“MotoGP Unlimited”, captivating, less cautious and more authentic than “Drive to survive”

Warning: This article reveals some of the plots that appear in season 1 of “MotoGP Unlimited”, accessible from this Monday, March 14 in France on Amazon Prime Video. If you don’t want to discover them before watching the series, click here.
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The motorcycle had overtaken Formula 1 by organizing its first world championship a year before its rival, in 1949. Then it did not fail to take the lead by establishing, for example, the first night race, in 2008 in Losail. But she got caught up in the race to recruit new fans when she watched the four-wheeled series ‘Drive To Survive’ on Netflix in 2019. MotoGP’s notoriety arguably centered too much around an aging Valentino Rossi , and championship promoter Dorna purred. , unimaginative or even unable to understand the post-VR46 era.

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It certainly paid a high price for the media by failing to realize that Formula 1 had just moved under the American flag in 2017. The ambition and accompanying media, however, were clear. They announced the conquest of new territories and a broadening of the audience beyond insiders and die-hard fans. The blow was hard for Dorna and the health pandemic of 2020 only delayed his soap opera project around his heroes, admired by all and especially respected by his F1 colleagues.

Chronology, pedagogy

Obviously, we were eager to see through what prism Dorna would offer us to relive the 2021 season, what point of view it would adopt and how far “MotoGP Unlimited” would escape the comparison with “Drive To Survive”, to create her own paw not to be systematically reduced to a two-wheeled version of the pioneer series.

The result is a success and the curious willing to discover a new universe will find it as much as the enthusiasts of the first hour. The series, whose production has been entrusted to Amazon Prime Video, bets on developing the action chronologically, in order to facilitate the reading of the events and to give an idea of ​​the progress of the turbulent history of this 2021 championship. of the world to which the French public was particularly sensitive to Fabio Quartararo’s title. Concerned about education, she even reminds us that the author of the fastest qualifying lap starts Sunday at the head of the grid…

The first sequence sets the tone for the eight 50-minute matches by taking us inside Marc Márquez, in a motocross training camp where unsustainable efforts convince him that he will only regain his fitness at the end of a season that has not done just started… The Spaniard is a colossus with feet of clay, far from his six elite world titles. Of the entire paddock, he is surely the furthest back, but fellow countryman Maverick Vinales will soon become the unexpected central character of this Season 1.

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Vinales is sunk

We know the friable figs, and it doesn’t take long to become so after his victory in the opening of the World Cup. The rest is a summary of what a driver can experience in a race, within the limits of reason that he overcomes out of recurring frustration. The scene seen in the trailer, during which he confronts his director Lin Jarvis in the Yamaha garage, in the middle of all the equipment, is really mind-blowing. Overwhelmed by Fabio Quartararo’s speed, he accuses the team of having sabotaged his machine. Du Biaggi in anguish in the Honda era that announces a regrettable and discrediting end only for him. His impending fatherhood and move to Aprilia will only be a respite from the dismay of his 15-year-old cousin Dean Berta’s accidental death in Superbikes.

Throughout the Grand Prix, “MotoGP Unlimited” rides a rollercoaster and lets itself be carried away by the events, without resorting to special effects. It is the choice of sobriety, far from any sensationalism. In these “behind the scenes”, Aleix Espargaro jabs at his brother Pol who plunders his trajectories, Valentino Rossi opens the doors of his ranch where he trains his foals, and he gets more and more used to the idea of a well-deserved retirement. The legend in the twilight of his extraordinary career returns to the spotlight from time to time, but he will not be an exception to the rule: no driver or team is entitled to a dedicated episode.

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“MotoGP Unlimited” does not forget the business

At Ducati, Jack Miller is slowly closing in on team-mate Pecco Bagnaia and opening up, while rookie Jorge Martin is already taking a choice spot. His serious injury cut him off on the way and reminds us of the fragility of all these destinies. In addition, this 2021 season is of a rare emotional intensity, even tragic, and “MotoGP Unlimited” is the witness: arrival of a new champion after eight years of Spanish dominance, declassification of the VR46, collapse of Maverick Viñales, the drama of the death of Jason Dupasquier, the emergence of Pecco Bagnaia… nothing is missing from this Hollywood framework.

The series navigates twists and turns but knows how to anticipate them. His camera is there as the boss of Yamaha’s satellite SRT team announces to his angry staff that he will nominate Morbidelli to replace Vinales at the factory team. And she is still there when he announces the withdrawal of Petronas, and therefore the end of the team. By showing this scary business side of F1, “MotoGP Unlimited” goes further, without fear, showing that it knows how to do better without gimmicks.

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