Photo of the Week: Old Grudges Die Hard

08/22/2011 @ 12:42 pm, by Scott Jones18 COMMENTS

Two seasons after Dani Pedrosa knocked Nicky Hayden off the track at Estoril and seemingly derailed his teammate’s championship bid, emotions about the move still ran hot at The Kentucky Kid’s home race. There’s no telling for whom the pair in this photo might have shirts made next weekend, but the odds are on Filippo Preziosi.

Considering that these guys look like they’ve eaten meals that weighed more than Pedrosa, they seem unlikely to care that the father of the career-wrecking Ducati GP concept is in a wheelchair, but certainly the majority of Indy’s great fans will keep it classy. Best of luck to Nicky and Dani and all of those who compete at the highest level of motorcycle racing.

Scott Jones is a professional photographer known for his great action shots and poignant candids when covering MotoGP and WSBK racing events. You may have already seen his work on MotoMatters (they still have more calendars available that feature Scott’s work by the way). Not only do we like Scott’s shots, but he fits right in with our all Nikon-totting office.

You can find him on his blogTwitter, & Facebook. Scott is such a nice guy, he’ll even let you stay in his Lake Tahoe cabin. All images posted, shared, or sent for editorial use or review are registered for full copyright protection at the Library of Congress.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • DareN

    That is radiculus comment. Pedrosa have earned his reputation on and off truck. Good rider does not need a manager / babysitter to wipe his behind every single time something goes wrong. I am sure once he wins the championship (maybe) he will be respected. Then I will respect him as a rider – do not have a lot good to say about his personality.

  • jamesy

    Pedrosa’s a headcase who will not win a world championship until he conquers the space between his ears, and dump Carlos Puig from his advising guru list. We wish well to all who can manage that. Lorenzo’s mental toughness is what makes him superior at this time. We’ve seen Stoner go from whining about a Rossi pass at Laguna to disappearing to the verge of his 2nd championship. Is it not a mental sport above all?
    He DOESNT SUCK, but there is this definite vacuum in his vicinity… just sayin

  • DareN

    Well said, Jamesy. And to win champioship you have to be leading on the last lap, not the first…

  • Pacasp

    I’m noticing a disappointing trend here with Asphalt and Rubber: bring up a shallow, false premise like this one (or “will Elena Myers-a woman- ever get to race a MotoGP machine?”), then take the moral high road and shoot down that same argument.
    If the men in your photo don’t like Dani Pedrosa, then they don’t like him. Who the hell are you to use that premise to make fun of their size? Thank god they weren’t black or you’d probably have called them the “N” word, wouldn’t you?

  • Beary

    Dani will never win a championship, not only does he break too easily, but similar to Lorenzo and Stoner, he freaks out when someone gets too close. Somehow linking Preziosi and saying they don’t care he is in a wheelchair, errrr, sorry ? Then going on to poke fun at these guys because of their weight? Grow up. It’s obvious this article was meant to ridicule these two guys, but you’ve descended to the very same level you seek to place yourself above.

  • Pacasp

    Hey Beary, Asphalt and Rubber seems to be making a habit of this kind of reporting. Just check out the same caliber of comments concerning Elena Myers test riding a Suzuki GP machine at Indy.
    BTW, your comments are spot-on.

  • I love to spark a lively discussion and I appreciate the comments made here. Thanks to all of you.

    My point in contributing this photo is that I don’t think you should criticize someone unless you know you can do better. (And even then you’re probably better off keeping that to yourself, since we all make mistakes, even elite MotoGP riders.) Over and over again I observe people who appear to me to have no particular insight, or position from which to criticize, expressing hateful opinions of amazing athletes who perform at levels far beyond what the rest of us will ever achieve. People with no idea what it takes to ride a MotoGP bike belittle the skills of those who do not win in the class, and others with no personal experience of the riders make malicious comments about their characters as if they know them intimately. This happens in all sports, and just as it is certainly the right of those in this photo to dislike Dani Pedrosa for whatever reasons they find compelling, it is also my right to find objectionable wearing that opinion on a t-shirt, which I suspect only serves to make them feel a bit better about themselves at the expense of a very talented person who does not deserve to be mocked in this way.

