Simoncelli Receives Threats Ahead Of Catalunya MotoGP Round

The aftermath of the crash between Marco Simoncelli and Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans is now spiralling rapidly out of control. The ride-through penalty awarded by Race Direction (for "riding in an irresponsible manner, which could cause danger to others") caused a good deal of controversy around the world, and just as the affair appeared to be dying down, the situation was reignited when Race Direction announced that Simoncelli would be called into a meeting with them at Barcelona.

But things have gotten even worse over the past few days: the Italian press agency ANSA is reporting that Simoncelli has received threats of physical violence prior to the Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona. The reports, which an article at expands upon, state that the threats were first noticed and reported by Spanish journalists, and that San Carlo Gresini Honda team boss Fausto Gresini confirmed the threats to ANSA. The threats reportedly grew out of anti-Simoncelli groups on social networking sites which sprang up after the crash at Le Mans, and turned into threats of physical harm in recent days.

The threats are part of a long and unhappy history of tension between Spain and Italy - motorcycle racing's two dominant nations - in recent years. With Spanish and Italian riders dominating all three classes, and a heavy media presence from both countries in the paddock, the atmosphere has tended to get frayed on occasion. Incidents involving Simoncelli, Bautista, Lorenzo, Barbera, Rossi, Capirossi and Gibernau have seen journalists in the media center come close to blows on several occasions, and fans from both countries have vented their fury and even turned the atmosphere extremely intimidating after some on-track incidents between riders from the two nations.

But these latest threats of physical violence are the current low point, both of relations between the two sets of fans, and in behavior among the otherwise exemplary racing fans. There are echoes of the words attributed to the legendary Liverpool soccer coach Bill Shankly, who claimed to be disappointed in people who believed that the sport was a matter of life and death, saying it was much, much more important than that. But as anyone who has ever attended a serious accident, or lost a loved one, or suffered a serious illness will tell you, that statement is the worst kind of claptrap imaginable.

Sport - even a sport as fantastic as motorcycle racing - is merely a pastime, a form of entertainment to wile away a few hours before we shuffle off this mortal coil. Though motorcycle racing may evoke intense joy and bitter disappointment, and rouse the kind of passion that adds a vast extra dimension to life, it is relatively unimportant in the vast scheme of things. Even those who dedicate their lives to the sport understand that there is more to life than just racing. Every rider enters the track with no intention of inflicting pain on his rivals, other than the fierce sting of humiliation once he beats them.

Whatever anyone's view of the Simoncelli/Pedrosa crash, to believe that Simoncelli intended to harm Pedrosa in the crash - or vice versa - is utter nonsense. At worst, Simoncelli could be accused of acting recklessly and without thinking about the consequences of his actions, but even that is a very, very long way from justifying threats of violence. In a democratic and free society, the monopoly of violence remains with the state, and should a rider commit an act that is so egregiously violent that it requires action, then, to paraphrase Simoncelli, "they will be arrested." Threats of violence from fans are as unnecessary as they are idiotic.

As so often seen in discussions on internet forums, fans may feel that they have to defend their favorite riders, but the reality is that the riders do not need the fans to defend them. The riders fight their own battles out on the track, and are perfectly capable of managing that on their own.

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I can't imagine that people have actually threatened physical violence against a rider.... Some people have just got to take a chill pill and calm down. Hopefully it's just talk and the Spanish & Italian fans don't come to blows in the grandstands...

The riders need to make a statement collectively that this kind of crap is crap.

...beat the crap out of the next fan that makes threats of physical violence!

So you go and make threats of physical violence? You'll likely never meet this fan or that fan making these threats behind a keyboard so why act like a tough guy here by threatening more violence?

not to speak for Den but I think he was being sarcastic. Ya know, the joke is he's threatening violence with more violence...

Some pedrosa fanatics believes than sic has ruined his season and post than type of crap against a rider, it's unacceptable than the frustation and anger can lead to say that stuff. someone in the paddock must cold the situation or the worst maybe will come in.

This is the first championship I can remember in which the Silly Season has started early - and not the usual 'silly season' of rider contracts and will he won't he speculation. As the old saying goes, the devil will find work for idle hands to do and it appears that some of the journalists in the paddock with no racing to occupy them are instead sharpening their vitriolic pencils. Threats of violence have no place in this sport. I think what's clear in this connected world of near constant tweets and floating deadlines that there needs to be more racing and less gaps between GPs to keep some of these hacks focussed. Thank you David for being one of the few beacons of reason and calm amongst the maelstrom!

Well spoken David. On a side note, unemployment among 18-30 year olds in Spain has touched 40%... Hence the (quite violent) clearing out of the protestors in Barcelona the night of the Champion's League final...

Nice stat. More in depth than my 20% figure, and more relevant since violence is quite narrowly focused within the 18-30 male demographic.

It is a shame what is happening to Spain.

Rich countries don't produce idiots. Or thieves, murderers, gangsters for that matter.
Writing off a whole country because of a few threatening fools is... well, foolish.

wasn't under the impression we were writing off spain as a country because of foolish death threats... but rather because of it's financial woes... topic for another day & another forum though..

I've only written off the nation of Spain, if Spain will always be poverty stricken. I don't associate Spain with perpetual poverty; therefore, I have insulted no one.

Instead, I have been insulted by someone who infers chicanery and discrimination from my innocuous post.

I read your post as putting a direct link between unemployment percentages and a MotoGP death threat. Maybe my comment was a little harsh, but I don't see any founding for your conclusion. Politics, celebrities, sportsmen receive death threats everywhere. One thing just doesn't have anything to do with the other.
The rivalry between Spain and Italy, however, certainly does.

