Julian Ryder to bow out of MotoGP commentary role following 2017 season

Julian Ryder is to retire from his MotoGP broadcasting duties at the end of the 2017 season, this site can confirm. It means that his commentary alongside Keith Huewen for BT Sport in Valencia, will be his last in MotoGP, for now at least.

Ryder follows MotoGP World Feed lead commentator Nick Harris in retiring, Harris also bowing out this weekend. BT nor Ryder have yet to comment, but I have been able to independently verify the news with multiple sources, whilst stars from the paddock fraternity have noted it on social media.

Involved in motor cycle racing for over 30 years, Ryder started off as a journalist before moving into the television space with Eurosport in the late 1980s. Ryder’s first major stint was with Sky Sports, working alongside the likes of Huewen and Martin Turner (more recently Sky’s Head of Formula 1) on their World Superbikes coverage.

Into the new millennium, Ryder moved to Eurosport, covering MotoGP with Toby Moody and Randy Mamola, forming a partnership that became universally liked by viewers from the beginning until Eurosport’s coverage ended in 2013. Ryder made the switch with MotoGP to BT Sport, reforming his partnership with Huewen, lasting for four seasons.

BT Sport’s presentation line-up has changed various times since their coverage started in 2014, with Melanie Sykes, Abi Griffiths, and Iwan Thomas coming and going at various stages. Ryder’s departure appears to be his decision as opposed to a BT influenced move. It is fair to say that BT will lose his vast array of knowledge and expertise spanning the three classes on the MotoGP programme, which will be incredibly difficult to replace.

> Interested in how motorcycle television broadcasting works? Head over here and here for a behind the scenes look…

The problem for all motor sport series, especially MotoGP and Formula 1, is that as the number of races increases, so does the demand and strain on all involved with the championship, including broadcasters’ and journalists. The more races you add to the calendar in fly-away locations, the less desire there is to continue said travel.

If broadcasters want to retain their best talent, both in front and behind the camera, they need to strongly consider rotating their talent better, including commentary or, as an alternative, to call some of the fly-away races from London. For next season, I would expect Neil Hodgson and Colin Edwards to be the prime candidates to fill Ryder’s void, in what could be BT Sport’s fourth and last season covering the sport.

Either way, the 2017 Valencia MotoGP round marks the end of an era, with two legendary commentators heading to pastures new outside of the MotoGP paddock.

Update on November 10th – Speaking at the start of BT Sport’s coverage of the first MotoGP practice session on Friday morning, Ryder said, “My name is Julian Ryder, I’m here for the last weekend of my MotoGP career.” Ryder also explained his reasoning at the start of the broadcast. “I decided that I can’t deal with the travel anymore, I’ve got other jobs I want to do, so I’m quietly out the door on Sunday.”

Speaking to Keith Huewen, Ryder said that “it has been the pleasure of my professional life to commentate with you. It has always been fun, as it should be!”


17 thoughts on “Julian Ryder to bow out of MotoGP commentary role following 2017 season

  1. Jules you are fantastic a proffesional gentleman bringing pleasure to millions the very best of luck for the future and a sincere thank you from me and my family
    Mike Hewitt

  2. I will be sorry to see Julian Ryder leave, and wish him all the best for the future. He has been a really great commentator, and will miss his hearing his voice. All the best.

  3. Just heard the news Julian is retiring from commentary of MotoGP. I shall miss his encyclopedic knowledge and rapport with fellow commentators. MotoGP wont be the same without him. Good work over the years and goo luck for his future endeavours.

  4. Just heard Julian Ryder will no longer be commentating on Moto GP.
    He will be missed by many, his sense of humour and knowledge to name but two.
    There is a great rapor between him and Keith it will take some big shoes to replace him.
    Good luck with your future endeavours you will be missed.
    Fortunately certain ex GP commentators arnt being invited back.

  5. Thank god he has been sacked,I can’t bare his irrelevant ramblings,cox and Parrish were a great team,I would sack cockney heuwan too,he is quite offensive with his ungrammatical twaddle.i met Ryder once he smelt of b o.

    1. Sid Smith, how you made me laugh. Completely concur, on all counts. The commentary since the contract coverage changeover to BT has been abysmal to say the least, save for the interspersions of informed commentary and discussion from Suzi Perry.
      I always imagined that Mr Ryder may be a deodorant dodger, thanks for the confirmation.

    2. Cox and Parish lol
      You have now confirmed my suspsions you have taken a mind changing substance lol
      Or you are fishing lol

    3. ..totally agree..I even signed up with motogp but there was the other duffer who’s now leaving,Nick Harris..Jules is the type of prat you’d bump into in a pub!! “….may I just point out….I think you’ll find that race in 1966 was in Imatra & it rained?”…

  6. Best commentary team ever was Julian Ryder, Toby Moody and Randy Mamola… Gonna miss the big old bear 😦

  7. people sat on a sofa often forget or cant fathom the travel bit which is no doubt like your horrible holiday journey 20 times a year. Its not a jolly and you have a job to do.
    A difficult job to fill and you need someone easy on the ears and not like some of the screamers that seem to imitate a distorted old bbc broadcast from murray walker.
    MW didn’t even sound like that when you hear him talking in an interview but idiot commentators still imitate the 70s satallite broadcast distortion. what a load of planks.

  8. All the best to you Jules in the future. It has been an honour to listen to you over the years, especially the ‘Toby Moody’ years, what a crack that was listening to you two, incisive, funny, great fun!!

  9. So sad to lose the brilliant combination of Ryder and Huewen – Julian’s knowledge made listening to his commentary a delight.

  10. Good luck big lad, your voice and stats will sadly be missed. I found yourself, Moody and Mamola was the best combo to date. I hope you are successful in wherever your path takes you, and also hope that you can still make the odd guest commentary.

  11. All different opinions, some good,some bad…BT has been the worst coverage in my 30plus years of watching from the days of Barry Sheen, but you get what you pay for, as for Jules Ryder, well I heard on good authority that riders really didn’t want to get stuck in a lift with him nor wanted to be at the breakfast table either, I wasn’t a fan but others were, as far as I know he drove a Land Rover and didn’t ride a motorbike so that’s says it all.

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