    In that, perhaps I am guilty of the same thing for which I hold these two fellows accountable. It does make me feel a bit better to stand up for Dani, whom I think is a genuinely good person and insanely talented on two wheels. When I see these guys saying he sucks it does piss me off, and I am grateful for the opportunity to say so. Sadly, my attempt to express that with some levity did not come off, and I alone am responsible for that in this case.

    I admit it’s possible that in spite of the condescension they chose to express in their attire, these two men are otherwise a pair of princes in both manners and generosity. It’s also possible that they are, in spite of their appearances, highly skilled motorcycle racers fully qualified to comment as experts that Pedrosa does in fact suck, even though this goes against my personal experience with the Spanish rider, an individual who has shown over and over again that, his physical frailty aside, he is the only other rider capable of matching the speed of Rossi, Stoner and Lorenzo. It’s possible they are fully aware of the remorse Dani showed after the incident at Estoril but choose to dismiss it as fraudulent based on greater insight into Dani’s mind and heart than I have in my admittedly limited experience. That experience is based only on Honda press debriefs, the chats that sometimes happen afterward, and on the opinions of paddock insiders who known Dani better than I and who describe him as a thoughtful, warm young man when he is not under the intense scrutiny of the international media. Rossi handles that situation well, most others do not have his gift in that department. In my opinion that does not mean they suck as motorcycle racers or as people.

    I am certainly guilty of making these assumptions. I stand corrected, and again, for that I appreciate the comments here.

  • invisible cities

    Well said Mr. Jones!

  • jamesy

    Oh Bullsh*t Jones. Nowhere does it say on their shirts that he sucks at riding a motorcycle. He is paid millions of Euros to Suck or anything else anyone wants to opine. It is YOU who are the reactionary here. Are YOU a motogp rider who is capable of assessing Dani’s talent? Was Bela Karolyi capable of doing a double back flip? You do not need to be supremely physically talented to recognize those qualities and differences in others.
    And OBTW if his actions & statements after the Estoril incident speak to you of remorse then I dont believe you have a very good grip on knowing peoples demeanor. Its entirely possible that either of the guys wearing the rude shirts (yes, they most certainly were that!) could beat you at any of the things you mentioned. just sayin… give some, get some dude.

  • keet

    sorry, scott, i disagree, they’re millionaires riding motorcycles for a living on the public stage, if they can’t take it, they should play golf.

    also, it does come off as quite hypocritical for making fun of two guys you know nothing about for making fun of some guy they know nothing about, no?

    you can whitewash the dani/nicky incident all you want as you are an obvious pedrosa fan/apologist, but if you remember back, dani showed little remorse toward hayden and puig actually came out and said the incident was nickys fault. the people you keep around you says a lot about your own character (pedrosa & puig)

  • @invisible cities–Thanks!

    @keet–I certainly sympathize with that perspective, having held it myself for most of my life. But if there’s one single thing that has changed since I started working in MotoGP I think it’s my understanding of top class athletes. Having the opportunity to observe them at least in a limited way when they are off camera has made me alter my own belief that the salaries they receive should require excellence in all aspects of their work. It’s mainly Pedrosa and Stoner who have had this effect on me. Both are superstars on the track but quiet, private individuals otherwise. My opinion now is simply that the salary requires only excellence on track and meeting the team/contract requirements to the best of each individual’s ability. It doesn’t really matter to me that some riders dislike talking to the press or doing publicity appearances, and I can’t hold it against them if their personalities off the bike are such that these chores are difficult for them. They can ride faster than anyone else, and to me that’s why they are in MotoGP, not because they are gifted public speakers or shrewd at politics. Some don’t like Spies because they say he’s boring off the bike. I think Spies is awesome because ON the bike he is fantastic and exciting, and that’s what I care about. So while I respect your opinion, I’ll ask that we agree to disagree about the salary issue.

    To return to Estoril, it is not my intention to whitewash the incident, but rather to express that my understanding of Dani’s reaction to his mistake was not well publicized and I believe, largely misunderstood. It’s my belief that he felt terrible for what was basically a mistake, albeit a terrible one that an athlete at his level should not make. Saying that something should not happen, however, doesn’t mean that it never will. Pro sports are full of dropped passes, bungled ground balls, and missed shots in clutch situations, yet even our best athletes are fallible. Dani came across afterward as not really caring what had happened, but I don’t think this is accurate. In Rick Broadbent’s book, Ring of Fire, he tells how Dani was nearly in tears about it. This jibes much more with my own experience of Dani’s personality than what was conveyed at the time.