"Politics, celebrities, sportsmen receive death threats everywhere."

You see no correlation b/c you insist on substituting Spain (a place) for poverty (an economic condition). Spain and poverty are not reflexive. Spain is poverty (for now). Poverty is not necessarily Spain. Poverty can be Angola or some place.

My statement: It appears that Spain is violent; however Spain is also poverty-stricken right now. I can substitute poverty for Spain; therefore, poverty is violent (often true in the relative sense). Poverty probably explains the violence in Spain.

You assume I'm saying: Poverty is violent, and poverty is Spain (not necessarily true); therefore, Spain is violent. Spain is the reason for violence in MotoGP.

I am not claiming that Spain is responsible for violence, and I am not sure why you would accuse me of making such a silly logical mistake.

While I agree that something like this shouldn't be tolerated, I also think this is one more example of the press blowing up a non-issue.
So some random keyboard hero posted somewhere that he wants to hurt Simoncelli?
Probably happens all the time, with all of the riders.
People are lured by the perceived anonymity of the internet to show their worst side sometimes.
If visitors (no fans obviously) would show up to a race with a banner that says "Simoncelli has to die" or something, than this would be a different story.
But who cares about a threat of some random idiot in the internet?
Maybe some "journalist" started this whole scandal by himself, to have something to write about. Fausto Gresini would be obviously happy to confirm this, because it will make people sympathize with Simoncelli.

Astounding stuff - violence threats coming from Journo's?! And here was me thinking the pen was supposed to be mightier than the sword. Touch a raw nerve and base human emotions come to the fore all too easily - sad. I should imagine Simoncelli would send them all scattering, notepads flapping, with one scowl and a growl.

the threats (including death) came from fans.. stirred up no less by journos... stirred up by...? (starts with Al ends with berto..?)

"But who cares about a threat of some random idiot in the internet?"

People trying to sell newspapers and websites do.

I am sure Pedrosa feels pretty bad about this. If only the brainless that came up with this nonsense knew.

I am a huge Pedrosa fan and was obviously highly disappointed for him following his injury at Le Mans - his 2011 Championship chucked down the road at someone else's doing.
However, I would never dream of commenting/contemplating any sort of violence towards Simoncelli! My view is the worst thing Simoncelli did was state that he hadn't done anything wrong. Incidents happen in MotoGP, they happen to them all - Rossi, Stoner, Lorenzo and Pedrosa - they've all indavertently taken someone out at some time for various reasons. However, the difference there is the forthcoming apologies and regret. It has taken Simoncelli 2 weeks to get there and probably with lots of proding from Gresini.

In every country, every culture, every town, probably every planet... there are idiots.

I am from the U.S., and trust me, we have our fair share of them over here, it's just such a shame these guys tend to be what gets the most attention. Like someone posted earlier, this is a few fanatics and only represents an infinitesimally small amount of fans (no matter what country they are from).

Hopefully they will disappear as fast as they've shown up.

What is disappointing for me is that it should come from journalists. That there are some angry young men with too much testosterone and not enough prospects is understood and is a factor in violence ... everywhere, really. But to here it's from educated, employed people who should be able to maintain a little professional distance, is sad.

And another thing ... The incidents when journalists have nearly come to blows have only been in the press room, and amongst themselves. The banter between loud Spanish journalists and loud Italian journalists has occasionally gotten a little bit out of hand and turned ugly. The journalists (as far as I know) have never threatened violence on anyone outside of the media center.

Perhaps some journalists of European descent may reavaluate their place after this inflated commotion over "that" incident? Me? Too much of a gap between races. Simple as that!

Wow, when latent violence reaches MotoGP press rooms - I was in a Mallory Park World MX press room a couple of years ago and a Spanish journalist asked a British jouranalist if he wanted the last sandwich (I kid you not!) - then we are truely heading for egos of manic proportians amongst the MotoGP ranks and journalists?

Is it really that bad David? Seriously? Are they really that full of themselves? (Went to Jerez last year and was both amazed and impressed at the Spanish following's passion for this sport!)

P.S. You mentioned a journalist complaining about non-press being involved in a Repsol press conference a while ago. Bet it was a fat guy with a beard and an inflated ego! No need to respond. Suspect suspected!

Hope Simoncelli can ignore this bollox (whether earned or not, still a grey area) and continue impressing with his talent (and learning above all!) gaining more and more fans. Sideshow Bob mixed with James Dean! Not so much for the controversy about his riding style, but for being a red-blooded racer that reminds many of "how things used to be". So he pulled a hard move. Maybe he deserved his penalty, but the attraction it has gained from the internet and world media? Wow... please no more "rules"!

Most of the world (apart from Pedrosa, Lorenzo and Stoner followers) are behind Simoncelli after this incident I suspect, as many see him as being "hard done to"...

At the threat of not being taking seriously (racing is serious business!) I've consulted a higher order on the topic of Marco.

Anagrams! And, oh, what interesting results for our witch Marco :

Comical Lies Norm
Comical More Nils
Cocain Mime Rolls
Malice Scrim Loon
Recall Mimic Soon
Came Moronic Ills
Creams Ionic Moll
Acmes Moronic Ill
Criminals Loco Me
Miscall Ice Moron
Claim Comer Lions
Claim Micron Lose
Manic Slicer Loom

To prove the validity of this black magic I have tested my own name - Les White, and it gave me 'Wheels it'. I'm sold.

source :

One of the many anagrams for Dani Pedrosa-

Adored Spain

I guess anagrams tell the truth. There's also:
Roadside Nap
Pained Roads

And for his collarbones:
Area Odd Pins

A few complete idiots certainly don't speak for a whole country, and I'm sure Dani doesn't want the idiots in his country speaking for him.