Trackside Tuesday: A Requiem for Better Days

07/03/2012 @ 3:28 pm, by Scott Jones49 COMMENTS

Trackside Tuesday: A Requiem for Better Days trackside tuesday valentino rossi

We could write a long list of what those involved in the Valentino Rossi-Ducati partnership have lost. Money, reputation, time, all have been lost in large quantities and on behalf of some of the most important people in motorbike racing. Smaller losses of various kinds have been incurred by many more people whose livelihoods are tied to Rossi’s success. But a huge number of people have lost something intangible but nonetheless important because of the inability of Rossi and Ducati to produce a winning package.

As fans of motorsport, we have been fortunate to be present to watch and participate in, even if only as spectators, the career of a truly remarkable sportsman. World Champions gain entry into an elite club, but multiple World Champions whose careers span many years, formulas, and sets of rules, are rare indeed. And among those few individuals, the even rarer sort who not only win and win and win on the track but also inspire millions of fans across boundaries of nationality, gender, brand loyalty, and so on are even more remarkable.

Rossi is one of those supremely rare people, and he holds that distinction regardless of having his detractors. Whatever a minority chooses to feel about him, he has accomplished more as a motorcycle racer than anyone since Agostini, and in some ways he has accomplished much more. One of those ways is in his ability to charm millions of people via his skills in the media.

Agostini raced before the internet, before today’s massive TV audiences, and simply didn’t have the opportunity to reach as many people as Rossi has. Those many people who were attracted to motorcycle racing because first they felt an attraction to Valentino Rossi have lost something since his switch to Ducati. They have not felt much of the joy that his style and success thrived on during the Honda and Yamaha years.

But even those among us who don’t count ourselves as Rossi fans, but also do not descend into being Rossi-haters, have lost something significant. We have lost a year and a half, soon to be two years, of racing moments that would have been possible only if Rossi had been on a competitive motorbike.

Imagine Casey Stoner’s domination in 2011 being interfered with by Valentino Rossi on a Yamaha, if he’d managed to stay Lorenzo’s teammate. Stoner would likely have still won the title, and it would’ve been a more satisfying victory for him if Rossi had contested the races and the points tally. But the potential for drama on track was gone, and there’s no telling what we might have seen and been thrilled by had Rossi been at the front.

We the fans who tune in each race weekend, to be entertained by brave souls on fierce equipment chasing tenths of seconds that will add up to a championship, we’ve lost the latest chapters in a story that has given us unforgettable moments. The pass on Stoner at Laguna Seca, the victory and embrace at Welkom, flipping off Biaggi as he passed him, the final turn at Catalunya with Lorenzo, winning by 15 seconds to overcome his 10-second penalty at Phillip Island…very possibly you’re adding your own favorites to this short list even now.

We’ve had none of those moment since the 2011 season started, though we have seen glimpses, usually in the rain, Rossi is willing to provide them if he can. Those who’ve speculated that he has lost the desire to fight for victories make that comment from some distance. In person he is as intense as ever about competing, though now his level of frustration is so pervasive it seems to stir beneath every comment.

There’s little point in trying to fix blame for all of this loss. The situation in 2010 was very similar to the situation now, and for the same reasons that there is no clear path for him to move forward for 2013, there were reasons to take a risk on the Ducati for 2011. But whether you love Rossi or not, your experience watching MotoGP is diminished because one of the few with the skill to win a dry race has been stuck in the middle of the pack for far too long. As fans we will all be better off if Valentino Rossi is back at the front of the racing.

Scott Jones is a professional photographer who covers MotoGP and WSBK for racing industry clients as well as racing websites and publications in the U.S. and Europe. His online archive is available at Photo.GP, and you can find him on his blogTwitter, & Facebook.

All images posted, shared, or sent for editorial use or review are registered for full copyright protection at the Library of Congress.

Photo: © 2012 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

Comment:

  1. jake says:

    this is about a stupid article and i’m sick of the rossi kiss ass parade. the sport is better off if there are more capable riders on capable bikes period!!!!! Rossi has done what he has done, but there was racing before him and there will be racing after him. It’s easy to blame Ducati for his lack of results but Lorenzo had his number the year before and that’s why Rossi went to Ducati in the first place. Time goes on and it’s time for you people riding Rossi’ coat tail to accept that fact.

