Storm In A Tea Cup: How A Recycled Interview Reignited The Rossi vs Stoner Wars

There is no rivalry in MotoGP more bitter than that between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner, more bitter even than the one between Wayne Rainey and Kevin Schwantz. It has been a constant element in their relationship since Stoner won his first MotoGP title in 2007 (ironically, Stoner named Rossi as one of his heroes on the t-shirt he wore to celebrate that championship), though hardly a surprise, as the two men are polar opposites in almost every respect, except for their prodigious talent. The rivalry has intensified over the years, stoked by a series of incidents (nicely outlined by the peerless Italian website recently), including the booing of Stoner by Rossi fans at Donington in 2008, the epic battle at Laguna Seca in 2008, and the war of words between the two in 2010, ahead of Rossi's move to Ducati.

The rivalry does not just polarize the two riders, it also polarizes their fans. The comments section of almost any news story featuring the two men is riddled with posts by people blinded by fanaticism, with logic and calm consideration nowhere to be found. This polarization leaves the media with a dilemma: on the one hand, events concerning the two, and verbal exchanges between them need to be treated as newsworthy, and due consideration given to covering them as such. On the other hand, the media operate in the certain knowledge that covering the dispute is sure to sell more newspapers and magazines, generate more traffic to a website, and grab more viewers for a TV show. Reporting on these stories leaves journalists open to charges of sensationalism, but not reporting on them means they can be accused of not doing their jobs.

The dangers of reporting on these incidents were illustrated rather clearly this week, when the latest spat between the two took place. News sites soon picked up on a feature on Valentino Rossi appearing in the latest issue of the Dainese Legends magazine, containing a selection of quotes from the former world champion. One of those quotes read as follows:

“Stoner started to hate me just because he lost,” he says, mischievously. “After that, he always seemed to talk about the past, this race, because he wasn't man enough to understand that at that time, he lost!”

This was immediately picked up by a number of news outlets around the world, and turned into news stories. Once the quotes appeared in the English-language media, they naturally came to the attention of Casey Stoner, who responded on his Twitter page as follows:

I think Valentino feels a little more brave now that I'm not there :)

This was picked up again by the media, and generated another flurry of stories. In turn, those stories generated a flurry of debate, argument and polemic, with more controversy as a result.

This controversy was not the effect intended by Dainese, the Italian motorcycle clothing and sportswear manufacturer (in which Valentino Rossi holds a stake). The Legends magazine is first and foremost a PR vehicle, a glossy publication aimed at promoting the Dainese brand. Generating a storm of controversy surrounding one its key figureheads is not at all what was intended. Dainese does not need the Legends magazine for more brand exposure, it needs it to position the brand in the market: upscale, expensive, stylish. Cheap slanging matches are not part of that image.

So on Saturday, Dainese decided it was in the best interests of its brand to issue a clarification and apology on its Facebook page over the controversy stirred up by the article. The statement read as follows:

Considering the exaggerated echo of an article about the career of Valentino Rossi, we would like to highlight that the words published in the latest issue of the Dainese Legends magazine have been taken out from an old interview and consequently reported out of the original context. 
We wish to apologize for all the polemic comments that neither Valentino nor Dainese ever wanted to instigate.

There are two key phrases in the statement. The first is "taken out from an old interview". The Legends magazine is put together by the British PR firm The Church of London, and though beautifully produced, it is very much the product of a PR firm and not a journalistic endeavor. The Rossi story appears to have been crafted from a selection of older interviews, though it is unclear whether the author of the feature in Legends magazine conducted those interviews or not. The story did not make it clear that these were quotes taken from previous interviews, or provide a timeframe within which Rossi may have made those statements.

The second key phrase is "consequently reported out of the original context". And here, journalistic responsibility comes into play. It is December, a test ban is in place, riders and team members are dispersed around the world doing PR work, taking vacations, training and preparing for 2013. For the moment, their lives are less focused around the 2013 MotoGP season, and more on pursuits outside of motorcycle racing. Their phones are often switched off. There is less going on in the world of motorcycle racing, and those involved are much harder to reach and less inclined to take calls.

