For many MotoGP fans, especially in countries such as the USA, where motorcycle racing is very much a minority pursuit, the thought of the sport seeing the sort of popularity it enjoys in Spain and Italy is regarded as a kind of idyll to aspire to. But they forget that the flip side of that coin is that such popularity spawns a kind of relentless hunger for news, which in turn generates a vast and entirely unreliable rumor mill, some of which may even turn out to be accurate.
The latest example of this is the rumor in the Italian press that Kawasaki have approached Valentino Rossi, offering The Doctor a 4 year deal worth 72 million Euros. The German motorsports weekly MotorSport Aktuell contacted Kawasaki's Michael Bartholemy for confirmation, but Bartholemy flatly denied it: "I don't know anything about any such offer," the Belgian is quoted as saying.
Although it is almost standard practice for team spokespeople to deny any and all rumors, Bartholemy's denial is extremely plausible. Kawasaki is reportedly paying new signing John Hopkins 2.5 million Euros, and this has just about emptied their war chest. Team Green could only afford it if they managed to secure a very big sponsor indeed.
The moral of the story is, of course, to be careful what you wish for. More coverage for our beloved sport also means more claptrap.