  2. Cpt.Slow says:

    Took my thoughts right out of my head…

  3. FeelGoodIncNI says:

    Hear, hear! Give yourself a pat on the back for a very impressive and emotive piece of writing.

    And may Valentino get the bike he desrves next year to fight on as EVERYONE knows he can!

    FORZA VALE 46!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Xlomotion says:

    He choose his destiny when he let his ego decide his fate. He knew the risk involved with going with Ducati, he gambled and lost. Too bad because I really enjoyed those days with yamaha

  5. FeelGoodIncNI says:

    Meanwhile, the haters are gonna hate. Good God, get over yourselves. Everyone is aware that VR has competition in JL and CS and and and…….. But it is totally irrelevant to Scott’s piece. It is about his past successes, what could have been and what could be. Like him or Loath him, Rossi has done more for the profile of the sport by being who he is and what he is than any other rider since Ago. Yes there was racers before and there will be racers after but how long until there is one as charismatic and successful as Valentino. Hate all you like but you can’t argue with his achievments.

  6. Angus says:

    Jake, I think the point is (or it was to me at least), Rossi is still a good rider. He might not be very good on the Duke, but he’s still a good rider at heart and we’re missing out on something good by not seeing him able to ride competitively.

    If he gets to Honda next season, I’m pretty confident that we’ll see him back to his old form and I look forward to being able to enjoy that again.

  7. chris says:

    dorna sold rossi as the sport itself… for about five years too long. now they’re wondering why they’re in the position that they are. unfortuneately most journalists just fall in line with what dorna wants to hear.

  8. Nick says:

    Apparently Jake sees riders of Vale’s caliber on a regular basis. . . ? – you’ll have to share them with me as I’m sure your insights are enlightening.

    All amazing riders yes, but not until Lorenzo, Stoner, and company win as many races, championships, and loyal fans can you say you are witnessing a legend doing what he does best round a track – he has a PhD in racing after all . . . I for one began years ago not liking Vale because I didn’t want to be on the bandwagon but over the countless races viewed both live and on TV I have realized a guy with his character, moxie, and talent doesn’t come along all too often and for those of us who are fans of racing it is a privilege to see him NOT in highlights reels from yesteryear but NOW in the moment. One day when I’m old and feeling nostalgic I’ll be able to talk to my kid about how I witnessed Vale in his glory just like my dad did with the greats of F1. I for one would like to see him go out competing at the top like the true competitor he is and the legend he will become.

  9. Excellent article, Scott. Whether one is a Rossi fan or not, the sport has suffered by not having all the aliens on competitive bikes and, therefore, keeping the competition tight at the sharp end.

  10. Pietro says:

    I know these people. They’re the same one who hated on MJ when he was on top, and guess what he did. Elevate the profile of the sport to what it is today. Ask every foreign player in the NBA now

  11. Pietro says:

    enjoy it while you can since it won’t last forever

  12. Hisham Noh says:

    Sorry mate,
    I watch racing because i love racing. Not for some dramatic spectator sport. i think everyone knew that Honda is the best bike out there. (Soichiro must be proud if he is still alive)

    That’s why i agree with Jake. Some of the rider work hard just to get into racing because there are nobody, from family to wealth. They make their way to top level racing. I think most people missing that. people champion or people favorite??

    Competitive bike??
    human made the engine, not engine made human. When CS won on Ducati, everyone became reporter and official motogp critics, and when he didn’t win, everyone called him moaner.
    Now that Rossi just won 2 spots on podium on 1 and a half season, everyone blamed the bike is still uncompetitive with Jeremy Burgess as Chief crew.

    FYI, i’m a CS fan. not because he win races, but i like him as a pure racer himself. he work his way up to the top, and yes everyone had few black moments in life.

  13. remus37 says:

    No point in trying to convince people of what is or what was or what could have been. People have their own point of view, and I doubt an article, no matter how beautifully written can convince them otherwise.