    As for Alberto Puig, I have never defended him or his actions, as I simply have no experience with him that compels me to do so. In fact the biggest complaint I have about Pedrosa is that he has not severed the connection with his mentor and become, so to speak, his own man. However, I have read enough about their history to believe that doing this would be something like a son cutting ties with a father. Though I don’t know, I suspect that Dani would feel like an ungrateful sod were he to separate from Puig, so I cut him slack on this even though I sincerely wish he would do so. I agree completely with your statement that the company you keep says a lot about you, I just think that such situations can be very complicated, and while Puig’s involvement with Dani’s career may be as harmful in some ways as it is beneficial in others, or even more the former recently than the latter, only Dani knows the real story there. I choose to believe that he feels he is doing the right thing by keeping Puig around, so though I don’t agree with it from my limited perspective, I try to remind myself that I don’t know the whole story.

  • DareN

    Dear Mr. Jones,
    There is nothing wrong with being Dani Pedrosa`s fan and I applaud you for it. You have to respect, however, the other peoples` right to exspress their feelings, even if it is not in classy manner. As for Puig, I think his remarks and pressure from DORNA broke Marco Simoncelli`s spirit and I wonder if he ever be the same again. I do not want to watch him content with the 3rd place,I want him fighting,sometimes reckless – that is what the racing is all about. As for Dani – karma is a….

  • Patron

    I’m not above criticizing anyone for anything. I’ll admit that. I doubt any of us are. And I dont need to be more skilled then them to do it either. The amount of monday morning quarterbacking that goes on after any given football game….c’mon….we all do it. And just because we arent more skilled at racing than any man who has ever so much as subbed in for a MotoGP racer, doesnt mean we cant critisize these guys. That doesn’t mean we are all asses about it tho. I dont like pedrosa for many reasons. Thats my right to feel different about different people.

    But I’m not sure the relevance of this 3yr old photo. Because indy is next weekend? It was obvously an attempt to get people to comment the way they are. It seems that you posted this pic just to argue your point tho. We can tell you are a pedrosa fan. And good for you. Thats your right. But I think we can move on from the Pedrosa – Hayden thing. From either side of the fence youre one

  • Pacsap stop trolling. We never wrote such an article, and don’t take the argument to such a base level as to put racial slurs in our mouths.

    I welcome opposing viewpoints on this site, but civility and decorum have to come with it.

  • Beary

    Pacsap is far from Trolling… he is responding in kind, to an article so laced with negativity and ridicule, that is deserves no space on any Professional website. This kind of ‘writing’ from staff brings down your whole image, Mr Beeler, and I’m more than surprised you gave it space.

    Jones initial response was to admit he’d made an error, but close his response with thinly veiled sarcasm. (see last paragraph of initial response.) He reasoned that we thought ill of him because he made assumptions. Wrong. We thought ill of this article, because it was mean-spirited, and biased. Are these the qualities you seek to promote in your writers, Mr Beeler ? Oh hang on, Scott is usually just a photographer, is he ?

    See what I did there? It’s poor form to be judgmental and mean sprited, most especially on a world-wide forum. I think that you were genuinely surprised at the bad response to your snark, Mr Jones. But for me, Journalism should be unbiased observation – in this kind of forum. There was no ‘levity’ as you put it in this article. Just immature lashing out at a couple of guys who ‘pissed you off”.

    So learn from this Mr Jones, and move on.

  • I’m trying to do just that, thanks everyone for calling me on it. What I wrote was inappropriate and as I said earlier, my responsibility alone. I apologize to anyone who was offended and will take more care in the future.

  • DareN

    Hey,Jonesy – take it easy…No reason to go sour on us. These riders are in entertainment business – if they cannot take it they can find different line of work. By the way,you take killer pictures…Thanks,

  • Not sour, just offering a sincere apology in the hopes it’s accepted as intended. And thanks for the compliment, glad you enjoy my work, D.