Nine time world champion Valentino Rossi has ruffled feathers in Moto GP circles after coming out last week saying it’s very difficult to stay awake because the sport is so boring. Where riders reach speeds of up to 350 km/h while sitting on two wheels and where this season alone has seen the engine capacity increase from 800cc to 1000cc, what exactly are we missing here?
The obvious and slightly unintelligent response from the online crusaders was that it was coming from a bitter place from The Doctor, who hasn’t reached the same form with his current team, Ducati, as he did with Yamaha following his departure from them at the end of the 2010 season. But once you wade through the brainless callings of a champion whose peak has passed, you should recognise that he’s got a point. Moto GP has gotten “too perfect”.
…attracts considerable sponsorship money…
Despite this, yet worth a mention, is that perhaps as Aussie rival Casey Stoner has responded, Rossi may have spurned the very pioneering of this so called perfection. Like many sports, or more so most, money equals championships, so it’s more than understandable that a rider of Rossi’s calibre attracts considerable sponsorship money which can then be funnelled into the perfecting of the electronics system, and as you can expect, top notch electronics don’t come cheap. Competition starts to dwindle off as smaller budget teams can’t finance the development needed to build such bikes.
With impeccable systems running your bike, it brings into question the skill of the riders, whose intuition is now being overridden by a bike with its own brain that reacts to various situations on the track – banking, standing up, braking etc. If we continue to advance technologies in computing models then good riders, and races for that matter, are going to be a thing of the past.
…threat to his title…
The 2012 Moto GP standings were a pretty dull read with this season’s champion, Jorge Lorenzo, crowned with one event left on the calendar, having double the points of 5th placed Alvaro Bautista, with 2nd placed Dani Pedrosa the only legitimate, albeit improbable, threat to his title at the tail end of the season. Doesn’t make for much of a competition with a lead so large you could drive a bus through.
It is with high hopes that Rossi has reignited dialogue which will encourage some decisive action on the direction Moto GP wants to take. One thing is absolutely certain – the powers that be need to cap spending on electronics, to level the playing field and put control of the track back into the rider’s hands.