A palpable sense of outrage rocked the MotoGP world at the news that British Eurosport would not be showing MotoGP in 2009, the victim of contractual agreement between several terrestrial broadcasters and Dorna. But it was not so much the loss of the pictures that fans were enraged about, as the loss of the sounds. Commentators Julian Ryder and Toby Moody had built up a cult following over the years, and their interaction with former GP legend Randy Mamola - acting as pit lane reporter - managed to inform, entertain and fascinate, all in one. A difficult trick, and an admirable one to be able to pull off.
Petitions were drawn up, attracting many thousands of signatures, and the BBC was buried under a deluge of requests to replace their commentary team of Steve Parrish and Charlie Cox with the Diamond Duo of Moody and Ryder. But the BBC would not budge: they were happy with their current commentators, and would be sticking by them. MotoGP fans looked to be plain out of luck.
But no longer: Eurosport have now done a deal to broadcast the practice and the races with Moody and Ryder which won't interfere with the BBC coverage. Under the deal, Toby and Jules will provide commentary for practice, qualifying and the 125 and 250 races live, and the MotoGP races will be broadcast a few days later with the recorded live commentary. Sadly, though, Moody and Ryder will no longer be at all the races. They will be providing commentary from a studio in the UK for most of the races, with the exception of the Spanish and British round, and possibly one other race, where they will be attending in person, and able to provide their inimitable blend of excitement and in-depth knowledge. Hardcore MotoGP fans around the world can breathe a sigh of relief.