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Review | Does MotoGP Unlimited give a fairer picture than Drive to Survive?

Review | Does MotoGP Unlimited give a fairer picture than Drive to Survive?

22 March - 20:57

Recently released MotoGP Unlimited, the documentary series for Amazon Prime's MotoGP should mean what Netflix' Drive to Survive has meant for Formula 1. Is the series worth watching and how does it hold up against Drive to Survive?

With the eight-part documentary series, Dorna, the organization behind MotoGP, hopes to appeal to a new and wider audience. The timing may well prove important, as the sport enters its first year without figurehead Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez still doesn't seem to have fully recovered from his serious injuries.

The series focuses on eight key players in MotoGP and offers a personal behind-the-scenes look at eight-time world champion Marc Marquez, reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo and, of course, the departing Valentino Rossi, among others. Inevitably, the death of 19-year-old Moto3 rider Jason Dupasquier will also be remembered.

Other key players include Jack Miller and Fransesco Bagnaia, who made their move to the factory Ducati team in 2021. The 2020 champion, Joan Mir, and the much-discussed Maverick Viñales are also featured. There is also a look at the temperamental Aleix Espargaro and his bond with younger brother Pol, and Jorge Martin, who in his debut year in MotoGP had to come straight back from a bad crash that resulted in long-term injuries.

Highlights of MotoGP Unlimited

A major highlight of the series is the emotional comeback of Marc Marquez. The eight-time world champion broke his upper arm at the 2020 Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, but suffered complications and had to undergo multiple surgeries. As a result, not only did he have to miss the entire 2020 season, but also in 2021 he had to accept that the world title was out of the question.

The series details how Marquez made his emotional comeback in the third race of the year and how he won his first race in 581 days in even more emotional fashion. He did so at the Sachsenring, where he won the German Grand Prix for the eleventh time in a row.

A highlight of a very different nature was the conflict and subsequent split between Maverick Viñales and Yamaha. The nature of his departure sparked controversy in the MotoGP world, with accusations going back and forth and the two sides deciding to part ways in the middle of the season.

Frustrations between them reached a boiling point, with Viñales mostly dismissed as the culprit. However, the series also pays attention to the other side of the story and the enormous frustrations that tormented the rider to the point that he did not want to ride any more races for the team.

Also interesting is the temperamental character of Aleix Espargaro. He is not a rider who usually competes for podiums, but is known to openly express his frustrations. He even does so in front of his brother Pol, who got in his way during a qualifying session.

Shortly after that moment, his team hears him coming from afar, cursing and ranting at his younger brother. After his next ride, he returns again cursing and ranting, but this time his bike is the victim.

Comparison with Drive to Survive

The series takes place in chronological order and unlike Drive to Survive, there are not many time jumps. What Unlimited is also hardly guilty of is non-chronological editing of footage in an attempt to create drama. The sport has plenty of that of its own accord, by the way.

Another interesting choice the filmmakers made was to interview everyone involved in their own language. This removes a barrier to a certain extent, which may make the drivers more willing to speak than they would in English.


MotoGP Unlimited gives an honest, behind-the-scenes look at the world of MotoGP and doesn't fall back on fictitious rivalries. As mentioned, the sport doesn't need it either, as it's bursting with characters who don't shy away from giving their unsourced opinions on anything - or anyone - for that matter.

For the seasoned MotoGP viewer, the series is a must, but it is also interesting for new viewers to get acquainted with the colorful paddock. Whereas Drive to Survive mainly appeals to new F1 fans, MotoGP Unlimited appeals to a wider audience. For those with an interest in the MotoGP world, it is definitely recommended.

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