MotoMatters.com has won the MotoGP Blogger of the Year awared in Silverstone's annual media awards for the second consecutive year. After more than 3,500 votes had been counted, we were voted best MotoGP blogger for the second year running.
Firstly, we'd like to thank everyone who voted for us. It is a truly humbling experience to have so many people make the effort to show their appreciation with their votes. And thanks to the people who help to make the site what it is: Scott Jones, one of the very, very best photographers in the MotoGP paddock, Jared Earle, who has taken on coverage of World Superbikes and made it far better than I could ever have hoped to on my own, Venancio Luis Nieto for adding so much insight into the Moto2 class, and the other contributors who help to make the site what it is, Andrew Gosling, Ben Davies, Jules Cisek, and Russ, Joe, Dave, Len and many others for help behind the scenes. The encouragement we receive is what keeps us going, through both hard times and good times.
We are in venerable company indeed. The official MotoGP.com website won best website award, as well as the prize for best MotoGP tweeter. British publication MCN won best MotoGP publication - the quality of the articles in the print version of the paper and in MCN Sport is many light years ahead of their website, and once senior management finally accepts the inevitable, and publishes the same quality articles that only appear in the paper version, they will wipe most other websites away - and the Daily Telegraph won the prize for best MotoGP coverage in a national (UK) newspaper.
When I first started the site, I never really thought of it as a blog, but over the years, I have come to realize that this is exactly what MotoMatters is, and should be. I never really understood what people mean by a blog - I still don't - but given that we don't have the resources, and I don't have the ambition to be a fully comprehensive news site, I suppose the word 'blog' best fits the bill. What we try to do is pick out the most relevant and important developments in the world of motorcycle racing, report them, and explain their significance. I have never felt comfortable being called a journalist - in truth, I feel I am a very mediocre journalist - preferring to regard myself as a writer instead. It is heartening to know that there is an audience out there interested in what we have to say, and appreciative of the analysis we provide.
Which brings me to perhaps my proudest achievement. While generally, debate on the internet results in people flinging insults at each other from behind the anonymity of adopted pseudonyms, the level of discussion on MotoMatters.com is exceptionally high. People inside the MotoGP paddock have regularly expressed their approval of the intelligence of the comments from readers, and the civil and intelligent tone taken. That has evolved with little necessity on my part to intervene - though I have done so on several occasions, and sometimes preemptively, if I feared the debate would get out of hand. I am always grateful, and frequently both astonished and humbled by the level of debate about the articles, which can often make my own writings look rather threadbare in comparison.
While it is wonderful to receive the accolades of the public, I would also like to point out that there are still some gaps missing in these awards. There is, for example, no award for World Superbikes. There are no awards for podcasts, in either category, though the prize for best MotoGP podcast could only go to MotoPOD, and the best F1 podcast would surely go to the one produced by Formula1Blog.com.
Though the internet receives an awful lot of criticism from the existing print media - the MotoGP press room is rapidly emptying out, as magazines go out of business and national newspapers cut back on expenses, their failure to adapt to and find a way to monetize changing circumstances proving to be very costly - the internet has added a vast amount of extra depth to the way that fans can interact with the sport that they love. Photographers have been the first to understand this, with people such as Andrew Wheeler and Scott Jones using the tools provided by Social Media to share what they love with their fans. But it has also allowed intelligent insiders such as Ian Wheeler and Alex Briggs to give an inside view into the workings of a MotoGP team, and help educate fans on the intricacies and attention to detail that goes into racing successfully. And it has brought hilarity, in the shape of parody Twitter account TwitGP, Eurosport blogger Duncan Bishop, and armchair comedian and critic SofaRacer. The world is changing, and adapting to change is hard, but it offers new opportunities all the time.
So thank you all once again, and if you love what we do and want us to keep doing it, please help us keep it going. Buy yourself a MotoMatters Racing Calendar, and treat yourself to 15 of Scott Jones' fantastic pictures to hang on your wall. Take out a MotoMatters subscription: you get little in return, but most of all, you know that you are helping us to get to the races and report on it. To the many people who have already supported us, our thanks, and to those who just visit and read the site, thank you too, the advertising revenue from the site helps too.
Below is the press release issued by the Silverstone Circuit press office on the media awards:
Winners of the 2012 Silverstone Media Awards announced
- Over 3,500 fans vote for favourite F1 and MotoGP™ coverage
At the end of another exhilarating motor sport season, Silverstone is delighted to announce the winners of the 2012 Silverstone Media Awards. More than 3,500 viewers, listeners, readers and followers voted in the circuit’s online poll, inviting fans to nominate their favourite source of news and gossip from the 2012 F1 and MotoGP™ paddocks.
All fans voting in the Silverstone Media Awards were entered into a prize draw to win two hospitality places at either the FORMULA 1 BRITISH GRAND PRIX (28 – 30 June), or the MotoGP British Grand Prix (30 August – 01 September) at Silverstone in 2013. Ten runners-up will each receive a Silverstone Goody Bag.
The winners of the 2012 Silverstone Media Awards, as voted by the fans, are:
Best television channel for F1 coverage:
Best national newspaper for F1 coverage:
Winner: The Telegraph / Sunday Telegraph
Best motor sport publication for F1 coverage:
Winner: F1 Racing
Best website for F1 coverage:
Winner: BBC - www.bbc.co.uk
Best F1 Blogger:
Winner: James Allen - http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/
Best F1 Tweeter:
Best television channel for MotoGP™ coverage:
Best national newspaper for MotoGP™ coverage:
Winner: The Telegraph / Sunday Telegraph
Best bike publication for MotoGP™ coverage:
Best website for MotoGP™ coverage:
Winner: MotoGP™ official website - www.motogp.com
Best MotoGP™ Blogger:
Winner: Motomatters - http://motomatters.com/
Best MotoGP™ Tweeter:
Katie Tyler, Head of Communications for Silverstone Circuits Limited, commented, “Formula 1™ and MotoGP™ fans are passionate about the sports they follow. The Silverstone Media Awards have provided those fans with a platform to acknowledge and show their appreciation for the media who keep them up-to-date with everything that’s going on, throughout the year.
“We have had a fantastic response to the 2012 Silverstone Media Awards, with more than 3,500 fans casting their votes. The awards mean a great deal to the winners, as they are voted for by the fans, in recognition of their work. We look forward to presenting this year’s winners with trophies to acknowledge their contribution towards another fantastic season of both two and four-wheeled motor sport.”
For further information on 2013 events at Silverstone visit www.silverstone.co.uk, or call 0844 3728 270.