    But hey, it provides for good entertainment debating what is and what isn’t isn’t it? As long as it doesn’t fall down to personal attacks, then let the ‘debate’ continue :)

    My view is that Rossi’s carreer, no matter what his next steps are from now on, has introduced the sport to a wider audience. I’m pretty sure the next generation racers / aspiring racers will take a leaf or two from Rossi’s playbook.

  14. motogpdr says:

    not sure why folks are saying VR took a gamble and lost? He won in my opinion – much higher paid than any current racer – past his prime and frankly not capable of winning another WC on any bike….so he did the smart thing and signed a mega money phillip morris contract with an iconic italian marqu as long as Jorge and Casey were in the game……he has the bike as scapegoat but this in the long run will still make him a hero especially in his home country…..and now since VW bought the farm he will have a 24 hour of LeMans seat as part of his deal …so i’d say mr. rossi is very smart indeed……

  15. More great words from @ScottJonesPhoto RT @Asphalt_Rubber: Trackside Tuesday: A Requiem for Better Days – http://t.co/5nSgFbvq #motorcycle

  16. spectre says:

    A lot of back-and-forth here. Stoner on a hot qualifying lap is the fastest racer Ive ever seen, ever. Lorenzo on his day is the most tactical racer Ive seen. Rossi seems to ride not only with huge talent but with bravado though, which I think is what has always charmed the masses.

    Seeing him back on a bike he is competitive on next season would be ideal – then we’d truly see the measure of his talent against what his peers have learnt.

    I think the biggest shame is that unless Ducati pull a magic act and get the bike truly front-row and non-tyre-eating competitive before the season end, we won’t get to see another Rossi / Stoner duel.

    What MotoGP really needs is an affluent benefactor to tip a squillion dollars into the series, bringing back suzuki and kawasaki, extending teams budget and range and removing the musical-chairs style silly season scenario we’ve got going.

  17. R0bb0mc says:

    Great story. Always like to read about the old champions like Lawson, Gardner, Spencer, Doohan and Rossi. I don’t believe Rossi is better than any of the other champions I mentioned. He sure didn’t compete with the disabilities of Doohan, which I think puts Mick a level above Rossi. Maybe if Rossi had the Talent of Stoner… he might then be considered the best ever.

  18. Westward says:

    I personally would like to see Rossi on a Yamaha M1 next season,and if Yamaha were smart, they would make it happen. Between Rossi and Lorenzo they are sure to finish first and second. though I feel that Rossi would best Lorenzo.

    If Yamaha does not bring Rossi back into the fold, and Honda sucks up it’s pride, then Rossi would surely decimate Lorenzo, and Lorenzo would cry the refrain about how Honda is the better bike. But more importantly, Marquez would benefit the same way Lorenzo did when he was a rookie, and learn the precision of a surgeon from the Doctor, thus setting the course for Honda’s decade of dominance like the Doohan & Rossi years…

  19. Westward says:

    @ Jake & Hisham Noh

    You guys miss the point. Rossi is the pilot that transcends the sport of Motorcycle racing, the way Michael Jordan did for basketball, and Tiger Woods for golf, Ali for boxing, or Pele for football.

    Once you guys look back on this period of time and evolve in your thinking, maybe one day you too will realize it.

    Let me put it to you this way, my girl loves motogp because of Rossi, and only knows what WSBK is because I watch it from time to time. She even knows who Stoner and Pedrosa are, and that would never have happened if not for Rossi…

    You may be Stoner fans or for whomever, but those guys will never draw non motorcyclist or speed fiends to the sport, and if the fan base for the sport in general does not grow, then the factories will cease to see the point as Kawasaki and Suzuki have, and the Sponsors as well. Then you guys and the other five pure racing fans in the world can go and watch BSB or AMA or SOL racing. Mind you, that is if a cable station thinks it is worth it, which I doubt…

    So for the sake of the sport I hope Rossi is on a competitive machine, and hopefully a Ducati.

