It’s almost the end of another thrilling year on two wheels (or on the couch watching other people having fun on two wheels). I always thought that the supermarket-style ceremony in Valencia (trophy – photo – next!) isn’t quite enough to do justice to some of the achievements of the year.
Now don’t expect something like “The Marc Marquez Award for Most Wins/Poles/Records Broken goes to *drum roll* Marc Marquez”, cause I have something in the bag for the rest of the poor smucks.
Best actor in a leading role
And we start with, umm, Marc Marquez. But, predictably, this should go to Marc, after yet another record breaking season and a majestic display in the first half of it. But steady wins the game so he’ll have to share the trophy with Tito, who rode away, be it rain or sunshine, race or practice session. I’m sure the Rufea boys won’t mind sharing.
Best actor in a supporting role
This category was a fight between classes, with Fenati providing both a talking point and some entertaining races in Moto3, Maverick generally being a rather awesome rookie in Moto2 and, finally, Vale proving to be a quality play pal for Marc both on and off the track. Vale takes the trophy, if only because he never leaves a room without at least an award.
I’ll invite usually reserved Aki Ajo to step to the podium and pick up his award for the worst attempt of imposing team orders (arguably worst, but we don’t do SBK here) and the kneejerk statements that followed. No Hollywood blockbuster material here, it all looked like college-level improvisation at best.
Best Romance Film
Now there are some honourable mentions in this section, like Vale & Linda, or Vale & Uccio, or Vale & Marc (you see where I’m going with this…) but there could only be one winner: Aleix & Pippa. Mainly because this year I’ve learned more about that dog than I ever knew about Laura.
Best Drama Mini-Series
And the nominees are:
- Midnight in Misano – the story of a charismatic 29-year old Brit who decides, in a hot Italian night, to leave his well-paid highly-desirable job after going to sleep with the sound of a Honda engine humming at the other end of the phone call.
- One Small Step For Human Kind, One Big Step For Scott Redding (And as a side story, One Step Back For Alvaro Bautista) – the aspirational tale of a young boy who spends the year complaining about his kicks, until, finally, his fairy godmother* finds the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and buys him Cinderella’s shoes.
- There’s Something Rotten in Australia – I don’t mean the dubious asymmetric front tyre or some leftover pigeon from the M1’s menu, but the brief tennis match between Jack Miller and (no, not baby Marquez) the Marc VDS crew. The saga of the disappearing contract will be remembered as a (massively less exciting) incident of Roswell 1947 proportions.
(*aforementioned fairy godmother)
Now this was a really tricky one to call, but in a spectacular turn of events, the trophy goes to the entire Moto3 season. It’s only right.
Best Foreign Language Film
I feel that if these awards weren’t at their first edition (and also completely made up), Johnny Spanglish would already have a handful of trophies in the bag. And there are so many culprits that each of the little quirky Latins would deserve it. So to avoid upsetting any of them, the award goes to this modern day rebel called Jack Miller.
While his conversational skills with the media are gobsmacking at times (as in any decent lady would smack his potty mouth off), his exquisite use of sign language on track makes him look like a Red Bull-infused Charlie Chaplin.
Best Live-Action Short Film
Luis Salom’s temper tantrum – the gift that keeps on giving.
Predictably, Marc (or more like Hector & Alex) learned by now some good tips from the Doctor when it comes to celebrations, so the samurai theatricals in Motegi were more than appreciated. However, the main character was a bit sloppy and disorganised (granted, he was a bit high on endorphins and adrenaline), so the next logical choice is Jack Miller in the Sepang episode(s). It takes skill to look like an inch-perfect prick for 5 or 6 times in a row, but congrats dude, you’ve made it. Here’s a glass of cold water. (If I sound biased, yes, I’m the yang to Neil Hodgson’s yin)
Best Costume Design
This award goes twofold: Team Estrella Galicia takes the on-track laurels for being as colourful as a bag of jellybeans, while the off-track victor can only be Pol Espargaro and his too teenager-y choice of attire. Too short shots, too distressed jeans and whatever this is…
Best Make-up and Hairstyling
Straight up fight between Andrea Iannone and James Toseland. This one went to the wire, but rock star beats bad boy anytime (even if this particular rock star is probably in bed by 10pm).
