still intact. The big plans for MotoMatters.com have only been delayed, rather than postponed.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, the prospect of multiple vaccines being approved means we are now closer to the end of the pandemic than the beginning. We are still some way from a return to normality, but the 2021 racing seasons will look more like 2019 than 2020, barring catastrophe. There is, to borrow the subtitle of a famous movie, a new hope.
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