    But if not, I sure hope Marquez has the personality of an Aryton Senna or an Agustini to carry the day. Cause there has not been another Ali, Pele or Jordan in their respective sports since, and everyone after is more like a Lorenzo or Stoner…

  20. abahgiza says:

    i agree with jake, rossi has his days. stop relying rossi to boost motoGP popularity, its time to educate people with some honest manner. that this is collective sport, many people involved. yes, some charm and charisma will be helpful but it wont last.
    we need to start appreciating some harsh, blunt, anti-PR person like biaggi, lorenzo, stoner. they never lied, they never wants to entertain you when they’re not in the mood because they’re just a rider not an entertainer. rossi can achieve so much fame because his rivalries with people like biaggi, gibernau, stoner, and lorenzo. why do you all hates stoner, lorenzo, biaggi? they never lied, they’re just very good drivers exactly like the sport need.

  21. Smiler says:

    Tend to agree with westward.
    But MJ was just a miserable adversary. Sports need characters to be successful. They are whether we like it or not they are forms of entertainment.

    Never watch tennis anymore because there is no one who expresses any character at all. Earlier there was McEnrioe, Connors, Nastasi, Le Cont. They brought both talent and bravado as a reuslt it was great to watch.
    Nadal, Federer?
    It is possible of course that sport is becoming so influenced by money and competitive that there is no room for any show of character. However even golf seem to be breeding some charismatic players.

    Stoner is just plain dull. His time on the Ducati I believe was not as difficult as it was after the carbon chassis (stoner’s own request). was introduced. His results prove that fact. In 07 he won the title in 08 and 09 he came 4th and then jumped ship.

    MotoGP would be best served this year and next by Ducati and Rossi, not forgeting Hayden who perhaps deserves success more than Rossi at this point, seeing it through to being a successful package, whether you like Ducati or not, if they pulled then MotoGP would lose a significant fan base and do we really just want japanese manufacturers in MotoGP?

    The whole CRT idea is a disaster. They will never be competitive so it will always be a falsely 2 tier championship unless the prototypes are abolished & replaced by Honda’s budget RCV!

    Rather reduce the costs across the board and ensure, as someone else said that Suzuki, Kawasaki and perhaps a BMW, KTM or Aprilia are present on the grid.
    This would make more opportunities and better racing.
    It is unfortunate in all of this than Simoncelli died because he was certainly charasismatic and the racing was not dull when he was aroundand
    If Dovizioso got a factory ride and Marquez does not do a Ben Spies then there are some positive signs of breathing life back into MotoGP.

  22. People really do seem to be missing the point. I love Biaggi, Stoner, Lorenzo, Gibernau, Checa, Gardner, Roberts (Sr. & Jr.), Lawson, Mamola, etc., etc., etc. Loving or leaving them HAS NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on the fact that Rossi on a competitive bike would ADD TO THE SPECTACLE OF MOTOGP.

    Jeeze, I wonder why this is so hard to understand …

  23. Let me understand…

    ROSSI is the spectacle.
    ROSSI has more titles than anybody, and this shows he is a undisputed god.
    ROSSI are talented and “the soul of MGP”
    ROSSI is the ‘moneymaker’ of the sport.
    and, finally,
    ROSSI don’t succeed because of the bike.

    Hmmm… interesting.

    Then, after all these conclusions, I think Dorna have to create a “Rossi Rule”. Others racers cannot win races, because they don’t have talent, guts, skills, media atention, charisma, 9 titles on the past, “godabilty”, and a legions of fans who makes him a MGP god, who passing thru a hell with the “Cursed Duke.”

    Cool.

  24. ben says:

    Coming to this website and finding this piece was like going to the kitchen expecting find some bread to make some nice toast but only finding the same stale old crust that nobody wants.

    If you want to put your writing out there scott, please find a better/more original angle, this kind of thing has been done to death, it is a digital yawn.

