As the digital world continues its relentless drift into the world of the mobile device, both MotoGP and World Superbikes series are starting to catch up. Last week the World Superbike series announced the availability of its WSBK iPhone app in the iTunes store, and this week, MotoGP has followed suit, with its own live timing app for iPhone and iTouch.
The focus of the MotoGP app is live timing during practice, qualifying and the races for all three classes. The app displays a number of different views on timing data, from a traditional list to GPS-based track position during the races. The app even provides live commentary with the timing data. When the bikes are not out on track, the app provides an entry point into MotoGP.com's mobile website, featuring news and photo galleries. Probably the best feature, though, is the ability to download live timing and commentary, and replay it at a later date, allowing users to follow the races from a different perspective when rewatching races, or simply use the live timing when the races are shown tape-delayed. Previously, fans were forced to decide between following the live timing on MotoGP.com when the race was on, or waiting until their local channel broadcast the race, but missing out on the finesses of live timing.
World Superbike's app - produced by InFront Motor Sports, the promoter of the series - is slightly broader in intent, and provides much of the same data on the World Superbike website, but in a more digestible form. The app also boasts live timing, and access to the news, rider data and racing calendar, as well as photos from the weekend's action. But the app will also provide access to videos, including interviews and race highlights, with Infront promising to have race highlights available shortly after the races have finished.
Given the popularity of the iPhone, both apps would be a wise investment for the wired up motorcycle racing fan. Whether the apps are worth the €14.99 (MotoGP) or $4.99 (WSBK) which the iTunes store is selling them for is a question which MotoMatters.com cannot answer. Unlike about 90% of the paddock and press room, we have yet to fall for the charms of what The Register calls the "Jesus Phone," remaining wary of the draconian restrictions placed on the phone's use by Apple. The availability of these apps may force us to reconsider our position. Especially given that the apps will also work with the iTouch.