This is what racing is about

By | May 21, 2017

I hope you enjoyed the French GP just now, all 3 classes had some spectacular racing, but today’s MotoGP was something else. I won’t bother with the details of what happened, as always the best source for everything about motorcycle racing is Motomatters, go there for the technical stuff. What I want to talk about is the very basic question I ask myself whenever there is a race, any kind of race.

What is a race?

For people who don’t really care about MotoGP, it might look like a bunch of millionaires riding million dollar bikes in circles for no good reason. For the casual fans, it might be a lot of dangerous overtakes, high speeds, and crashes. For the hardcore fans, it might be about that one person, as long as he wins the rest can go to hell.

I think a race is nothing more than entertainment, and there’s nothing entertaining about already knowing the ending to a story.

This is the reason why I’ve found it so hard to watch F1, especially in the last couple of seasons. It is true that F1 by its very nature is different from MotoGP, F1 is more like chess, MotoGP is like a 200m sprint, but it’s just hard for me to watch a race where one car can open up a 20 second gap on another car.

The beauty of racing is in the unpredictability. When underdogs win, when GOATs crash, when every approaching turn makes your stomach turn, that’s what I call action.

In recent times, I think people have started taking MotoGP far too seriously. The riders themselves are under strict control by their teams and sponsors, the fans just want their guy to win and rest all to crash out, and the general feeling of fun seems to be missing from the equation.

To give you some perspective of what I’m talking about, take a look at this race below.

Do you see the difference? When was the last time you saw race leaders pulling unnecessary wheelies on the home straight just for fun? This is racing, the riders are having the time of their lives, the fans get to swim in the waves positivity, lap times don’t matter, points don’t matter.

Twitter is exploding right now with the hate of those who cannot believe Rossi crashed out, I don’t understand what they are so angry about.

You just watched a race where Valentino Rossi, the undisputed greatest motorcycle racer of all time, folded under pressure. You just saw his new teammate break the lap record on the last lap of the race. You just witnessed the most experienced racer on the field make a mistake.

How is that a bad thing? All that tells you is what insanely high level of racing we are getting to see the past few seasons. All that tells you is the hunger of these youngsters to become like Rossi. All that tells you is just how strong Rossi’s desire is to win. 

I get it, we all want Rossi to win that 10th championship, there’s something inherently satisfying about the number 10. But your responses to the efforts of a 38 year old fighting it out with a 22 year old, taking it to the limit and beyond, are just odd to me.

I also understand that some people take MotoGP far too personally, all you have to do is look at the comments section of any post where Lorenzo is mentioned. I think the only justifiable scenario where one can truly be angry about a MotoGP result is when you’ve bet a shitload of money on the wrong guy, although the arguments against your anger in that situation would be even stronger.

The point is this, support whoever you like, cheer for anyone, cry for anyone, but don’t disrespect others. I don’t want a championship where you know at the start of the season how it’s going to end, and trust me, neither do you.

It’s easy to get emotional about someone and wish them all the good luck in the world, but when that one person keeps winning, and winning, and winning, you would be the first to switch that TV off and look for something else to get sentimental about.

This article is brought to you by Paganini. Paganini, what is the hell is going on?