  25. Adam says:

    If an article like this can incite so much hate and praise then how can you argue that there is not something about this man that draws people to show so much emotion? Maybe that’s what Scott was trying to get at that everyone missed……

  26. DarN says:

    Hmmm, Scott, seems like you have opened can of worms here – certainly very polarizing issue…
    As much as I hate Dorna, you cannot blame them for staking their future (and present,and past) on Rossi. After all, personality / talent of his caliber happens only once in a lifetime. MJ is a great example – I have not watched a single basketball game since he retired ( well, my opinion may be distorted since I live in Chicago). What you CAN blame Dorna for is constantly screwing with rules and lacking clear direction for the future. As it was mentioned above, every great champion needs great competition / supporting crew to define his greatness . You cannot handcraft rules for a single rider (Marquez now) and expect them to carry the whole series. And as far as supporting cast, you cannot convince me that Ben Spies forgot how to ride in a year – the tires and bikes should be able to accommodate any rider with any style (hallo, Bridgestone!) for them to stay competitive.

  27. Michael says:

    It’s not Rossi being missing from the front that has made Moto GP so utterly boring, it’s the change from 500 2- strokes to the traction controlled 900′s and their unexciting predictable performance that has done it. Back in the day Rossi could be expected to get ejected once in a while or rip massive wheel spins coming out of a turn he backed into. The only lap that is exciting now is the first one when the pack is still bunched into the first turn. Moto 2 is far more exciting because the riders are on the same equipment and the pack stays together. Bring the 500 2-strokes back please!

  28. @Michael: “Moto 2 is far more exciting because the riders are on the same equipment and the pack stays together. Bring the 500 2-strokes back please!”

    With 2-strokes no longer being seen as environmentally friendly, I’m pretty sure you’ll never see them racing again. I miss them, too. I agree about backing in being an exciting part of the Moto2 formula. MotoGP could have that, too. All they’d need to do is ditch the traction control.

  29. Grant Madden says:

    Yes we all miss the 2strokes(got issues about factories giving up on direct injection smokeless 2 strokes) but if you think that because Rossi is not winning anymore and somehow he is a talentless looser then I can only feel sad for you because you have very little idea of just how difficult it is to win in motogp.There are lines of riders queing up to take a turn,except Stoner who just wants the very best and if he cant have it then he doesnt want to play.Dont blame him for wanting to retire what with lots of money and a family starting up, its ok to want a change from the maddnes that is motogp.But it is foolish to think that Rossi is washed up and no good as a rider anymore when you consider that when its wet he still kicks arse.Those of us with any experience in racing will know that when its wet the riders with talent come to the front.They dont need the fastest or best handling bikes because in the wet those things take a step behind talent and bike control which is what racing is all about.The man is and always will be a great rider and to put it mildly most of his critics would be very afraid to ride a Motogp bike at any speed let alone on the limit and sliding in and out of corners.
    There have been many great riders in this world and Rossi is one who you should show some respect to for what he has done for the sport.I would put him up with Joey Dunlop,Wayne Rainey,Agostini,McGuiness,Dohan,Lawson and maybe Casey if he stuck around a bit longer and won some more titles.Basically it comes down to just how many world titles have you got?I dont have any and I suspect that most of the critics dont have any either so dont expect me to hold their opinions in any regard.Rossi is what we need more of.Riders with talent,guts,determination and charisma.I just hope that Ducatti can finally get their bike opperating as it should and we can all start shouting”Go you little beauty”at the TV again.

  30. David says:

    I’m hoping Scott Jones will break a big story instead of the same old Rossi angle. Something like……..

    “Spies gets caught screwing all the umbrella girls….(with pictures)”

    Now THAT would be a story…..and a career boost for Spies.

    Hey, it seems to be working for Tiger Woods.

  31. AndrewF says:

    I can’t understand how people can complain that racing is boring because Rossi is no longer winning all the time! What could be more boring than that? I hated it when Rossi was at his peak not because I had anything against him personally, I was just desperate for some variety!

  32. Grant Madden says:

    David,now thats a PR scoop to be proud of but if I catch that Ben messing with my girls there will be a new headline.Murder and mayhem at Motogp!!
    Bloody Americans and women.Thats why they,re called yanks.With womans pants its one yank and they,re off!!
    No?He He He…

  33. Forz#46 says:

    Wonderful piece Scott. As you can well imagine, I be a huge #46 fan. As fast and as clinical as Stoner and Jorge are respectively, Motogp is where it is today in terms of a global spectacle (one could argue) because of the Italian. For instance, Rossi vs. Gibernau (while it lasted) had some of the best duels. Rossi vs. Biaggi had incredible battles, so did Stoner and Lorenzo. Sadly (if memory serves me) no race in the last 15 months has been decided by a last gasp move on the final corner. Why ? #46 wasnt there to stick the pass. We can argue the merits of the DUCATI vs. the other bikes he’s become champion on forever, he’s not getting on with the Bike and sadly, IMHO will move on for 2013.

