Editor's Blog: The Winter Hiatus Is Upon Us - It's Been A Rough Year

It has been a long and exciting year in MotoGP and WorldSBK. Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, WorldSBK managed a full 13-round season, MotoGP racked up 18 rounds in total. In both championships we saw exciting young champions emerge from a season full of drama. The best WorldSBK season in a decade or more, and a fantastic battle in MotoGP.

There has been a lot to write about, and I feel I have utterly failed to do it justice. Fortunately, thanks to the support of the wonderful people I get to work with - especially MotoGP reporter Zara Daniella, WorldSBK reporter Jared Earle, Moto2 and Moto3 guru Neil Morrison, WorldSBK doyen Gordon Ritchie and the photographic talent of Cormac Ryan Meenan, but also the many writers who have contributed, including Akira Nishimura, Peter Bom, Niki Kovacs, Steve English, and Tammy Gorali, among others - we have covered a lot of ground.

Yet I feel I have not lived up to expectations. Not for my readers, and not for myself. My only excuse is that it has been a long and difficult year. Apart from dealing with the effects of the pandemic on motorcycle racing, and life in general, I have also had the death of my father at the beginning the year to deal with, and helping my mother to find her feet after spending nearly 57 years by his side. That has absorbed an enormous amount of emotional energy, and left me frankly exhausted. For a more detailed account of some of the things I went through last year, see the Twitter thread embedded below.

And so it is not time to take a break and recover. We head back to the UK to spend Christmas with my mother, our first without my father.

As a consequence, the site will be going on a hiatus until the second week of January. I still have one or two pieces to write, some pieces from MotoMatters.com contributors, and there should still be a couple of Paddock Pass Podcasts over the next couple of weeks. And of course, if anything of great significance happens, I will try to cover it.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who reads the site, and most especially to everyone who supports the site financially, either as a Site Supporter, through Patreon, or by making a donation. The site is what it is thanks to you.

Next year will be better, we hope. I hope to be able to focus more of my energy and attention on MotoGP, as well as paying more attention to WorldSBK, which has turned into a fantastic series. The focus of the site will remain on providing genuine insight and analysis, and as I hope to attend more races in 2022, that will also mean more interviews. Your financial support helps make that possible, so please consider subscribing, becoming a Patron, or making a donation.

Thank you all. Your support has meant more to me than you can know.

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Comments

This site remains a source of great enjoyment and escapism for your followers, especially when times are tough.  Your musings and great insight have brought comfort to your clientelle and casual visitors throughout a difficut year.  That you were able to continue with such a high standard in spite of covid and your greiving and familial recovery is something you should be immensely proud of.  Do not for a moment think that you have failed us.  Not one second.

Hope to meet you again at a GP on the continent or elsewhere some day.  Happy Christmas to you and yours from a very happy subscriber.

Cheers
Steve

Failure? Hardly. It's the first place I look every morning, whether to see something you've written or edited, or the latest comments by a generally erudite, clever, and amusing audience. Great site, great work, please keep it up. And post a picture of your new red GS sometime ... wink

Agreed. You should be proud, your website is always my first to check.

 

Your tweets said it all!

Lost my Dad to.dementia 8 years ago and still haven't got over it, I didn't get to see him enough in the care home due to work pressure which I still feel guilty about.

I really can't imagine the pain and suffering for you and your family to be denied access due this terrible pandemic.

So please don't apologise because seeing what you went through I am amazed that you have managed to keep on producing the extremely high quality articles on this site.

PS I lost my job (dismissed due to ill health) in the same year and this in part due to reaction to my Dad's death.

My father died of pneumonia , went into hospital and after three days was put on a resperator , died 21 days later , the day before my mother's birthday .

My mother died two years after a fall that broke her thigh into 5 pieces and needed a six hour operation to stitch together , for those years I was her 24/7 care giver , she spent one year getting better and then another dying of , undiagnosed , cancer - her behaviour in the last months was , on occasion , really weird due to blood clots getting to her brain . 

I had episodes of PTSD for the next couple of years , flashbacks of things .

 

David I so wish there was something I could say or do that could make things easier or better . 

Do the best you can is all you can do , you'll make mistakes , we all do but try not to let them haunt you - be warned some always will , you will feel you could have done that better but the reality is that , given the circumstances , you probably couldn't have at the time . 

Hindsight is , after all , 20 - 20 .

Life really sucks at times 

 

Be safe 

 

 

 

I have read your articles.

I have also just read your twitter thread. Your dad's fears are mine and I applaud your sharing the appalling experience. Everyone should be able to determine their own way of living and leaving life. I hope your mum can enjoy her remaining years and you can both remember him as he would wish.

Best wishes for a peaceful and happy Christmas and may 2022 be everything you hope for.

