MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
Remembering the past at Brno
At Brno I asked Dorna if they would arrange a minute’s silence on the MotoGP grid to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, which claimed the lives of 55 million people and changed the lives of hundreds of millions forever. Indeed, it changed the entire world forever. We all live with the ongoing effects of what happened back then – just ask anyone who lives in Brno and knows what happened there during the war.
Carmelo Ezpeleta considered my request and turned it down, even after I had pointed out that during the weekend of the 1997 Czech Grand Prix he happily arranged a minute’s silence on the grid to mark the occasion of the death of Princess Diana.
The idea of commemorating such a huge event as the end of the world’s greatest conflict is not at all to celebrate victory or patriotism or nationalism or anything else, but to ensure that everyone remembers what happened, in the sincere hope that such a war will never happen again.
Sport is meant to be a distraction from the trials and tribulations of life, but it is not entirely separate from real life. Dorna has arranged silences for many tragic events that have taken place far from the paddock and have nothing whatsoever to do with MotoGP: the death of Princess Di, the murder of a Spanish politician by ETA, the recent German Wings air disaster and so on.
The fact that they chose to ignore such an important anniversary as the end of WW2 makes me wonder if they – like some other sports like Formula 1 and football – are becoming entirely divorced from humanity.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.