For those MotoGP who live a rich life on the internet, you probably already know what I am referring to in this story’s headline, but for those of you who prefer to live your lives in the real world, I will give a quick primer to this off-season MotoGP story. Late last week, Monster Energy’s “Dirt Shark” video series featured Jorge Lorenzo’s home in Barcelona, Spain on its website and Monster’s YouTube channel.
The “Dirt Shark” show is a bit more ”MTV Cribs” than it is “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” in its approach. It only focuses on Monster’s sponsored athletes, and aims to glamorize their homes and lifestyles — along with an obligatory shot of their Monster-chocked refrigerator. However, the video on Lorenzo’s house appeared briefly on Monster Energy’s YouTube channel, as well as on DirtShark.com, before it was taken down.
It was removed because of harsh criticism in Spain for its showing, though it’s not clear if Lorenzo asked for it to be removed, or it Monster buckled to the public pressure — it’s probably a little bit of both, and frankly doesn’t really matter.
It didn’t take long though for low-quality web-rips of the video to circulate through social media sites though, and beyond Lorenzo’s stunning vistas, immensely large gym (where he says he works out three to four hours a day), the video is littered with young women tanning by Lorenzo’s pool, lounging in his hot tubs, and dancing in his miniature discotheque (so awkward).
The whole affair seemed quite forced, especially with the strategically placed eye candy that seems like it was shipped straight from Venice Beach, CA (we swear you can hear one of the girl’s clear Californian accent in the background). The video’s deletion has been a bit of mystery to internet viewers though; and as of this posting, Dirt Shark is still promoting the now dead video link on its webpage.
It would seem that whuile Monster Energy’s T&A laced video series, I mean really, has flown under the radar for several seasons now, when it comes featuring one of Spain’s ultimate athlete heroes, the backlash is harsh. Outlets in Spain criticized Lorenzo for his ostentatious house and living — keep in mind, the unemployment rate in Spain is over 25% right now, with the burden being heavily held by Lorenzo’s own age group and fan base.
However, the bulk of the ire for the video in the Spanish media though came about because of the gratuitous use of bikini-clad models, that acted like window-dressing for the former MotoGP World Champion. Standard fare for these kind of videos, for sure, but with the FIM and Dorna working hard to bring women into the ranks of motorcycle racing’s premier class, Spanish news agencies latched onto the video, which wasn’t supposed to show in the Spanish market, and cried afoul about it sending a contrary message from the top Yamaha rider.
Talking to AS, Lorenzo explained his regret for the way the video portrayed women, though offered no apologies for his lavish house, which the champion says he earned through his hard work.
“I regret the video of the girls. The rest of the house…I’ve won out of a humble family, 23 years struggling to achieve my goals, with many injuries, without stealing anything from anyone, all legal and not winning the lottery. Nobody gave it to me I have nothing left to spend to win races. I’ve had to work with the best drivers in the world, so it is difficult to understand that only in this country [Spain] I receive such criticism.”
Lorenzo went on to add that if he had seen the video before it was published, he would have changed some things — presumably how much clothing the women wore — but remained steadfast that he didn’t think the video as it was published was as scandalous as many had made it out to be, citing an abundance of similar videos in the US market.
Still, Lorenzo offered that the image portrayed of himself was not one grounded in reality. “Too bad that image of me is given because it is not real,” he concluded in his conversation with AS.
To his credit, Lorenzo is right — the video shows nothing that hasn’t been shown in a thousand similarly themed videos, and it certainly is no different to what someone would find walking around with an umbrella on any given Sunday at a MotoGP race, but that is also the point being driven here by the Spanish media.
As MotoGP struggles to find a new foothold with audiences and fans, there is a growing push to move the sport from a male-oriented hedonistic playground, where ass cheeks and breasts fall out of clothing left and right, and into a sport where women not only lineup on the grid next to the boys, but where female fans can be valued for their knowledge and passion for Grand Prix motorcycle racing, rather than how much skin they are showing.
The gaffe perhaps isn’t as obvious as the one experienced by Marc Marquez, where the now World Champion sported a shirt at the Japanese GP that was less-then-sensitive to the feelings of Asian fans, but it shows that a new understanding has to be made within the inner-circles of these athletes, which understands that regardless of whether riders think they are acting locally, their actions end up affecting globally, and are subject to as many standards are there are cultures worldwide — such is the nature of the internet.