The BBC has responded to criticism over its coverage of the penultimate MotoGP round in Malaysia, saying schedule constraints forced it to sacrifice post-race interviews and celebration.

A delay in proceedings at Sepang, caused by a torrential downpour before the start, played havoc with the live coverage on the BBC, forcing a channel change mid-way through the race, while the transmission was then curtailed before the podium celebrations and interviews.

This was especially frustrating for fans since Valentino Rossi won his ninth world title by finishing third in the race.

"The start of the MotoGP race from Sepang, Malaysia was delayed by 40 minutes due to torrential rain and therefore the programme ended up overrunning our scheduled slot on BBC One," was told.

"We were unable to overrun on BBC One because Match of the Day was scheduled for that morning and due to contractual reasons we couldn't move the programme. In addition, the Andrew Marr show was also scheduled and with the guests booked to attend meant that particular programme also couldn't be moved.

"However, we were offered 30 minutes on BBC Two to show the end of the race. As BBC Two had already dropped one children's programme, we couldn't extend our coverage any more and as a result, we weren't allowed any more time and had to end the programme before the podium and interviews.

"At the end of the programme, we did promise our viewers we would bring them all this on the re-run at 12.45 - which we did, as well as making it available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.

"The Formula One qualifying session in Interlagos was treated exactly the same as this particular MotoGP race. The Formula One was moved to BBC Two after already displacing the scheduled time for Strictly Come Dancing. The delay in moving the Formula One was due to the fact we had to wait for an available slot in BBC Two schedules."

The BBC assumed live television rights for MotoGP in 2009, the start of an exclusive five-year deal until 2013.


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