    Lets hope and pray it works for him. The sport needs it. There are far too many viewers losing interest and without viewers, this sport we love is dead.

  34. Hisham Noh says:

    why do people watch racing??

    spectator sport or enjoy racing as itself. Someone mentioned McGuinness, he is pure road racer which brought purist road racing like other road racer like great Joey Dunlop. No hype about him on being the most charming on road racing scene. Like my previous comment, i want to watch racing. especially those racers who really work their way up from scratch.that is the real star which don’t really highlighted in motogp nowadays.
    perhaps i am a traditionalist.i want to watch race, not drama, not charming personality, just race.

  35. Forz#46 says:

    Rossi just appeared out of nowhere, didnt work for what he’s achieved and by all accounts got where he is today because of ? Luck ? Father’s influence maybe ?

    You dont get to where he is without hard, hard graft ! Do yourself a favour (if you havent already) watch the Doctor, Tornado and Kentucky Kid, listen to his then team mate Colin Edwards speak about how much work he actually puts into perfecting his craft. Rossi isn’t a ‘real’ star, He’s a mega Superstar, the only rider that command earnings that put him into the top 20 sports earners worldwide ! This is probably not good for the sport too…. right ?

    #46 can be seen sighning autographs long after the other “real racers have left the paddock.He’s a sponsors dream simply becuase he reaches into demographics otherwise unheard of for a motorcycle racer.

    Be lucky you lived in his time and witnessed him rule the world.

  36. Ben says:

    My God, Rossi fans are boring. booooooorring.

  37. sid says:

    Flip this article around for a second….
    What would we miss if Rossi was on a competitive bike?

    this type of tabloid trashy gossip.

    Why can’t A&R see that great champions take risks and we are witnessing how one of the greatest in this sport handles daunting adversity. Not every chapter is rosy and media garbage like this gets in the way of witnessing the true challenge and how the people involved work through it.

    The media is truly dreadful for its need to write “something”, “anything” has made its way to motorcycles..

    bring in Checa for some testing to get another perspective on the bike…that is not a gesture of doubt but gaining more data and input because right now the bike isn’t doing well for 2 different styles of riding

  38. Alan says:

    Very well written. I couldn’t agree more with the writer. I like this type of objective story. Hate him or like him, Rossi has had a giant impact for the sport of motorcycle roadracing. Maybe his glory days are past,
    but he has made a positive contribution for motorcycling with his joyful antics and past winning ways.

  39. Paul says:

    Why do people think that Rossi fans only have time for Vale? I am 25 and a HUGE motogp fan, when i first watched a bike race on the tv it was in 2000. I was instantly hooked with the fast paced action, the thrills and the spills but what really caught my eye was the bright yellow Nastro Azzuro Honda of Vale. Ever since then i have followed his career religiously, seen the highs and the lows BUT i learn’t about the other riders and followed their careers too. I love Stoners balls out aggression, Lorenzo’s silky smooth riding, Nicky Haydens dirt track drifting and the list goes on, there is so much i love about motogp/ moto2/ moto3 much to my girlfriends annoyance ( but even she is getting into it now ) and i think i owe thanks in part to Valentino for getting me into bikes/racing, he was the one that caught my eye with his syle and skills on two wheels back in 2000 and i am still hooked on the sport.

    Sorry if that was a bit fan boyish but i genuinley love motogp and all the riders leave me in awe dreaming, wishing i had a chance to race in motogp.

    Lets stop the hating Bull, Rossi’s ego got the better of him at Yamaha but i want to enjoy the last however many seasons witnessing the guy who kicked off my passion for the sport, whether he is in first place or last im glad i have been here to watch an amazing career.

