In the bleak midwinter, when frosty winds doth blow, all the racing’s stopped on telly and Boris has closed the pubs down for the umpteenth time since the C word befouled each and every one of our lives, you’re probably bored shitless. And even if we are allowed to mix with family (perhaps you’re reading this in a post-covid world) let’s face it, an afternoon with the in-laws is more than enough for anyone. Once you’ve worn your fingers to a knub scrolling through every social media platform imaginable, and you’ve completed 44T’s back catalogue of YouTube videos, you’ll no doubt be looking for something to keep you entertained. So, because we’re massive fans of free online content (our aforementioned YouTube channel is a case in point), we’ve put together a list of our Top 5 free MotoGP documentaries you can watch online right now. As always, if you think there is anything we’ve missed out, or just got it completely wrong, let us know, and we’ll try and do better next time.
5 – Building Success (The Petronas SRT Story)
This is a six-part documentary that goes behind the scenes of the Petronas Yamaha SRT MotoGP team throughout their debut year in the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. You’ll witness the highs and lows of MotoGP racing through the eyes of a Petronas SRT insider as satellite Yamaha team riders, Fabio Quartararo and Franko Morbidelli, battle it out on the track. The documentary also captures the more mundane side of the sport as the cameras follow the GP superstars to press interviews and events all over the world, as it aims to give the viewer a better understanding of what life’s like for a professional MotoGP rider. You’ll join the team for pre and post-race briefings as well as getting an idea of what the team manager looks for in his next rider, and the decisions that need to be made when choosing the right one. If that tickles your fancy, you can watch all six episodes for free on motogp.com. You’ll have to register, or sign in, to view the content, but they won’t take money off you, and once you are in, there’s tons of other free stuff to watch to keep you entertained.
4 – Brad Binder: Becoming 33
“It’s a fine line between being completely out of control and being as fast as possible” – Brad Binder, 2020. This lad’s gone from being virtually unknown, to winning a MotoGP race in the space of a few years and ‘Brad Binder: Becoming 33’ explores just how that’s happened. The documentary has been nearly 10 years in the making and includes archive footage from his early racing career and family life as well as his meteoric rise to stardom. There’s stuff from the Red Bull Rookies Cup, Moto3, Moto2 and finally MotoGP, where he is currently riding for the factory KTM team (and has just been crowned MotoGP Rookie of the year). If you’ve ever wondered how much it takes to get to the top level of your sport; the cost; the hard work; the sacrifice; Becoming 33 has it all. So next time you have an hour or so spare, put the kettle on, get your feet up and head over to redbull.com – in fact you don’t even have to type anything, just click here and I’ll take you there.
3 – Valentino Rossi: The Doctor
Some, nay many, say Valentino is the greatest motorcycle racer of all time and this five-part series examines exactly what makes the Italian such an icon. There’s no denying the fact that, although he’s in the autumn years of his MotoGP racing career, he’s still one of the most popular riders in motorcycle racing history. That’s why his home GP of Mugello still turns a shade of yellow thanks to his tens of thousands of ‘VR46’ tee shirt-clad fans squeezing into the stands trackside. This documentary reveals how much pressure that spotlight puts on the nine-time world champ. But not only that, the cameras follow Vale back to his ranch in Tavullia to see how he passes the time of day when he isn’t racing his Yamaha MotoGP bike or selling Valentino Rossi merchandise to his fans all across the world. The five-part documentary was shot by his long time sponsor Monster Energy who uploaded it to their YouTube channel back in 2016, and it’s still there for you to enjoy. Click here for episode one.
2 – The Age of 27 (the Casey Stoner Story)
When two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner announced his retirement from motorcycle grand prix racing at the tender age of 27, I couldn’t believe it. He was one of the best in the world and he just chucked the towel in, he’d had enough. The Age of 27 follows the story of Stoner’s remarkable career from racing as a kid, working his way through the ranks to MotoGP, being crowned champion, and then his seemingly early retirement. I had loads of questions to ask Casey Stoner when he retired back in 2012, questions that I didn’t think would ever get answered. This documentary fills in a lot of the gaps, answers a lot of questions and highlights a lot of the challenges a professional sportsperson can face. This is another one on motogp.com (or BT Sport if you have it), so you have to register or sign in to watch it, but it’s free to watch once you do.
1 – Racing together: The History of the World Championship
This is THE documentary that every motorcycle racing fan needs to watch. It’s been put together by the FIM and Dorna and it documents the entire history of Motorcycle Grand Prix racing from when it started back in 1949. From the days of 50cc two strokes, through the Honda vs MV Agusta years, through the Agostini, Sheene, Spencer, Doohan years, the reign of Rossi and the end of the 500cc two-stroke era, to today’s modern-day MotoGP racers; Racing Together has it all, with thoughts and opinions from some of the very best world champions there’s ever been. At two hours long, it’s a bit of an epic, so make sure you’re sitting comfortably when you decide to watch it. Like the Petronas and the Brad Binder video, it’s on motogp.com (and BT Sport), so you have to register or sign in, but like the others it’s free to watch… and it’s worth it. Enjoy.