A former professional Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and British champion, Keith Huewen has been commentating motorised sports ever since he retired from the paddock. Currently, he is a commentator for BT Sport.
Here, Keith Huewen talks about the points system in Moto GP and gives his views on some of the sport’s greatest names. For his expert view on more specific aspects of Moto GP racing, have a look at:
Moto GP points system
How does the Moto GP points system work?
“The top 15 racers get points. First receives 25, down to one point for the 15th. There are no bonus points and it’s all cumulative, meaning every point counts towards your championship position. Standings are updated after every race. Just like the riders, manufacturers get points as well. Commentators don’t really focus on this; but the manufacturer series is important.”
How does the Moto GP leaderboard work?
“It’s straightforward – the rider who crosses the line first gets the most points – and every point counts. Whenever you finish in the top 15 you get points. The man with the most points wins the championship at the end of the year.”
Moto GP racers
Why aren’t the British racers capable of challenging for the title in Moto GP? Cal Crutchlow won two races, but the Brits are seriously underperforming. Is it a lack of talent?
“It’s all about preparation. Racers are getting younger and younger. In the Spanish system, competitors are coming through from a young age. They have the tracks and the weather – it’s all sorted there. There are two reasons why our guys don’t do as well. They start later and there’s a distinct lack of sponsorship in the UK. You mentioned Cal Crutchlow (below) – he’s a great example. At 30-odd years old, he’s a latecomer. He has had to come the long way through the British system. Up until 2018, when a new British Talent Cup series is launched, the British system really hasn’t promoted MotoGP. It leans far more towards World Superbike and the production style of racing.
“The great Carl Fogarty was never given a viable opportunity on a Grand Prix bike, but was the world’s best for years on a Superbike. It’s all very well dumping a kid on a Grand Prix bike, but you’ve got to give that kid the time and technical help to get him ahead. Grand Prix was quite technical back in the day, but now it’s absolutely cutting edge. Everything is brand new and that’s why we don’t have a pipeline feeding riders to MotoGP. Yet, Dorna have now launched the British Talent Cup in London, and are supporting an independent British Talent Team in Moto3 GP, which will be great for nurturing young British talent. Currently, the UK has four Moto GP riders, but only one each in each of the feeder classes of Moto2 and Moto3. Young Scot Rory Skinner is a very exciting prospect to watch. He’s only 15, has been in Spain and he’s set to do big things in the future.”
Is Valentino Rossi too old to get his 10th title?
“At 38, age catches up with him. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a massive uphill battle for him. Looking at the grid, Maverick Vinales and Marc Marquez are the guys to beat. They’re superstars. Rossi will go down as arguably the greatest of all time. He’ll win some races this year but he won’t win his 10th title in my opinion.”
- Valentino Rossi v Jorge Lorenzo (Valencia 2015)
Do you think it will help Rossi that Jorge Lorenzo moved to Ducati?
“That’s a good one. Even though they patched things up from the past it is still only a patch! I think it’s every man for himself at the end of the day. There is no way Jorge will help Valentino Rossi – that’s just not going to happen. He is his own man.”
Is Guy Martin as good as people think or is it self-promotion?
“He is a good motorcycle rider, but he is even better at PR. He is a television star more than a motorcycle rider. I think his personality is a little contrived from where I’m sat. I don’t know Guy personally, I’ll underline that now, but coming back to the TT is a big risk. I hope he comes out of it unscathed and retires from racing gracefully.”
Coming back to the TT, you don’t think he can win it?
“I don’t think he can win it without some kind of special circumstances intervening. Michael Dunlop’s going very quick and there’s a new breed of people at the TT. It has more variables than any other race, so it’s impossible to say whether Guy can or cannot win it. I don’t think John McGuinness is his biggest threat, that will always come from the TT track itself.”
- Guy Martin v Michael Dunlop (Isle of Man TT)
Why don’t British Moto racers get recognition from competitions like BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award?
“It’s annoying, isn’t it? Every year, we have the same argument amongst Moto GP fans and pundits. The fact of the matter is that we are still a minority sport to an extent. I do not understand why we don’t get more column inches in the media. We have so many great events, riders and a huge following on TV. A lot of money also goes around in the sport and we have some really big competitions, yet we don’t seem to generate much coverage. But does it really matter? I personally don’t like those sorts of personality awards. What’s personality got to do with it?”
Do you think we will ever see Lewis Hamilton on a racing bike? If so, how do you think he would do?
“I think we will see him on a racing bike. Michael Schumacher was absolutely rapid on a motorbike. The late Colin McRae was the fastest car man that I’ve seen on a motorcycle. Lewis has had a little sniff at it and I can imagine him doing it. We are all in awe of Formula One drivers but you only have to look at Mark Webber’s face when he was spectating at the TT and a 200 mile an hour bike whizzes two feet past his face, to understand how respected the sport is by other disciplines. I can see Lewis Hamilton on a bike. How quick he will be depends on what’s going on in his head at the time.”
Moto GP betting
Moto GP is not only an extremely exciting sport to watch, but also to bet on. Fans can choose from a number of betting options, both on the Championship and the individual Grand Prix races.
Just like Moto GP and any other sport, betting has its rules, designed for maximum playing pleasure and fair play. Here, you can see how we make betting on sports fun, fair and easy for everyone.