But column inches still need to be filled, websites have to keep their readers entertained, and racing fans crave news - any news - to tide them over the long, cold, empty months of winter before racing starts again. Features such as that published in Dainese's Legends magazine are a godsend, helping to fill spaces and stories in a barren time indeed for news. 

Who is to blame for this? The PR company producing Dainese's Legends magazine, for not providing context about Rossi's statements? The media, for immediately leaping on the stories and reporting them without doing their own checking? The fans, for demanding an unending stream of news stories, to still their hunger for news from the sport they love so much? Or Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner, perhaps, for taking public potshots at each other, the bitterness still lingering on both sides?

I have no answer to this question. But I am fairly sure it will all happen again, and probably very soon.

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The spannermen of the game need to keep bread on the table too back home.
Thanks for the update David. I've followed it on other sites,but have not been lured into it.
The fans and fanatics on both sides need to to take time out and hold their collective breaths until Sepang 1.
Rossi doesn't need this and Stoner left the game because of this by and large.
Enjoy the holidays all.

"I've followed it on other sites,but have not been lured into it."

Oh yes you have buddy, but under your alter ego! (we all know who you are on another site!)

Rossi and Stoner? Lifelong Rossi fan, but damn, gonna miss Casey in 2013. He was amazing and probably the fastest rider I've watched in over 20 years of following the sport. Shame he decided to go, but completely understand why and respect his decision. His leaving sort of brought the whole media circus around MotoGP back down to earth with a bang. Stoner disliked the way MotoGP was/is heading (as many of us do) so decided to bail out. I reckon Rossi does too, but he knows which side his bread is buttered on so is hanging in there for another year or 2. Eventually he'll leave too, but Rossi and Stoner certainly kept the journalists busy.

Lorenzo versus Pedrosa? Nobody really cares do they? Perhaps Marquez will add a bit of excitement in 2013?

I reckon 2013 will be a very testing time for MotoGP. Marquez on a Repsol Honda, Rossi back on a Yamaha. Headlines centered around those 2 I think.

"This was immediately picked up by a number of news outlets around the world..."

David, it was not like, Marca or MCN published the interview. It was the official MotoGP site who did it:

Anyone familiar with the official MotoGP site knows the bias it naturally has. I think the recycled interview was posted on purpose. Rossi´s reputation went from demigod to also ran in just three years and some damage control needs to be done.

The way Stoner fans and Rossi fans ended up hating each other is just plain stupid. I think all of us were really fortunate to have both of them and many others racing in the same track for many years.

I saw the Dainese story on Motocuatro, GPOne, MCN, Crash,, Motoblog and Twowheelsblog, Speedweek, and a host of other sources. It really got picked up everywhere. Stoner merely responded to the official news source.

PR Company, The Church of London, is still telling the lie. The website of the company that produces Dainese Legends says specifically: `We also speak to Valentino Rossi about his insatiable hunger for victory...' Legends itself doesn't say that and the article is easily spotted as the potboiler it has proved to be. And, frankly. the quote attributed to Rossi doesn't sound much like the sort of thing he would say now, if he ever said it. The PR company should have known better and so should Dainese, who were guilty of a capital branding offence in failing to oversee effectively content being put out in its name. And so should the Press and much of the on-line media. Two people come out of this with credit, in my view: David, for not getting drawn in and Casey, for keeping a sense of humour when others were losing theirs.

To be clear, I have no idea whether they performed the interview or not. The Dainese statement merely says that the quotes came from 'an old interview', they did not say who the interview was with.

That's what the PR website says. Present tense. Not past tense. Not three years ago. Unless the PR company has a time machine, their comments are at best misleading. I can't see why the issue has to be fudged around.

You're reading way too much into that statement - which is grammatically a disaster anyway!

Unless they are speaking to Rossi at this very moment, the statement itself would be inaccurate. Since they cannot actually be speaking to Rossi and simultaneously printing his comments in a catalog (which has a huge gap between the time the articles are written and the time it is published) the statement should read "We also spoke to Valentino Rossi ..." And then you're back at the question of when they did so, if indeed they did. And you could also ask what "we" or "spoke" means; was it a PR firm staff member, a freelancer, a working reporter who they hired to write the piece years after he/she spoke to VR; did they actually talk to him directly, exchange emails or text messages, overhear a conversation in a bar ...

I teach public relations. In advertising, the standard for publication is "that which cannot be proven to be false."

MotoGp will be even more Boring than it has been in recent years. That we have no doubt about.
Unfortunately, Ezpeleta is the main one to blame for putting all his eggs in one basket so to speak, in Rossi being his main key to global viewings and exposure.
Unless the likes of Marquez et-al start next year being more endearing to fans and viewers, the whole show will be as exciting as watching gloss paint dry in a cold room.
I admit, while Lorenzo and Pedrosa are pure PR professionals but they are as much fun as a loaf of mouldy bread. Dani has only this year learnt how to smile and Lorenzo's idea of fun is try to commit commercial suicide by jumping into a lake fully kitted in leathers & boots etc or doing his Shumacher jumping impersonation on the podium, nice try but nowhere near as fun and amusing as the antics of Valentino of his earlier years but, the last few years (not just the two at Pigati) have been very mediocre even by his standards. I used to sit watching the races with the anticipation of what he was going to do at the end of the race or who was next on his list for winding up (Biaggi & Bultaco) for example, so really even the master of piss taking & fun poking has turned somewhat boring. Obviously it would take some serious antics to out do Rossi's previous shows but this is what is needed, and it is needed in all the classes, not just the biguns.
We all understand that the riders have to be professional for the team and sponsors for the exposure but can they not get into their heads that their riders poking fun at each other and having fun in front of the media cameras IS exposure...

A rider being seen on live Tv gesticulating 'watch this' and sneaking up behind 'name' and pinching some ass and running off would bring a chuckle or two and exposure because the camera would follow the rider back to the team/bike which would in turn show the sponsors etc to the world, its not rocket science is it but its my point exactly in that MGP needs more fun....

Seriously? You actually WANT to watch an artificial clown act? Maybe you ought to consider running away from home and joining the circus.

The rest of us will be more than happy to see some close racing on loud, fast, motorcycles.

Just as L.Capirossi has been employed as a Safety Consultant, maybe when Rossi retires he can be kept on as a "Celebration Consultant", or "Entertainment Engineer"?

He can train up-and-comers in the important crafts of costume selection/helmet colour scheme design, press conference linguistics and post-win shenanigans. These 3 skills are the core to entertaining motorsport, and its what real petrol heads crave, right?

Without entertainment, there are no viewers. Without viewers, there is no money. Without money, there is no sport, because the factories sure as hell aren't going to pay for it.

MotoGP's difficulty is keeping the fine balance between entertainment and sport cleverly enough to satisfy the two different groups of fans.

... one group are fans, the other are simply sheep sheared for their wool.

We all know money is the end game, but lets not dignify watching a race as if it's something to get through in order to see a little rah-rah hootenanny.

The speaker of the House of Lords (UK's upper chamber) sits on something called the woolsack. Basically, a cushion stuffed with wool. He sits upon it to remind him and everyone there that Britain's wealth was built on the trade in wool, it first being used in the 14th Century. Though the nobles in the House of Lords may have looked down on the common traders who obtained their wealth through commerce rather than heritage and land, it is these men who built the country, and the Empire over which it ruled.

It may be fashionable to look down on "the poor sheep" who are not clever enough to appreciate the fine points of what has been a dispiritingly tedious couple of years, but without those poor sheep, Casey Stoner would have been riding a CBR600, nor an RC213V.

Of course the racing should be the highlight of the weekend, and the main focus of the sport, but that doesn't mean that adding some spectacle alongside the racing is not a good idea. At Le Mans, for example, on Saturday night, a jet-powered dragster does runs up the front straight to entertain the crowds. Does that detract from the racing?

A little spectacle cannot hurt. Of course the racing must be central, but if you don't like the soap opera before and after the race, you can always switch off once the checkered flag is waved.

At times people refer the NFL as the "No Fun League" because they have banned and penalize certain types of celebrations/conduct that could be construed as excessive or as showing-up your opponent (poor sportsmanship etc.) even though it was wildly popular with "The Fun Bunch," they (NFL) always made sure the GAME came first and was the real show.

I'm not saying you have to take ANY of the "fun" out of MotoGP (celebrations, drag racing, or stop talking about the "back-stories & what have you). But the seeming less unending growth and popularity of the NFL prove you don't have to pander to people who just like the violence, or the celebrations, or eating BBQ in a parking lot. Good half-time show? Bring it on, but the GAME is always priority #1. No need to look down on any of that stuff, but if you make it so diehards stop caring, the rest is just a farce even if the profits keep rolling in.

While admittedly extreme example, Pro Wrestling used to be a "real" sport at one time (and no, not referring to the '70's & '80's kids). Now it's FAR more profitable when the "main event" (match) is just an excuse for the pre- & post soap opera story lines.

As such, Vince McMahon sits on a reminder of his empire as well, a ca$hsack. While a joy for him to sit on I'm sure, there still has to be some sense of integrity to go along with it, or I'm sure as hell not watching.

>>In 1938, it was discovered that the Woolsack was in fact, stuffed with horsehair.

So those horse's asses were just trying to pull the wool over our eyes? I didn't realize we were talking about American politics......

>>At Le Mans, for example, on Saturday night, a jet-powered dragster does runs up the front straight to entertain the crowds.

Fun for those attending the event but it seems that increased TV revenue is the way of the future for top level sports. In many situations I would enjoy seeing a jet dragster but one of them is not when absorbing the small amount of GP coverage that I can get. The story needs to be built around the racing, not the side shows. There are lots of stories there, more than enough to fill its own channel. Not just the racers but the teams and support structure. There have been a few articles on this site covering race support staff that I have been as eager to read as any other.

It always amazes me of the sheer volume of low quality niche market crap I can see on US cable TV but motorcycle roadracing is nearly nonexistent. There is a good bit of dirt stuff that is televised, they seem to get it a more than the roadrace guys or maybe their production costs are low enough to allow it. A dedicated roadrace channel could be supported by lots of medium to low quality shows and anchored by a few high quality GP and WSBK events. There are lots of baseball commentary shows that broadcast the commentators from what looks like a radio booth. Most sports fans would prefer knowledgable commentary above a fancy set. Some of the more recent ball sports commentors on ESPN have been recruited from the best of the independent bloggers, similar to how David's successes stem from passion and skill.

Maybe the forthcoming Fox Sports 1 channel will not resign the GP and WSBK contracts. That would at least allow WSBK to allow live streaming of races to US customers. The perfect time for a new motorcycle sports channel that can be anchored by both of those high profile series and supported by intelligent and low cost commentary and lots of back story filler. Oh what a dreamer am I!


i have been watching road racing for over 40 years (took a break in the 90's and early 2000's) started watching drag racing. theres this guy john force that brings in lots of fans due to his bigger than life persanlty! more so than evan rossi! its all part of the show and if it brings in sheep be happy. like david said they could all be riding cbr600 now with out the money.

buy the way go to a drag race some nhra drag race some time now that non stop racing!

... has won 15 NHRA Championships, so it ain't only his personality. Without the hardware, his antics would've been relegated to the dust-bin of history long ago and forgotten. The sheep would've flocked elsewhere.

And I've been to the drags, they're a fun one off no doubt, but it isn't going to keep real "road" guys satiated for long.

Well, it's not the fans. If it was, then we deserve the credit for all the other stuff too. It's money and the media's pursuit of it. As far as the fans are concerned, bring it on. We do need something to read. The drag of it all, for me, is that any mention of Casey reminds me that he won't be there next year. Between Motomatters and Superbikeplanet, you would think there is a concerted effort to mention his name as often as possible in an effort to cajole him into returning to the grid. I wish it were that simple. Being a huge fan of his, ( and yes, he does have fans )i'm all in for what ever it takes. But it's not going to happen, so it's time to move on. His retirement makes Marco's absence all the more profound and the sooner Marquez battles for the podium, the better. Dovi made a career mistake moving to Ducati. He'd have been better off going to SBK. Cal, of course, will benefit in a big way because of his move. Rossi will have a good year and that is always good for thr sport. But I think that by half way through the season he will realize that his chance for another world championship can only occur in SBK. Too bad there is such an age difference between he and Max. It would have been great to see those two on the same track at the same time again. If Dani does in fact retire in two years, Jorge will rewrite the record books. Too smooth, too fast, too consistant, and no Casey.

Perhaps MotoGP needs to be re-branded 'MOTO-men are as sad as women when it comes to gossip-GP'

Whilst I won't be overjoyed when Valentino retires & I'm hopeful he'll take his "fans" with him!

I really can't see how this can be considered reigniting the Rossi / Stoner war.

Stoner merely made a tweet comment. He didn't hold a press conference. He isn't part of MotoGP anymore.

Rossi on the other hand is very savvy when it comes to media and definitely would have know about the comments in the dainese publication and knew it would have been seen as a jab at Stoner. His motivations are odd though and at best, considered slightly sad. To think this is what he feels he needs to do to get interest in his sellable image. In addition need to hold themselves a little higher if they want to have any fans left after Rossi leaves. It really is an "eggs all in one basket" kind of deal with them......

In 2 years time JL99 will continue to pad his resume, but what about Ben Spies@Ducati, or whatever he might be on after 2013? Have all of the "Elbowz" fans given up on the Texas Terror? I know it hasn't been smooth sailing the last few years but there have been some bright points. I've followed his career ever since he Beat #66 Mat Mladin(most often he wore #1) in 3 straight championship seasons in AMA Superbike racing in the USA. I am also disheartened by Casey leaving, he really knows how to kick everyone's ass on the track from time to time and he has a couple of World Championships, also a great personality to have in the paddock and at the track. I live in North Texas and I'm definitely going to the Circuit of The Americas round in April!

He'll be riding a Dead-Duc, so you can't blame anyone for taking a wait and see attitude. Shaking your pom-poms Friday Night Lights style ain't going to make a 2 second gap to the front running Honda's & Yamaha's disappear.

If Suzuki ever gets back in the game in a serious way, I'd love to see them & Ben reunited in GP.

As for Casey, his departure leaves a gaping hole in the sport. And not one bit of it has to do with twatting or any other sort of off track melodrama.

Is that comment that Rossi made? Is it old as in a week ago, or a few years ago. That is what I would love to know. Actually laughed at Casey's comment back. Too bad he retired, because I would love to see them battle next year. Ever since Catalunya 2007, I have been a fan of Casey's riding. But no he is gone. A very unique talent. Him and Rossi making comments about each other, then racing against each other will be missed. Rivalries are always good for building DRAMA!!!! Which give the race so much more tension.

All this does for me is further cement in my mind the uselessness of Twitter. 99% of the time people (everyone, anyone) tweet the most trivial and boring crap on there.

Of the remaining 1% of tweets, about half of them are interesting, and half are like the one posted by Casey... knee-jerk reactions before the facts are in.

This is not an insult to Casey but the service... there's a reason the word Twitter starts with Twit.

Regular blogs are fine... micro-blogs are the last omen signaling the start of the Mayan Apocalypse.

That's not an exaggeration either... somebody tweeted it, so it has to be true.

All Stoner's retirement does for me is show what a hole simoncelli left in the sport when he was killed in maylasia. I've not felt the same about the race since his departure because he was genuinely charming, a free sprit, and could race the hell out of those machines even though he was a physical giant compared to his competitors. The sport has not been built around a continued Rossi presence, it has simply defaulted there. Every sport needs a charismatic figure. Much as Babe Ruth really solidified baseball as a major sport, Rossi has been the face of Motogp in the modern age. Despite his skills on a bike, Casey Stoner simply rubs an awful lot of people the wrong way. Lorenzo is coming out of his shell, but he is a spaniard, and spaniards are pessimists at heart. I have high hopes for Cal, but he needs to keep that bike rubber side down.

Also, I think it was simoncelli's death that hastened Stoner's retirement. He has a very young wife, he is actually very young himself, and they have a child. All those factors make for emotional decisionmaking--which he seems to be prone to. Had sic still been in the mix this year, I'm not sure that Rossi would have been back at yamaha.

Is anyone else tired of this sort of thing? The MC media perpetuates this to sell hits and magazines, nothing more. The media are more responsible for this rivalry than what happens on the track. X site publishes this which infuriates fans of either rider and heated exchanges proceed. Having fallen victim to this "duping" prior I'll just give a yawn instead.

Come back Casey.

Bring on 2013, the winter is long and boring.

if Rossi or one of his minion don't proof read articles his sponsors write, before it goes into print. I also noticed that they didn't apologise to Casey either. Has Rossi come out and said he never actually uttered those words?

Entertainment? When Lorenzo started "entertaining" in 2010, he was blasted by the public for immitating Rossi. Although I did find some of his exploits funny, especially Mario and Luigi with "Game Over", that is not why I watch motorcycle racing.

Stoner wasn't hated by the general public until he started beating Rossi.

Simoncelli's (RIP) antics were overlooked because he was close friends with Rossi. His comments about women and Spanish riders and including his "hard" style of racing. When a Spanish up and coming rider does the same he is labled as wreckless. Yet more double standards.

Perhaps Rossi has become bigger than the sport, which IMO is a shame. If as much effort went into supporting and promoting the other riders as the media does generating these rivalry stories, it would be able to stand on it's own without one central "Star". The sad reality is these types of stories generate revenue for publishers, and they will continue to do so as long as people keep buying into them.

I get the fanatics, I get the need to make themselves feel better by supporting a winner. I prefer to cheer for the underdog, but that's me. The constant one upping of one's favorite rider is tiresome and idiotic (see post #2 of this thread).

Clarifications and apologies more and more appears in media as official language which is a good sign of wake up. PR isn't an easy task as it was few years ago. Today to predict the news/story result is very hard. It easily can turn against the author's idea. To be clear - especially in 2012 this scenario happen everywhere in media (sport, political, celebrity, etc) and is surely a topic to think about in future. In one hand media and pr need some 'exaggeration' as it's in their nature but in other hand the communication needs some rearrangement. Private statements are too easy and too often taken out of context and intention. Too often some 'others' statements' born as a result of writer's/pr fantasy. Especially in web social media it's very easy to get into something I would call 'simulation of a light schizophrenia' where something you're sure is a fact it turns to a fantasy but people still belive in it as true fact. Clear communication is a key to keep people conscious in their reality's interpretation.
Speculation is ok but isn't always the key to success.

It's worth remembering that Rossi has a very considerable business interest in keeping his name up there; 'brand Rossi' makes him a lot of money (and good luck to him for managing that as well as he has - there is absolutely no disrespect in acknowledging how successful he has been as a businessman as well as a fantastic rider - accountancy glitches aside.)

Dorna's focus on Rossi as 'the' story of motoGp and Rossi's own commercial interests are sympatico. Stoner doesn't have the same sort of commercial interest to protect; his response, in fact, helps Rossi far more than it hinders him. Stoner raced for the express purpose of riding as fast as humanly possible on the given bike and track and day; Rossi operates on a bigger picture.

Stoner has done to his satisfaction what he set out to do - and after more than 20 years of doing that, has decided to do other things. He is not, fundamentally, a businessman pursuing a business of motorcycle racing. What he did, was done for 'the love of the sport' - or at least, the love of simply being better than everybody else at what he did. His record in the motoGp class while he was there is unmatched by his competition; that is his satisfaction. He took Ducati to a new level of success; he also gave KTM their first GP class win. He gave Honda their only championship in the 800's era. He has achieved 'legend' status in the FIM lists. It's a pretty damn good CV to hang up on the wall when one retires.

Rossi has personally unfinished business in motoGp racing - and 'business' is the correct term. Win, draw or lose in the next two years, Rossi's future life will be more comfortable for having been in the game. Good luck to him, I say - considering the risks attendant with racing motoGp, whatever reward he achieves will have been totally deserved and earned.

Both riders deserve respect for their decisions for the future. Stoner has opted for a life as a father - common sense would say 'well, he IS a father, respect'. Rossi has opted to keep racing - and again, common sense would say: 'as a racer (and a businessman) - respect'. Exchanges such as these are merely a sideshow to the real lives of either rider - to draw serious conclusions from this miniscule spat would be fatuous in the extreme.

Let's all have a bit of a giggle and move on.

Absolutely spot on. Rossi and Stoner are utterly different animals as David says, and both have been great for the sport in their own way.

I am not ashamed to admit that Rossi does make me and the missus laugh sometimes, he is certainly a 'character' (with all that entails positive and negative) and my understanding is that is how he is (umpteen other riders, not involved in the immediate 'fray' have said this). Non 'petrolhead' fans all know who Rossi is; and their money is as important as anyone elses when it comes to putting bums on seats on raceday. He is also capable of being a hugely skilled racer, I hope he gets back to the sharp end next year to liven things up. The sport needs to make the most of his remaining time and hope another 'star' comes along.

Stoner can ride a motorcycle to the limits you couldn't imagine before, different from Rossi or Lorenzo, but amazing still, no-one else can do what he does. He will be greatly missed but I really admire his decision to put family 1st; the loss of Simoncelli must have loomed large when Stoner last won his championship (he said so himself I recall on the BBC). To state the bleedin' obvious; racing bikes is extremely dangerous. Those who booed him at Donny in 2008 were a bloody disgrace but these things happen in all sports. I'm sure he's proud of all he has achieved and rightly so.

Off at a tangent: When we start predicting for next year BTW?

I reckon at the mo: 1. Pedrosa 2. Lorenzo 3. Rossi. But that we don't know is why its worth watching!!

It should be turned into a circus.
I was generalizing at some minor ideas to put some fun back into MotofrikkinGp being as it is largely fookin boring.
Why not have riders, mechanics, anybody, pissing about and having fun while in the pits or on the grid while the camera crews and journalists do their shit?
I don't see any of you lot making any suggestions of how to liven it up and add some fun element to what can be some times totally mind numbingly boring, like when the riders can't be arsed to go out on track because its a lil bit wet and all we have is the commentators talking inane bollox and the cameras going from one pitbox to another in the hope of seeing someone pick his nose n flick it..
And as some of you have insinuated on upper posts, i am a Rossi fanboy, i am a fan of almost every rider who risks life n limb on track for our viewing pleasure. I have the utmost respect for all of them for what they do for us, so that makes me a FAN and certainly not a boy (42 in march)
Thanks David for fighting my corner...

So you want to see a bunch of highly trained athletes running around the paddock setting shoelaces on fire. This is your idea to "liven up" Moto GP?

We've already seen what happens when someone else not named Rossi attempts to post race entertain. BTW, Lorenzo has been podium jumping since his 125 days.

I'm certain riders not going out in less than ideal weather conditions is a team decision, but you're right, they should waste engine usage and possible damage to the machine and their bodies for a practice session just for the sake of our entertainment. I'm sure given the choice they would rather be on the bike however, thanks to the techinical regs it's a waste of engine.

The issue is not the riders, the issue is the media would rather latch onto a Rossi/Stoner hate fest than report anything else. Instead of promoting the other riders and making them appear more "human", the media would rather report that Rossi thinks Stoner hates him.

First of all, can I just say how nice it is to have a site that invites discussion, and seems to be largely clear of those who cannot "debate" without resorting to personal insults, threats and a stream of profanities.

VR came along however many years ago and injected something new into the sport. He was young, supremely talented on a bike and liked to have a bit of fun. It's clear (especially to Dorna) that over the years he has put additional millions of $ into the sports coffers, and yes, taken a good few out for himself. A professional sportsman's career is a short one, and they all need to earn as much as they can in that time, and I for one don't hold that against him or any other rider.

What has made VR so popular? His post-race antics? Yes, they've contributed but the fundamental difference between VR and all of the others is that he's a CHARACTER. Casey, Jorge, Danni and others are breathtaking racers, with Casey perhaps being the most naturally talented, but, to be blunt, they're all a bit dull. Valentino isn't. He's enthusiastic, enjoys his racing when he's competitive and he involves the fans. The other guys don't. It's not a criticism. Its a fact.

Comparisons are often drawn between Moto GP and F1, and many feel the bikes are slowly going the same way as the cars. Yes, that's probably true with the big bucks that are involved these days, and yes, I'm sure Moto GP competitors will become just like those in F1. Cardboard cut-outs with the combined personality of 2 dead slugs.

Irrespective of what we might think of VR, I think we'll all end up missing him when he hangs up his leathers for the last time.