by Amy Dargan, MotoGP Paddock Reporter
The Austrian GP in my opinion was one of the best races of the season, my stomach physically hurt afterwards from tensing it so much throughout the insanely gripping 28 laps however the weekend also became a sharp reminder of the new age of racing we live in.
To say the racing was overshadowed would be grossly incorrect but there was a definite tainting of social media spats that it would be fair to say became a hot topic of conversation over the weekend, across the broadcasters and news outputs.
The Miller / Redding / Lowes 2018 contract triangle had been brewing for weeks but when the Miller to Pramac deal was announced the domino effect for Redding and then Lowes saw opinions being shared left right and centre.
I also heard a certain broadcaster choose to also highlight another social media frenzy this weekend regarding one of the riders’ personal lives with another type of triangle diagram. Probably the biggest online debate that caught a lot of attention was a twitter argument that broke out when Josh Brookes decided to publicly share his opinion on some of the riders comments following Saturday’s Qualifying debriefs; that if rain was too appear on Sunday they wouldn’t feel happy about racing at the Red Bull Ring. Aleix Espargaro who is always very forthcoming and honest with his thoughts responded and it all went from there.
It does prompt the question, how much has social media changed our sport and has it been positive or detrimental? I refrain quite often from sharing my opinion on social media other than PG-friendly posts to avoid being misunderstood or trolled or committing to something that I might later regret saying but then there are others who have successfully shaped their business and so reason for being in the paddock on it.
Keeping the social media conversation and reel of opinions going is what keeps their audience engaged. Lets face it, everyone loves an opinion! I do like seeing the uncensored, non-press release, genuine posts from the riders too, whether it be there opinion on a football match, something that’s happened over a GP weekend or just where you get to see a little bit more of their personality.
However walking away from a GP weekend where we saw some of the most epic racing of the season and we’re all still chatting away about the off track battles makes me ponder the question do people like how much social media has become a part of the sport? Go on then, give me your opinion below ;)
Remember Silverstone and the British GP is next up, and we’re delighted to hear that home favourite, Scott Redding, has today been confirmed on a factory contract next year, with Aprilia. So, if you haven’t got a ticket already - get one! It’s a historical year, make sure you can say you were there the year that….won by…we’ll have to fill in the blanks come November!
Who is Amy?
Amy is one of MotoGP’s official roving reporters hunting down the riders, their managers, crew chiefs and paddock personalities at every Grand Prix. This season she'll be filling BikeSocial readers in on the story lines in between the racing lines.
Amy is all about two wheels coming from three years covering the MXGP championship before embarking on her third season in MotoGP, she'll also be the pit lane reporter at selected Speedway Grand Prix this year.