The news that the BBC's MotoGP commentary team will remain unchanged for 2009 - when the channel will become the exclusive MotoGP broadcaster on British television, following the end of Eurosport's long agreement with Dorna - generated an avalanche of comments within the forum, most of which expressed disappointment that some of the Eurosport team were not signed by the BBC.

Among the 260+ posts on the subject left since Monday were additional concerns about the BBC's commitment to MotoGP, in terms of the amount of live coverage it will broadcast from each MotoGP event and the channel on which it will be shown - prompting BBC MotoGP Series Producer Belinda Rogerson to send the following reply.

Belinda had intended to post directly in the forum, but the length of her reply meant it could only be added in full within a news story:

"Having read my way through the various comments on the site I wanted a chance to respond to some of the points raised. The BBC team work hard to produce the best possible coverage but I also accept that it is impossible to please everyone with our programmes. I also want to point out that many of the posts are of a highly personal nature and I am not prepared to get involved in that discussion.

"BBC Sport are proud of their coverage of MotoGP and bringing premier class racing to a terrestrial audience. In 2009 we are expanding our coverage to include Qualifying of the 125 and 250 classes on Saturday alongside MotoGP Qualifying from every round on the red button. There will be live coverage of every race and in Europe MotoGP Extra after the race has finished giving further insight and interviews. That's around 7 hours of coverage each weekend.

"Our coverage attracts audiences of over a million with an approval rating that has been the highest for any terrestrial program in a given week. We believe the BBC team and the commentary team are key to that success and we look forward to another exciting season in 2009.

"Steve Parrish raced at the very highest level and Charlie Cox is an experienced lead commentator with a great passion for and extensive knowledge of motor bikes. We always review our coverage at the end of the season and I frequently read the comments posted on a variety of websites including this one but commentary is a hugely subjective issue and we believe we have the best team to lead our programme.

"In terms of presentation Suzi Perry has a wealth of experience from years of fronting motorbike racing and our pitlane reporter Matthew Roberts has worked as a journalist for Dorna for 8 years before joining the BBC and his excellent connections with the teams enabled us to break stories last year ahead of anyone else.

"We have taken on board feedback about the non-recordable nature of the red button when viewed on certain platforms and as a result we will be looping the Qualifying on Saturday afternoon and evening and will do the same with the races on Sunday into the following week. A timetable for this will appear on the website at the start of the season.

"The inability to record the red button is a Sky Box issue rather than a specifically BBC one so we are doing all we can to enable you to watch the sessions you may have missed live. If you can get Eurosport then you will also be able to access the red button. Under the terms of the licence we can't turn BBC3 or 4 into a sports channel although we can use them occasionally and they are unavailable during the day as the bandwidth is used by CBeebies and CBBC.

"All broadcasters take the race coverage from Dorna and this is currently not produced in HD although I understand they are planning to do so in 2010. We took the widescreen coverage of the racing as soon as it became available at the start of the last season and we are always looking for further ways to innovate our coverage. I have a great deal of time for all the Eurosport team, I know them all personally and I was very sorry to see them go at the end of last season but this was a decision taken by Dorna and not the BBC.

"I am always keen to get feedback and to read suggestions as to what you would like to see within the programme and I will continue to read the websites and your views."

Belinda Rogerson, MotoGP Series Producer, BBC Sport



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