  40. sid says:

    Was the above photo taken right after another reporter’s question about the “what ifs” and next year?

    That would get pretty fucking tiresome, as Rossi’s face depicts. It’s simple. While you guys gossip and then lament about “what we’ve missed” the story doesn’t have to be so annoying, repetitive, & dramatic, especially to the people that are trying to get back to what you so sorely miss – Competitive racing from a once in a lifetime type of champion.

    It’s a black and white story to report: Team Ducati is still not getting it done. Period. See you at the next race. (while letting the teams get back to their job of trying to figure it out and then observe at the next round).

    Shit like the above is getting in the way of what you ultimately want to see. You feel good about this incessant “reporting” ?

    As the saying goes, “That’s Not News!”

  41. jake says:

    here is the thing to those of you who miss my point. I appreciate the talent that is Rossi and all that he accomplished, just like MJ or Schuamacher, etc…… But like those other greats when it gets to the point that the press over kills it with hype. Or make one person more important then the sport that is where I have a problem. My point is as I said….there was MotoGP before Rossi and there will MotoGP after him. What will be gone are those trendy fans that only watched MotoGP for Rossi. I have long grown tired of trying to watch an exciting race and instead of talking about a great race between Stoner and Lorenzo all the press want to do is talk about Rossi.

    And as for “getting bigger then the sport” My only problem with Jordan was when he (and other stars) are allowed to break the rules because they are stars. I travel is a travel and should apply to everyone. And that is when I got tired of Rossi the most. It’s one thing when the press is kissing his ass, but when Dorna started making rule changes strictly to benefit Rossi then I had enough of him. Before you say that was BS, what other rider did Dorna step in to make Bridgestone provide tires for before the single tire rule was put in place? None. When Rossi was getting stuff no one else could they didn’t seem to care, but when it was the other way around, they acted pretty quick. Laguna 08 no doubt a great race but also clear as day (as it’s been replayed over and over again) Rossi cut the track to complete that pass in the corkscrew and should have been made to give that spot back. but because it’s Rossi, nothing but “I’t’s great racing……” The final straw for me was how this legend who left Honda because he wanted to prove it was the rider not the bike and who was pissed when people said he won on the Honda because he had equipment no one else could get, cried like a chump when Yamaha gave Lorezeno equal (not better just equal) equipment and left it to the man to prove himself. That type of crap is the same reason I stopped like Alonzo in F1.

    I don’t hate successful people and I can easily admire when that special person comes along and dominates their field. But as I originally stated time goes on. I was a MotoGP fan before Rossi. Was a MotoGP fan during Rossi’s reign and will be….well I can’t finish the last part because Dorna is killing MotoGP for me. but it’s funny how again some of you the jump on anyone who doesn’t kiss Rossi’s and never really look at the facts and that is no one reigns forever. No once did I say Rossi lost his talent. But at the same time the results speak for themselves and that is his is not out and out the best anymore.

  42. david says:

    rossi is, no doubt, one of the greatest of all time, but I think what some fear is that all those fans he brought to the sport will leave as soon as he is gone. there is some evidence this is already happening, what with ezpeleta’s assurances that rossi will be on a competitive bike next year as viewer ship falls. this is still short-sighted,however, as rossi will retire one day, and all those rossi fans will go with him. then what? like others have said, it was never healthy to have rossi bigger than motogp itself. also, rossi will never win a race on that duke, as long as my arse has a hole in it[ I have won money in 2011 betting that rossi would not win a race, and I made the same bet this year which is looking promising..]but even on a honda or yam, I don’t think he could take any more titles, lorenzo is just faster than him now, time waits for no man. I’m a huge ducati fan, so this pains me to say, and I hope i’m wrong,but I don’t think so..

  43. Ryan says:

    @sid. Easy, killer. It wasn’t supposed to be news. It’s a commentary. I guess I don’t know what else to say about that.

    @Jensen. Great article. I enjoy when you mix in this type of insight with the race results articles. All the haters who complain they ‘only care about racing’ don’t understand that if it wasn’t for the distinct personalities who were doing the racing, they might as well just watch someone else play MotoGP on the Xbox.