David: Everyone's a critic, most harshly of their own work. Let me be clear: you have NOT failed. I subbscribe to  MotoGp.com and Worldsbk.com, and I watch every practice session, qualifying session and race. Every Tuesday morning, I depend on you to explain and clarify what I saw. Your writing is clear and your analysis penetrating. That's success, in my book. Merry Christmas. Michael

It doesn't surprise me that you think you've underperformed over the past year - because it's so clear how passionate you are about doing great, thorough, perfect work. However, as a reader and subscriber I haven't thought that at all! I couldn't be more grateful for the amazing work you and your team do. The depth and breadth of your journalism is a precious gift for all of us who so love this sport.

I wish you a peaceful and joyous holiday break, so richly deserved, and I look forward to more of your fine work in 2022 and beyond. Thanks for bringing us along for the ride. And speaking of rides, huge congrats on your new bike!

Hi David, you've definitely not failed this year. Still enjoy your writing and all the others' contributions! Best wishes for the holidays and the new year.

Hi David,

I sensed (and saw) no under performance or failure out here this past year. I hope you can hide your laptop(s) for a few days if not a few weeks and amplify your enjoyment at being home and off the road. Ride that new motorcycle! 

Not to be overlooked is how you've continued to provide a rich and diverse forum for "... the rest of us" to discuss racing, riding, riders, teams and much more. Building community like this is a lifetime achievement, and you do it each year. 

Cheers,

Greg

I just looked at my profile, and I've been a 'member' of Motomatters for 13 years, 5 months.  Last year is the first year I became a supporting member (though I think the calendars you used to produce were designed as a fundraiser too, and I bought a few of those).  I feel like I got plenty of value for the dollar.

For me, the best aspect of MotoMatters.com is the depth of information, and the informed analysis (incl. some of the comments).  I'm unaware of other sources (in English), that compare.  As such, I hope you take this time off to completely disengage from work and this website and recharge for the coming season.  
Wishing you and the entire MM collective a Happy Holidays.

Failed to do it justice! I think not. What I find remarkable is that you managed to deliver all the important news and analysis, in your usual detailed, thoughtful and insightful way, against the backdrop of very personal tragedy.

I hope you and all contributors to this excellent site have a safe and peaceful Christmas.

You have not failed, my friend.

If anything, your care for your Mom and things like questioning the VR46/Aramco partnership have "betrayed your humanity". :P

Have a Merry Christmas, take some time and enjoy your family and extended family. The New Year (may you have a great one), will bring plenty of work.

Sometimes I wonder if DORNA considers the burden it places on the teams, with ever-increasing number of races. Maybe a piece detailing how the DORNA/teams symbiosis works would be nice.

We will be here.

P.S. Any chance of more Tammy Gorali on this site?

It's certainly been a hell of a year and your efforts have made it brighter for me, and I'm sure many others.

Here's to a better a 2022 for all.

 

 

 

One can be their own harshest critic. And yet, at times this year your writing was art as if it is still evolving. Maybe inside you transformed some of the pain into inspiration? Your articles are a breath of fresh air. Keep it up, Mr. Emmett.

Crikey David if you've failed then what have I achieved this year. I'm too scared to look in a mirror now. smiley You are our (wonderful & expert) eyes & ears to the top tier motorcycle racing world & like all the others I look forward to visiting this site ritually every day.

I hope you have a great refreshing Xmas & New Year.

Since we met on advrider.com in the racing section. Doing club racing coverage for JU, I was hoping he would hire you to cover the European World Superbike and MotoGP events. I tried, but he resisted even considering it. I am glad now, because after that disappointment, you started MM and have risen to produce far superior content than Roadracingworld, when it comes to MotoGP and World Superbike. I find it interesting that JU has finally started to hire commentary from others in MotoGP to improve their content. They have a long ways to go, however. 

In addition to your superior content, is the broader nature of it. As a result you attract a lot of different readers. I am the reader who wants mainly race coverage and content about the people in the paddock. Others are interested in mainly the technical story behind the races. You do a great job at both ends. I also like your World Superbike coverage. I don't always agree with their views, but I watch every WSK race and look forward to coverage here. I am glad you will be trying to do more in Superbike. 

Lastly regarding losing your Father, many of us have endured similar. Me two decades ago, but in the past couple months, my wife of 48 years lost both her Mother and Sister. 2021 has been a bad year for losing family and close friends. Meanwhile I am looking forward to a better 2022 and Motomatters.com coverage of the best two motorsports the world has ever seen.

will be how many of us continiue to subscribe !!
I'm confident it will be pretty well all of us !
Best wishes to you, David, your family, your contributors and to all of the other site supporters and readers !

David, you have a gift that most of us don't have - the ability to keep your writing accurate, brief, and entertaining.  There may be some flaws in your reporting, but I don't see them.  Happy holidays to you.  Have a rest.

Thanks David,

Through this website i get to indulge my love of motorbike racing, gain knowledge and see some wonderful photography. I get so much more out of each and every weekends racing. From my seat this has been another fantastic year of coverage and you and your contributors, you should all be proud of your work.

