What a way to close the MotoGP season! The tight twisty Valencia track usually throws up some spectacular surprises, the first of which this year was the weather. It was a beautiful November finale in more ways than one.
Spain is by far a world leader when it comes to top two wheel racers, and with 110,000 people trackside on race day they were not lacking in support under the Spanish sun. But it was Thursday's shock, and somewhat mismanaged, announcement by the worlds favourite racer that he was dropping his long time crew chief that dominated the run-up to racing. One of the most successful partnerships in MotoGP would be no more come 2014! You can be sure that Valentino Rossi intended no disrespect to the eminent Jeremy Burgess, but that's how the debacle may be remembered. Even JB admitted to being "blindsided" by the move. Opinions were swift; had the great man made a mistake in effectively blaming Burgess for his lack of form, both at Ducati and now Yamaha? Or was it the usual ruthless calculation of a sportsman striving for the best option? Almost as soon as the story broke you could feel two distinct sides forming as the God-like Italian appeared to falter off track as well as (by his standards) on it. So-called media experts, people on the paddock periphery and keyboard heros were in a frenzy. Granted it's a high risk strategy for the 9 times world champion, but 'The Doctor' is aiming to defy the smart money, and his age, and start winning again. Just one great story guaranteed to get us glued to our TVs in 2014!
Talking of TV. Valencia was also the swansong for UK broadcasters BBC and long time MotoGP supporters Eurosport. DORNA has given a 5 year exclusive contract in the UK to BT Sport and the big buzz about who, where and what we'll see has been a closely guarded secret, (something usually impossible in a MotoGP paddock). Lost in all of this may be the fact that two great teams of people will have to find new jobs. Having been in that position a few times, I'd like to wish each and every one of these ladies and gentlemen all the best for the future!
If you need any information about me you should be able to find it among these pages, but if you want instant comment Twitter could be the best place to look. All the top riders, drivers, team PR and team personnel fire off information that a few years ago would have taken a week to reach us, so get 'following'!
I'm at www.twitter.com/keithhuewen or @keithhuewen
Don't forget to say hello if you see me trackside.
All the best
The date today is Friday, December 6, 2013