  44. sid says:

    @ryan – yep, its personalities or Xbox. Please.

    commentary or “news” – this repetitive Rossi/Ducati postulating blows and is adolescent, like a kid who can’t finish a game after losing a Queen in chess. There is a real story in this battle Ducati and Rossi are in right now. Don’t ruin it with constant hypotheticals and wishing it weren’t so

  45. Hisham Noh says:

    Yeah i did watch “The Doctor, Tornado and Kentucky Kid” and even “Fastest”. I still have it on my laptop and watched it time to time. Don’t you felt awkward Mark Neale actually only telling you about VR for the rest of the movie???

    In Fastest, Mark Neale only highlighted short scene of CS and JL . Discrimination?? Yes it is. Owh, I forget, VR is The Fastest. That is why he is highlighted in so much on this movie. During VR dominance on Yamaha, some rider also clocked the fastest time on a DUCATI on the most awesome final battle at Catalunya. Well, nobody knew that since that person is just nobody to allmighty VR in public eye

  46. Westward says:

    @ Hisham Noh

    What is the difference of being the fastest at any point in a race if you do not win or make the podium..? The Yamaha has never technically ever been the fastest bike, yet Rossi has won four times and Lorenzo once on it.

    I get upset today every time they show a CRT pilot who crashed out of the race as if it really mattered. Do they not realize that when they do that, they take the viewing audience away from the real racing…

    In Fastest, Lorenzo had just won his title, in a season that saw Rossi not only bust his shoulder, but also break his leg, how much more attention does Lorenzo deserve? As for Stoner, at that point in time he had only won in 2007 and his pending move to Honda was just that, pending, again, how much more time was needed for him..?

    Correct me if I am wrong, but the movie Fastest ended asking the question, Who’s Fastest Now…?

    To me that simply meant, could Lorenzo truly be faster once Rossi is fully mended? Or will the combination of Stoner and HRC prove faster than Lorenzo on the Yamaha? At that point in time Ducati & Rossi marriage was still unknown…

    Discrimination ?? Not really…

    When Faster came out, Rossi was nearly undefeated, and the 2006 season a had not yet begun. Fastest simply bridges the gap since the previous movie, and within that time frame Rossi had won 7 titles to Roberts, Hayden, Stoner, and Lorenzo whom all won once in the premiere class.

  47. Westward says:

    @ Jake

    A Teams contract with supplier has little to do with Dorna. If Yamaha wants to switch from Michelin to Bridgestone before the single tyre rule, that is their prerogative. At least they did it before the season started in 2008.

    If you really want to get self righteous about the issue, you should take offense to Pedrosa, Repsol, and HRC for making the switch mid season and not allowing Hayden to d0 the same.

    As for Rossi v. Stoner at Laguna that same year, I seriously doubt penalizing a pilot for making a save, in a maneuver that could have been potentially disastrous, would have been a travesty. Besides, everything was moot when Stoner laid his bike down in the gravel later in the race.

    Also, like Rossi has always said, “I never touch Stoner, so whats the point ?”

    Just this year, there was the incident involving Marquez and Espargaro. Why penalize Marquez for making a save, when it was Espargaro’s fault for attempting to take advantage by diving to the inside from behind.

  48. @Westward: It was interesting to catch the MotoGP riders’ view of the event at the following weekend’s Thursday conference. To a man, they all agreed that since Marquez was in front, it was up to Espargaro to leave him room and respect his line. Yes, maybe Marquez could have taken a look before coming back onto the line, but it was his line to take. (I haven’t always been so agreeable with some of his other “sweep across the front wheel” passes.)

  49. Amanda, UK says:

    The noise of the supporters says it all, when Rossi got podium this season the noise, the animation from the crowds said it all. Lorenzo was celebrating his win to the crowds and there was hardly a murmur.
    I only wish I knew for sure that Lorenzo acknowledged the difference in the level of support and realises he just doesn’t have the ability to gain such admiration, and that nobody celebrates his ‘personality’ – probably because he doesn’t appear to have one.
    Casey Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Crutchlow, Hayden etc. they are all dull to watch on the bike and definitely off the bike.