The UK government? an absolute, total and utter disgrace. Ashamed and frustrated to have such self serving B*$&urds in power

1. Whatever your ambitions David, I think that MM just keeps getting better and better. Look at the last few weeks for example - just reams of great content. I will say it again - I think this is the best sports journalism in the world.

2. I read the Twitter thread twice. Despite the sadness and pain inherent in the experiences, I thought that you words and ideas were noble and beautiful.

I would like to second the Shrink's hug. 

 

Condolences. You have not failed nor even come up short - far from it, you have maintained a level such that anything happening outside the site was imperceptible to the reader. You have been a true professional throughout.

Your devoted readers appreciate everything you and your contributors do David.

So sad about your Dad, my condolences. Mine has been gone for 30 years and this year my father-in-law succumbed to dementia.

Lost my angelic mom last year after a long battle with cancer. David, don't apoligize....your site is a joyous place to go. I don't watch the news anymore and concentrate on those things that are upbeat and bring happiness. Your site and motorcycle racing is one of them. Enjoy the time with the time with your mom and Merry Christmas. See you next year.

Despite the negative perceptions (and realities) of "Social Media", you have created and nurtured a site that is truly social, David. Thanks for everything you do to create a community here. Stay strong. 

If you consider that a failure, can I have some please? Whilst totally appreciating the sad situation you've found yourself in the site still managed to reflect, to me, what was actually going on and helping enrich what I watched the previous weekend. I've listened to your crew whilst trudging round the golf course with a scatty 13 year old arthritic dog that still thinks he's 5, worrying about my 95 year old Dad still driving around with his 87 year old 'bird' riding shotgun and generally fretting about one thing or t'other, your work and that of your team have kept things in perspective when, quite frankly, I've lost faith in much of what's around us. The best thing I reckon I did over a year ago was stop following the news-except for the stuff I need to know- and get into more audio book and podcasts, it was and still is absolutely the right move and your work featured right at the top of what helps me get through, that's got value David, a lot of value. A peaceful season to you and joy into the new year (despite you buying a BMW...😉)

David, I lost my father to dementia this last September. From the first signs till he died was only 4 months. It was a surprise, a shock, and a massive gut punch. I was fortunate enough to be the primary care giver. I have almost no comprehension of how heart wrenching it would have been to be forced to witness the decline from afar. Here's a hug for you. Give yourself some time to heal. Thinking of you this Christmas.

Wishing you a great 2022. And if you are correct when you say that you have not lived up to expectations, well, I can't wait for next year!

Also appreciate the commentators here. As an example, the recent, shall I say "spirited" debate regarding the 2015 Philip Island race made me go back and watch it in full. Thank you to all who argued about it! You inspired me. I had a great time viewing start to finish.

Tough year, but you obviously aim high, and have achieved much. Entertaining and informing your readership about mere motorcycle racing is not super important in the cosmic scheme of things, but rest assured, I for one, have not felt shortchanged.

We lost my uncle in similar circumstances as your Dad early in the pandemic. Due to the uncertainty he was mostly alone and only got one brief visit from my aunt and their son just before the end. There are many stories such as this. Very sad, but we all still try and soldier on and make the best of things, which is all you can do in the end.

So, look back on a year well-lived David and rest up and enjoy family without a single guilty thought in your mind.

I will resubscribe as this site is one of the pleasures in my life, and a good distraction from the unpleasantness that always exists.

Sometime life is difficult but what you have done was really great. 

A better year awaits us in 2022 :) 

Cheers

Sincerely, I wonder if a wee bit of selective memory and moderate expectations brings a touch less grey/more rose to our lense? 

Perhaps just a wee less "realistic" or "accurate," but "right for me?" "Balanced?"

Too much = bullshit, too little = harsh/critical? 

Nice if our cooking has some fat, some spice, and some aromatics at the end...just hits the palate best. "This meat was not so tender, nor as fresh as preferable...so it went into a stew and now we like it!" sort of thing.

Damn outstanding stew David E, tasty and there is a line up for seconds

No need to be so hard on yourself. Hopefully you had a good break of things. Take care and stay safe. Looking forward to your excellent reporting for this season! 

The ability to look upon yourself with soft eyes. Perfection doesn't exist, it is striving for excellence that is making you the best you can be - and I can see that in spades in the treasure trove of independent and informed news you and your team put out. Plus look at your subscriber community. We are also the measure of your success David. Never has there been - in my experience- such a large and open discussion forum that is this well behaved. Top marks.

David, your 2021 was a step above everyone else while taking care of and grieving for the loss of a parent at the same time. Whatever you had in mind will work just fine for 2022 and beyond - or it may never come to fruition as you stay in the flow that you are in. Just experience that flow and look upon yourself with soft eyes.

All the best.

David, this is the best site on bike racing there is, and that's still the case. We'll all be here next season, when you're good and ready. And you're right to be angry in your tweet about "little parties".

With you all the way sir!

All the best.

Nick