While normally, MotoGP fans never get enough of seeing Valentino Rossi on TV, there is one shot they would (for the most part) gladly be spared.
Every time the Italian leaves the pits for practice or qualifying, the TV director seems determined to show the same shot, from the camera on the back of Rossi’s bike. As he leaves the pits, Rossi stands on the footpegs, and pulls his leathers from between his buttocks, before sitting back down again and leaving.
Why does he do this? Are his Dainese leathers so badly cut that they are continually creeping up between his buttocks whenever he’s not on the bike? The answer to that is obviously no, his leathers are custom made to fit perfectly, yet still Rossi does this every time, whether he needs to or not.
It is part of the long series of rituals he performs before he hits the track, rituals which include bend over and touching his toes, crouching down and holding the right footpeg, and only getting on from the right side of the bike.
These rituals – part useful limbering up, part invocation of Lady Luck – are something many riders perform, in their attempt to exert control over themselves, and over their environment.
In a fascinating press release – by far the most interesting we have received in many months – the Aspar team today provided a discussion and explanation of what riders are trying to achieve through the use of these rituals.
The press release – entitled ‘Controlling the Uncontrollable’ – walks the reader through the many factors which go in to making a champion, and emphasizes the enormous importance of the mental side of the sport. It is a fascinating insight, and a highly recommended read: