SofaRacer Speaks - Of Moto3, Shang-a-Lang and Demographics

MotoGP is missing a trick. As the 2013 season approaches there are two main topics of note, what are the rules going to be in the next two or three years and will Valentino Rossi's eventual, inevitable, retirement cause the series to implode?

Both of these questions are irrelevant. The fact is that in five, ten, fifteen years time there will be Grand Prix motorcycle racing. It will have its heroes, it will have its villains and it will have a load of middle-aged men harping on about how things ain't what they used to be. They'll moan about how these aren't 'proper' bikes and how you should have seen Kenny Roberts 'back in the day'. It will also have a rider of whom it will be said, "We'll never see his like again". Plus ça change.

Last season, it became the norm that the stand-out races of the day were in Moto3 and Moto2. Both were hard fought, both were exciting and both were won by clean-cut young men who fully deserved their moment of glory on the podium. Champagne was sprayed (or not) press conferences convened, reports written. The media pack then headed en masse for the airport, to chatter about chatter.

Which meant they missed something. On Sunday nights, the Internet was ablaze. With talk, comment, gossip, hearty congratulations to winners and heartfelt sympathies to losers. From a hitherto unnoticed and completely ignored MotoGP fan demographic.

Teenage girls.

Yes, teenage girls. They are everywhere MotoGP goes. They are fans, they are passionate and, importantly, they are knowledgeable. In this day of Social Media, instant access and the opportunity to voice your opinion in public, teenage girls are blazing a trail in Moto3 and Moto2. We're not talking about daft wee lasses here; we're talking about informed, educated, bike racing fans. Many of them write blogs about MotoGP, which are updated with practice times, race results and, vitally, hairstyle changes, torso hagiographies and rider's girlfriend statuses.

In an era of declining Superbike sales and an aging motorcycling demographic these girls aren't just watching bike racing, they're into it and they 'get' it. But nobody in MotoGP is speaking to them.

There are thousands of them around the globe. Until recently they've largely segregated into the fairly standard fan template of pro/anti Rossi/Lorenzo/Stoner (delete as applicable). But over the last couple of years there has been a subtle but important shift.

The advent of Moto2 in 2011 and Moto3 in 2012 has changed things. Week in, week out, a parade of brave, daring, clean-cut, well-spoken, smiling, impossibly fit young men have been gracing both their TV screens and their Facebook pages.

Teenage girls like this. A lot.

It is an incontrovertible fact of life that teenage girls will swoon over teenage boys who are a couple of years older than them. Since time immemorial they have screamed, obsessed and, importantly, spent money on Boy Bands and all the Boy Band paraphernalia they can get their hands on.

Music producers and Pop Svengalis cottoned on long ago to what an incredible money spinner this is. As people, teenage girls are as diverse a bunch as any other socio-economic group, apart from two things. In their formative years they are in equal measure both fiercely loyal and financially illogical toward their Teen Idols.

This is such a cash cow for record companies that these days any pretence of Boy Bands having artistic merit or indeed a fixed line up of members has become but a distant memory. Throw an extra blue-eyed kid in every once in a while and the fans will lap it up (and buy the new album) every time.

In Moto3 and Moto2, Grand Prix motorcycle racing has perhaps the ultimate global boy band, with a twist. These boys don't preen about on stage lip-synching to their latest single in soft focus. They race motorbikes. Fast, hard and for real, all over the world. Today's teenage girls are media savvy. They know when what they are watching is pre-packaged pretence. But they can also tell when it's real teen beefcake racing at real speed, sometimes winning for real, sometimes losing for real and always hurting for real when they fall off.

Teenage girls like this. A lot.

Today's girl fan is a smart cookie. Equality, freedom, a good education and a relatively high standard of living are the stock in trade for the average teenage girl in the new millennium. They are smarter, richer and more empowered than any previous generation. They're so empowered in fact they that it probably wouldn't cross their mind to think that they are (Germaine Greer, it WAS worth it). As they grow older they expect to get jobs, leave home, go on holidays, buy cars and accumulate all the trappings of adult life. Including a disposable income, which they fully intend to dispose of.

MotoGP has a heaven-sent opportunity to sign these girls up as fans for life. Get them hooked on Moto3 riders who are 16 years old and let them live the rider's career alongside him, growing older and wiser in life as he, hopefully, does in racing. Follow the career, buy the merchandise and participate in the lifestyle fan experience for a full decade and a half.

Every year a new crop of riders arrive in the paddock, whether it be in Moto3, Red Bull Rookies, or EJC. Clean-cut, well-spoken, friendly, talented, fit young men – possibly the most marketable commodity on the planet. And every year a new generation of teenage girls starts getting interested in boys.

There are heroes, there are villains, there's the quirky one, there's the one who isn't very fast but is SO cute, there's the funny one, there's the thoughtful one, there's the deep one, there's the one with the crazy hair, there's the one with the gorgeous accent, there's the one who couldn't give a damn and doesn't care who knows it. You name it, the junior classes have got it.

It's 2013 and MotoGP needs to wake up to the fact that income isn't all about TV and ticket sales, and ticket sales aren't all about motorbikes. Today's fans, particularly the younger generation, are both discerning and demanding. They don't just want to watch on TV or turn up at the track to spectate, they want to be a part of it.

The teenage fan of today isn't savvy about Social Media. The teenage fan of today IS Social Media. They simply do not know of a world without mobile phones, Facebook and Twitter, because they've never experienced it. They want information and they want it now. More than that, they want access. They want t-shirts, competitions, photographs, webcasts, video chats, live Internet Q&A sessions and they want to instantly share all of it with all of their friends. Hell, they're obsessed teenage girls, they'd bid on a pair of smelly raced-in socks if you'd let them. They want to be involved and they want to spend their money on their teen idols.

MotoGP should get its act together and capitalise. Hard economic times and global recession aside, Grand Prix motorcycle racing is kidding itself in the way that only the truly deluded can. For decades the sport drank deeply and willingly from the overflowing champagne flute of tobacco money. When that party ended in a puff of legislative smoke, the energy drink fairy turned up with a magic wand and bulging coffers just in the nick of time to save the day. Or rather, to save MotoGP from facing financial reality.

Teams complain of the difficulty in raising funds to go racing, which is, to an extent, fair enough. They need a sponsor who wants to be involved, but that sponsor needs to have markets or interests in each of the countries the circus visits. This narrows the field down considerably. Where MotoGP, including the teams, has failed miserably is in being creative about sponsorship and the business side of the empire. They've never had to do it before and the signs of them picking up the requisite skills to do so are thin on the ground.

It's never crossed their mind that potentially the most marketable aspect of the entire enterprise is the shy, slightly gawky, youngster with a dream and a spiky haircut sitting astride their motorbike. With the right branding, the right promotion, a creative approach, the correct use of Social Media and the right people doing it, there's money in that kid, his team mate and the kids who come after them. Because everywhere the circus goes there are teenage girls. Who are a brilliant resource, because as they get older each year, they are replaced or added to by others a year younger.

It's a licence to capture a fan base for free and keep them for life. As today's Red Bull Rookie is retiring after a long and distinguished career 15 years hence, our teenage fan is approaching her middle years and will be introducing her own daughter to the delights of young men in brightly coloured leathers who race with a devil-may-care attitude on the track and a cheeky smile off it. The demographic literally perpetuates itself.

Right now, today, there are mothers who assiduously watch MotoGP with their daughters. As one swoons over her teen idol in Moto2 or 3, it would be naïve to assume that the other's interest in Randy De Puniet's smooth riding style is necessarily limited to his mastery of a MotoGP bike.

Kenny Roberts acolytes are probably by now having an apoplectic fit of sizeable proportions. Let them. Because they are the past, and can live there with their Wynn's jackets if they so choose.

The global audience for Grand Prix motorbike racing is counted in the millions. Those millions don't care about pneumatic valves or ECU's or carbon discs. They have no opinion on what angle the V should be in a Desmosedici. They want to watch some guy ride like a man possessed for thirty laps, win, and then jump into a lake. And go mental with glee as he does so.

The bottom line is that MotoGP is part sport, part entertainment, but all business. As with all businesses it needs to make money and money is currently equated to a rather narrow definition of sponsorship.

Name the current crop of MotoGP Sponsors. Now name the ones who are there on a purely commercial sponsorship basis rather than as a legacy of years gone by or a vanity project by management. The list narrows dramatically.

Can you name ten sponsors in Moto3 and Moto2? Thought not.

In 2011 much hilarity ensued in MotoGP circles at the announcement that Queroseno Racing would be branded as SuperMartxé VIP, with Paris Hilton as its figurehead. That laughter was inappropriate, and by now should be firmly hollow. SuperMartxé is well on its way to becoming a global brand with its conglomeration of club nights, perfumes, accessories collections and reality shows. It is a massively successful and popular enterprise by any measure. It's demographic? Young, upwardly mobile kids with freedom of choice and money to burn. They like excitement, glamour and anything that sets their pulse racing. SuperMartxé spent a year in the MotoGP paddock before moving on.

Did anybody try to stop them, ask why they were leaving, or how racing could help them interact better with their clientèle? Or, heaven forbid, vice-versa?

MotoGP had its head too far up its own fundament to realise the opportunity it was spurning. The series visits many countries where clever marketing and cross branding could reap rewards for both title sponsors in the youth market and the teams themselves. A load of kids who like a load of noise while having a good time. Partygoers and race fans both.

MotoGP has a fantastic product to sell to a global youth audience and there are brands that are looking for creative and exciting ways to interact with that audience. It really, really isn't rocket science.

Instead of trying to work out how to cryogenically freeze Valentino Rossi in some kind of MotoGP time warp or clone Kenny Roberts, effort needs to go in to marketing these young racers to their peers. Most have a winning smile and a glint in the eye. Throw in a couple with a hint of edginess and something of the 'bad boy' about them (Andrea Iannone, anyone?) and you've got a plot to sell as good as any Teen movie.

Make sure they do cool victory celebrations. Build an artificial lake and, if need be, contractually oblige them to jump into it.

Teenage girls like this. A lot.

Nonsense? Do the math…

Justin Bieber was 'discovered' in 2008. He has 33 Million followers on Twitter. That's up ten million on last year. He is worth in excess of $100 Million. It would be not be unreasonable to assume that his global fan base of teenage girls will each spend $50 per annum on Bieber products. Justin Bieber is eighteen years old.

Romano Fenati, 16, was 'discovered' a year ago and has a bright future. He has 15,000 followers on Twitter. Sandro Cortese is a World Champion. He is the epitome of the kind of clean cut young man your Mother would approve of. He has fewer than 23,000 followers on Twitter.

Get 10,000 teenage girls globally to fall in love with your rider. Get them to spend $30 each on product. It won't cover the entire budget, but it'll buy you a hell of a nice Kalex

Somebody in MotoGP should phone a Pop Svengali. Now. is delighted to welcome SofaRacer to the website. The self-described "Fastest man ever on both 2- and 4-seat sofas", SofaRacer will offer his incisive, witty and sometimes scathing insights into the sport of motorcycle racing on an occasional basis on the website. In between columns, you can follow him on Twitter at @SofaRacer, where he captures motorcycle racing in 140 characters or less.

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Elena Myers one of the fastest upcoming racers ( I said racers , not just female racers)

Is out of a ride and doesnt have one for 2013 .

Youd think a very photogenic and FAST young lady would be a sponsors dream , but apparently not

It seems lots of people love racing but dont want to participate or sponsor anyone anymore :(

As ever the sofa racer makes sense. Go on then son, off ya go and "make it so". No good thinking it if ya don't do summat about it. And I hope you do summat about it.

It's a real shame that Dorna are simply trying to make the fanbase swell by offering more of the same, just fiddling with the rules to try and increase 'the show'.

Leave the rules alone, stop trying to flog excessively expensive TV rights, give up on trying to fleece circuits out of ever increasing sanctioning fees, and actually concentrate on doing things to help teams to attract more sponsors, from more countries, in more market areas.

Once they've built MotoGP and WSBK into genuinely widely-viewed, popular sports, then they can start thinking about TV rights, etc.

Carrot first, stick second.

And yet MotoGP/Dorna goes to great lengths to actively drive away female customers. Why in 2013 do we still have Paddock Girls as a prominent feature on the MotoGP website front page? I mean, is anyone having difficulty out there finding pictures of hot women on the 'net?

I always wondered how Elena must have felt on the podium standing next to some bikini model.

I get my porn from ... well, we don't need to get into that. I come to MotoGP for racing, not porn. Maybe it's time to revisit the Paddock Girl concept.

I've always thought the paddock girls thing was getting played out. One of those "good ol' boys" traditions that I think they should start phasing out. But then again I like the Dallas Cowboys' cheerleaders so what does that say?

Love this notion. Let's throw out the brolly dollies and get all the riders to have mechanics to shelter them from the elements; seems to work for Pedrosa. Playboy models and MotoGP should have nothing to do with each other (my sincere apologies, Lauren Vickers).

That was a good satire. I enjoyed reading it.
But those of you who think it was serious take note.

If Moto GP adopts the "Pop Svengali" approach we'll all be watching
"Justin Bieber" race. I don't guess you particularly enjoy his musical
performance or his off-stage soap opera, so why would you want
to watch him race?

If Moto GP were to really parallel the pop music mill, it would churn
out racers (ahem) with the right look instead of the right talent. In the author's
own words:

"This is such a cash cow for record companies that these days any pretence
of Boy Bands having artistic merit or indeed a fixed line up of members has
become but a distant memory."

Does anyone want the same thing in Moto GP?

But what the satire does very well is ridicule current Moto GP efforts.

You appear to be painting this as a binary proposition. It is much, much more complex than that, positively analog, in fact.

The point is not to alter the sport to suit the new fan base, the point is to capitalize on a demographic which is being overlooked. Racing desperately needs money. Teenagers have money. How does MotoGP get its hands on the money of those teenagers?

The one reason why you can't do the same thing in motorcycle racing that you can with boy bands: there is no autotune in motorcycle racing. There is literally no way to fake talent in a motorcycle race. You can't lip sync around Mugello.

The point is not to alter the sport to suit the new fan base...

Seems to me that what you call "positively analog" is another name for having your cake and eating it, too.

SofaRacer says we need a Pop Svengali. SofaRacer says we need to plug-and-play boy-band style racers to appeal to teen-aged girls. How is that not changing the sport?

Then again, maybe MotoGP/Moto2 is going that way already. Haven't we had a musical chairs atmosphere in the private teams? Isn't it becomming true that whoever brings the most cash gets the ride. I remember reading an interview with Ant West where he said he even offered to put his house up as collateral. All to no avail, as someone with better sponsors got the ride.

For the record, I'm all for attracting the following and the spending power of teen agers... and grandmas and grandpas and anyone else we can get. But not at the cost of watching Justin Bieber in race leathers.

What SofaRacer said is not that we need plug-and-play-boy-band-style racers. He said that we already have the raw commodity: a constantly renewable and renewing source of fit, attractive young men, in various shades of cuteness, to suit all tastes. The pop svengali is needed to do the marketing, not cultivate the talent. Alberto Puig and Peter Clifford already have that part covered.

As I said, there is no autotune for riding a motorcycle. You can't fake it. So you can't pull an ugly-but-talented rider and plug in a cute-but-useless rider, like you can with a boy band. Teenage girls may be overly concerned with looks and appearance, but they're not stupid. Seeing the cute boy running around 6 seconds off the pace will not cut it with them. But you don't need to plug in artificially selected youngsters, the youngsters coming coming through on the basis of their talent are already attractive.

This is the thing about athletes. To compete, you have to be extremely fit. That fitness creates a basic physical attractiveness of itself. You can be a brilliant singer, but pale, paunchy, and unhealthy looking. There are no overweight motorcycle racers. In fact, quite the opposite, there are a few which are closer to struggling with anorexia and other eating disorders, rather than obesity.

The raw commodity to sell to young girls is already there. But nobody is monetizing that opportunity.  One rider's manager has already contacted me, with extremely positive results from preliminary market research, inspired by this article. It gives him some leverage when it is time to talk to sponsors.

The sport doesn't have to change. The presentation may have to, to accommodate a wider variety of fans than just middle-aged white men. They could make a start by mixing up the grid girls, adding some fit young men among the fit young women. That variety would help make the sport more appealing and acceptable to a wider audience.

I cant see this thing happening. You just need to watch the MotoGP awards every year at the end of the season. They are all the same, the format hasnt change and the show looks like a north korean celebration. So marketing the youngsters in the lower classes like teenage idols to girls... SofaRacer's ideea is great in its simplicity but I cant see it happening under Ezpeleta's reigning.

PS1: I am reading your blog for 2 years now, an I admire your writing. I also sometimes catch you on the event press conferences which I ilegally dl them of torrents. Im from Romania and I have to say that our MGP comentators are broadcasting what they read on your blog. So you have fans in Romania. Me and the 2 guys commenting on TV.
I am courious.Do any of the guys in MotoGP read your blog? If so, do they get upset when you wright something that they dont like?

PS2:SofaRacer, you're great man. Keep them comming.

If your idea is to market Moto3, Moto2, and Motogp to teen-aged girls, I'm all for it - as long as it doesn't involve the racers poncing about on social media and in Parc Fermé.
If that's the idea (and it sounds like it is), forget it.

Just because you don't like marketing targeted at teen girls doesn't mean that there is anything in it that runs counter to MotoGP.

In fact, it looks to me like Rossi has laid the foundation and set the mold for the "poncing about".

Look at it this way: you complain about riders getting rides because they bring the most money to the teams. What if sponsors from outside the sport were so desperate to get their name associated with racing that they were throwing cash at the teams. Those teams would no longer be scraping by on the money the riders bring in.

These are big, big sponsors. MotoGP has been getting by on half-hearted support for way too long. Well, really forever if you discount the tobacco era.

"The presentation may have to (change), to accommodate a wider variety of fans than just middle-aged white men."


And the thing is, the change would be so slight that it wouldn't be noticeable to most race fans. Just eliminating the most blatant obstacles to intelligent female spectators would do most of the trick. Of course, there are some team owners who would have to find another way to date brolly girls, but that's their personal problem, not the sport's problem.

Again, not to be crude, but there are a half-dozen places within 20 minutes drive of my home where I can pay a woman $1 and have her show me the bits she usually shows to her OB/GYN. Having brolly girls at the races does absolutely nothing to enhance my racing experience. Eliminate them and most fans wouldn't notice after a year, I suspect.

I think you do have to be careful to avoid alienating existing spectators. I hate listening to a DJ spinning dance tunes at the races in the vendor area, and I find it pointless to have concerts at the track on Saturday nights. We gather because we like racing, not because we share musical tastes.

Racing, to me, isn't a male sport, isn't a female sport, isn't a black or white sport, isn't Asian or European, isn't British or Australian, or doesn't belong to any of the subcultures into which we as humans seem to delight ourselves into dividing ourselves into.

It is a sport for the skilled and the brave.

And it cannot hurt to make it easier for those people who appreciate this sport for what it is to be fully integrated into the fan community.

I really like SofaRacer's writing style. He's correct too. Dorna has a marketing GOLDMINE at their disposal.

If Tiger Woods can sell Wrist Watches and Investment firms to middle aged men, then these young, swashbuckling, fast, courageous, dangerous, handsome, charming, brooding, smiling athletes could sell anything to teen girls. And boys for that matter.

Unlike the Beiber syndrome, Dorna doesnt have to create the image, it's already there.

It's LOUD and colorful. They already wear fantastic "costumes", have big shoulders, and leather boots.

They are rock stars on two wheels.

Sell it.

I am an old man who loves racing because I raced. I love the "Racing". But there is no harm in also acknowledging the series' need to be profitable, and this blatant opportunity. It's low hanging fruit, in abundance. Take it.

I think that even a lot of teenage boys might baulk at the thought of a Bieberesque flavour to MotoGP.
Whilst I agree that the youth market in general is incredibly important, placing most of its appeal in the boy band arena risks far more than alienating a few ageing supporters, who are increasingly being driven out of their own world!

I remember SuperMartxé,
I also remember Vinales winning at Valencia,
I also remember Paris Hilton standing in Parc Ferme with the pit crew waiting for the victor to arrive,
Did Vinales pick up Ms Hilton (The teams main sponsor) swing her around in his arms & give her a kiss right in front of the TV cameras to celebrate?
No, he didn't, he just rode past her like she wasn't even there!
What an idiot!!!!!!!!

Is that why SuperMartxé didn't stop in Motogp?

Brilliant picture, and she really is the consumate poseur!

Is applicable only for what you can do with just one person (male or female) who is attractive to the opposite sex (or same, maybe) – attract a lot of young fans and their disposable income.
The retail industry is the same – many of them target the young pound as a key market segment.
As the man says, it’s not rocket science. Its psychology. For various reasons including this subject, we could probably get a unanimous vote that Ezpelata needs at least one psychologist.

Will be Talledega Nights in no time then :-) I often wonder about Dorna's marketing nous when they by pass something as simple as this. That demographic wouldn't be to hard to corral. I'll even put my hand up to chaperone groups of tenage girls through the rough and tumble world of the MotoGP paddock

It's been said on here more than a few times. Dorna should get all its guys who police the removal of clips from you tube to protect revenue from the small number of people who pay to watch their content to instead plaster all the best bits all over Facebook, twitter, you tube and anywhere else that will take it. An approach far more likely to encourage new fans and new sponsors. Clips like Rossi vs stoner at Laguna, or marques going from the back to the front in four corners should have been encouraged to go viral. Instead, they play wack a mole trying to take down clips.

Dorna is way way WAY behind the times with their attitude to online media.
The only reason that anyone pays dorna 100 euro is to watch the races live. the highlights and other fluff that dorna tries so hard to keep behind their pay wall does nothing to enhance the value to their paying customers or convince new customers to shell out the money and join up.

How can they not see this.

I'm with you guys 100% on this. We do subscribe only to watch the races live, or to at least watch as an alternative to the poor Speed channel coverage we get in the US.
Dorna really needs to ease up on restricting the web media. One thing that the young fan finds difficult to do is shell out $100+ for the race coverage.
BTW, this is a little off topic, but has anyone read Kevin Cameron's editorial, "Saving Fuel, Wasting Racing" in the latest issue of Cycle World? He calls BS on the latest MotoGP fuel limits, and lays the responsibility firmly at the door of Honda.

Yes cmf, I read Kevin Cameron's editorial. Very interesting. Because Honda forced the 800s on everyone, and have come up with the BS fuel limits, basically imposing their will on everyone, I have refused to buy their products. I only ride italian bikes and yamahas ( I won't buy suzukis or kawasakis if they won't support motogp either). I could be wrong, but I think of Honda as a big bully. Nakamoto said something like" Honda doesn't care about the show". Well I hope he finds out that with that attitude, I won't buy Honda products. Some of my riding buds think the same....

Can someone provide a link to data (or a survey or *something*) to support the contention that teenage girls are enamored with MotoGP in any significant numbers?

There was a teenage girl called Adriana,
Who got a young bike racer to sign her stomach,
So enamored with her was he,
That he retired from GP racing.... age 23!

This gave me a good chuckle. Thanks.

If Marquez, Bradl, Redding, Kent, Sissis or Vinales are looking for an Adriana, I'd be happy to oblige ;P

I think it's a great idea for Dorna to expand their horizons when it comes to target markets. The beauty of SofaRacer's suggestions is that nothing has to change on track, it's just the off track approach that will require tweaking and really by not that much.

No one is saying that racers should all be heart throbs first and racers second, because lets face it the majority of the time they will have helmets covering their faces. But it's about time a sport that spends so much time filming firm young bums in tight leather close up starts expanding their horizons and making more cash out of it.

The only things that really need to change is more content like the 'After the Flag' episodes or interviews that include questions like 'What is your favourite band?' along with 'What went wrong in corner 3?' And also sponsorship. Teenagers (boys and girls) want something to connect themselves to their idols and a big part of that is trying to emulate them for example wearing the same brand of jeans or sneakers. Why are none of these young men sponsored by Levi's etc? I think Marcquez is sponsored by Superdry which is a start.

Also, it goes without saying this generation merchandise.

In all honesty it wouldn't take much to grab their attention. Put a picture of an up and coming rider in a teen magazine like 'Dolly' or 'Girlfriend' here in Australia and the girls will become interested, they'll start watching racing and if the racing is good they'll keep watching and starting spending.

If you want proof there are young female motogp fans all over the world all you need to do is search a popular riders name on social media websites in particular. Facebook, twitter, tumblr, youtube etc are full of teenage girls confessing their love and sharing both photos and laptimes.

My personal favourite is an innocently ever so slightly homoerotic video montage of Stoner and Lorenzo set to the sounds of Taylor Swift (it has over 450 views);

Do I need to provide more proof?

... I used to be a teenage girl, it makes me nostalgic. There is plenty more out there, tribute videos, drawings, photoshop artworks, home made t-shirts. Look at the numbers of followers on twitter;

Vinales = 40,380
Marcquez = 161,913
Lorenzo = 684,935
Rossi = 1,652,018

I would say that young people make up a large portion of twitter users.

I don't understand why people are against encouraging young people to be involved in motogp not only as riders but as fans, spectators and consumers. If the sport doesn't move on it will die out. People complain about the fanboys/girls of each rider that don't care about lap times or lean angle but those people buy merchandise and tickets to races and add to the TV ratings. More revenue, more riders, better racing. It's a simple formula.

Omigosh, you understand me!

I've just been a demographic, but described nonetheless.

Thank goodness that I'm not into Justin Bieber, just Danny Kent and Arthus Sissis ;P

The old guys can exploit a teen girl following too e.g. my thirteen year old sister is an obsessive Nicky Hayden fan. Valentino, too, had hundreds of online marriage proposels when he and Gav Emmett did that interview in Le Mans (?) last year. And I'll never forget searching 'MotoGP' on Pinterest only to find hundreds of photographs of Hayden, Lorenzo and Pedrosa posing shirtless (most of them, I will add, posted by females of the 15-25 age bracket).

If the Moto2 and Moto3 teams capitalize on their adolesant riders now, in a year or two there'll be thousands of such photos posted millions of young ladies who are fanatical about the sport and, most importantly, are financing its unadulterated continuation. No more CRT!

So have a go, DORNA, have a go. It'll reap millions.

For a period of maybe 3-4 years, one of the top search phrases for was "Nicky Hayden girlfriend". Now, it is possible that a few of those searches were done by middle-aged men from Rotherham, but I doubt it was all of them.

is that Dorna have to (seemingly) be told this.

I don't know what planet they are on but if they really are not doing any of this except by accident they need to change their entire PR management team.Or get one.
Doesn't Ezpelata have kids/watch TV/listen to the radio,read newspapers or magazine?. Or is he spending all his time asking 80 year old sports supremos how they did it back then?

Just look at the energy Shawty has brought to this site. It's powerful. Boring gits (old or otherwise) may not like some of the effects but they can concentrate on the money and the technology that it can bring. Every cloud.....

Went back thru some old Soupcasts and the above is the title where Dean interviews Kenny Roberts Jr.and he has it dead on. To have a great show the bikes have to look like they are being ridden by professionals, not by guys like me running errands. Smokin the tires, backin it in.....passing..What we have now is like 20 something time the risk of upsetting Kevin Cameron I say lets go back to the buggy whip days, no more traction control, have predictable tires that will slide/smoke and have a show all the fans will stare with open mouth at the greatness of MotoGP...

Wait a minute....
Isn't the legion of glory-whoring Rossiboppers already bad enough?

And you propose popularizing ALL the riders in a similar manner. Dear god save us.... ;)

I think that’s the general idea.
I think Rossi is a great rider. I don’t 'do' the whole fan thing. I have choices about what I watch/read etc. So does everyone.
Personally, I couldn't care less about twitter or any of those social sites. But I do value Motomatters. You just choose what you like. And let others do likewise.
I’m pretty sure that Sheene and a few others would have used Facebook/twitter etc. I have no idea how many of the current riders do – but if it gets them sponsors and helps the teams put a competitive bike out there then what’s to object to?
MGP has a problem (as does WSBK by the looks of the entry list) – this is a potential solution. If people think there are other viable solutions, other than just watching the decline and complaining about it, then let them take them to Dorna or air them here.
Dorna is the solution, not the problem. As noted above, and elsewhere on this site, it’s the MSMA that has screwed things up, and Honda especially have to accept the fact - they may dominate the series but it seems that it’s done by selfish bullying not democratic, intelligent leadership.I don't attend the meetings, I just see the results and, having worked with people like that, I know how polite they can be whilst determindly ignoring you and using their power of veto to get the result they want.
Nakamoto may feel invincible, he acts/speaks as if he feels that way but, as they say, every dog has it’s day/what goes around, comes around.…..

Why not also market the flashy colors, loud sounds, and death-defying antincs of our sport to retirement homes too? You know, something shiny and colorful to keep those old folks awake and entertained.

Why not, right?!? As a collective MotoGP and it's real fans are desperate at this point. Until Dorna pulls it's head out of it's own ass and stops thinking MotoGP is worth as much as F1, we'll take anything we can get...

the racing would put them to sleep.... couldn't resist..

I agree that the sports' demographic is too white, middle aged and male (me on all three counts in fact). I'm also not an ideal punter because although I'll buy tickets for the races (my wife is genuinely keen too), I rarely buy merchandise, because I think most of it looks crap!

There is a body of people called PR consultants who for a fee from Dorna, could go round the world getting the good looking and fit young fellahs interviewed in the right places for the right publications, and raise their online profiles (through the various social media outlets that I never bother with). This doesn’t necessarily mean adding any more shenanigans at the track.

Many of the riders aren't very bright of course but that shouldn't be an obstacle, never stops a pop star or a footballer does it? At least these guys have to be good at what they do - no faking it. And the ones that are bright and good looking; well, they need to be successful too, but they are a PR-er’s dream!

Look what a star Barry Sheene was; and of course Rossi in the early years (my pal's teenage daughter has his auto-biography, and she bought it herself).

The more money and interest in the sport the better. I know it’s often not popular to say it on a forum, but all successful sport needs characters, and Moto GP desperately needs to ‘up the game’!