Gavin Emmett is to become BT Sport’s lead MotoGP commentator for the 2021 season, the broadcaster has confirmed.
Emmett succeeds Keith Huewen as their lead, following Huewen’s decision to step down after the 2020 season. Emmett steps up to the role having been part of BT’s coverage since its inception in 2014, primarily serving as reporter and co-commentator.
Motorsport Broadcasting understands that Neil Hodgson will join Emmett for the main MotoGP series, with Michael Laverty joining him for Moto2. Hodgson and Laverty will then rotate on a race-by-race alongside Emmett to cover the Moto3 class.
As a result of Emmett’s promotion, BT have brought Natalie Quirk into the MotoGP fold. Quirk will serve as MotoGP reporter, also presenting some segments of the programme in a similar vein to Emmett previously.
Quirk has been part of BT Sport’s wider programming since 2014, as both presenter and reporter. In recent years, Quirk has led BT’s speedway offering, both domestically and internationally.
Currently, Quirk serves as one of BT’s regular football presenters, presenting coverage of the UEFA Europa League and The National League, amongst others.
The rest of BT’s line-up remains the same, with Suzi Perry continuing to present the broadcaster’s main MotoGP offering.
Last month, BT and MotoGP confirmed that the pay-TV channel will continue to broadcast the series until the end of the 2024 season, extending their current rights deal by an additional three seasons.
BT to remain in UK for the first 5 rounds
The pay-TV broadcaster will remain in the UK for at least the first 5 rounds this season, Motorsport Broadcasting can confirm.
BT began 2020 covering MotoGP from Triumph’s UK headquarters in Hinckley, before relocating to the BT Tower in London from September onwards.
I understand that BT’s presentation will continue from the BT Tower as the 2021 season gets underway due to the ongoing international travel restrictions.
The UK government hopes to ease international travel restrictions on May 17th. On that basis, BT intends to present their Mugello offering on-site over the weekend of May 28th to May 30th, but this is subject to change.
BT cannot realistically present their coverage on-site before then, as all their UK based talent would need to quarantine upon arrival back in the UK.
This is not an issue for the crew working on Sky’s Formula 1 coverage, as F1 has an exemption in place with the UK government meaning that their talent do not need to quarantine after returning from a race weekend.
The 2021 MotoGP season gets underway in Qatar on Sunday 28th March.
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