Best Original Score
The second award for BT sport doesn’t actually go to that rock-ish jingle in the intro promo. There is one other song that’s more conditioned in my brain than Pavlov’s dog and his bell. Come on, sing it with me…
The Elmer J. Fudd lifetime achievement award
In light of an ample and ongoing career in the MotoGP paddock, we (I, that is) present this great honour to Gavin Emmet – forever sugar-coating the rambles of elated/pissed off riders/Cal. I wish him as few days as possible spent snooping around the LCR garage next year.
The Mother Theresa Award for Relentless Restraint
Judging by facial expressions alone, the most tormented character this year has been poor Emilio Alzamora. Between Marc’s loud jubilations, his stumbles towards the championship line and Alex’s soul-shattering last turn adventures in Moto3, I have a feeling that the mentor/manager/whatever he is these days has had his fair share of counselling to do (or take?).
Most Exposed Skin That’s Not a Porno
This section is dominated by Pol’s Instagram feed – not a complaint, just an observation. He also takes The Jaws Commemorative (aka The Biggest Number of Exposed Teeth That Don’t Belong to a Marquez) but you’d need a plate the size of the Aussie GP trophy to engrave all that on.
Biggest On-Screen Sausage Party
This particular award goes to Vale’s day out at the ranch with a classy selection of talented kids. The distinction is both metaphorical and literal – there were sausages on that grill, I checked, trust me.
It’s never quite been the same this year, without Cal frequently around the front, so we’ve had to settle for some classic Marquez & Marquez slapping around, some #RufeaTeam love or some Marc & Vale excessive touching. While that’s all an ongoing saga, the real bond this year has been between Jorge and the wrong front tyre – a dramatic love story of modern times.
The Valentino Rossi One-Man-Show Award
Which, of course, goes to Marc. Why? Cause that’s just another record that the little bastard stole from the paddock’s favourite elder person. Oh, and 10 in a row – is there any other explanation needed?
The Cal Crutchlow Tumbleweed Laurels
A rather unfortunate award goes to the lovely Sam Lowes, whose season was partly promising partly a re-enactment of Cal’s constant tumbles of last year. It’s fair to say that he learned the hard way that falling is an art (that can never be lost).
The Nadia Comaneci Barrel Roll Inaugural
Motorcycle riders are expected to be as strong as Hulk’s distant brother and as flexible as the Elastic Man dusting off those tricky corners behind the fridge. We had plenty of such displays all year, but the babychamp’s barrel roll in Sepang was made all the more impressive by the lack of lycra in his costume. I would have given him a perfect 10 if he hadn’t forgotten about the final pose. Oh well.
The Small Fish Bigass Pond Award
Goes to the Repsol Honda duo for their performance in the Aragon race, where they both gracefully scraped the bottom of the fish tank like chubby turtles swimming towards the air pump.
The Minx with a J Distinction
BT commentary was interesting, redundant, fun and ocassionally rather unrelated to the topic, but the team, in its various combinations, has jinxed its way through the season. That was never as obvious as in the later part of the year, when Jorge would regularly fade away when the guys bet on him, while Marc went great after a supposedly ‘uncomfortable’ weekend. Oh, and if I hear “but he did it in a 15-race season” one more time, I swear to God, Jules…
The 2014 Hiccupmeister
The Commission for Redundant Commentary Critics collectively decided to award this trophy to Mick Doohan. Even the Australian legend himself must be tired by now of how many times his name was mentioned this year. Keep calm mate, there’s only one day of record-talk and incessant questions about Marc left.
Best Spice Girls Tribute Act
One word, actually one hashtag: #RufeaTeam. The world has not seen as much giggling, hugging and enthusiasm since the Wannabe video. Which is a reasonable enough excuse to just casually leave this here:
And with that musical performance, our gala comes to an end. I hope you enjoyed this inaugural edition of the MotoGP Academy Awards and that the steak isn’t too raw (the waiters are on their way). And if it is, enjoy it while it lasts cause if Estrella Galicia sponsors us too next year, we’re only serving petrol and non-alcoholic beer. And if you’re not happy with the results, well, you should have written your own. If you are, feel free to share (words, buttons and chocolate are accepted)!
PS: If I’m not too hungover after the one-man-after-oscars-party, I might update this after the Moto3 decider is done and dusted. Either to give Jack a Worst Leading Actor nomination or make sure Alex goes home with at least one trophy.
PS 2: You can see last year’s F1 edition here.