The Imaginary Snub, Or What Really Happened When Spies Congratulated Lorenzo

At Sepang on Sunday, Jorge Lorenzo committed what a very large group of motorcycle racing fans consider the most heinous of crimes: Taking a MotoGP championship from Valentino Rossi. The fact that Lorenzo took that championship by dominating the series all season, finishing off the podium only twice all year and off the front row just once, despite starting the year with an injury, is irrelevant, it seems; by becoming champion, Lorenzo has upset The Natural Order.

Lorenzo's crime was compounded by his reported behavior a week earlier at Motegi. After a bitter and physical two-lap battle with Rossi, which provided some of the most exciting and intense action of the year but which Lorenzo should never have allowed himself to be drawn into, the Spaniard spoke to Yamaha management about the passes made by Rossi. Rossi, who reports would have us believe is Lorenzo's teammate at Fiat Yamaha, was then called in by Yamaha's bosses and asked not to jeopardize Yamaha's chances of lifting the individual, team and manufacturer's championships for 2010. Lorenzo's request and Yamaha's response saw both parties vilified across large parts of the internet, and lampooned in the Italian press.

So at Sepang, Lorenzo was the object of intense scrutiny, his every action dissected and discussed like a presidential candidate's acceptance address. And naturally, when Lorenzo pulled over on the cool down lap after finally securing the championship that had been his life-long goal, the fact that he missed Ben Spies' hand offered in congratulation was jumped upon by the voracious pack and imbued with a significance normally reserved for the actions of mystics and gurus.

It was a Deliberate Act, said those whom Lorenzo had angered by stealing Rossi's crown, a Snub. It was aimed at Establishing the Pecking Order in the Yamaha garage for next year, the conspiracists insisted, kicking off the 2011 season within seconds of the 2010 season being settled. Lorenzo, the angry mob proclaimed, deliberately ignored Spies to show him who was boss.

Watching the video in isolation, you might even be persuaded that the conspiracists had a point. Spies pulls up next to Lorenzo, tries to shake his hand, which Lorenzo does not respond to, then Spies rides off shaking his head. Proof positive that it was a deliberate and malicious act, say the conspiracists.

Like all conspiracy theorists, those who say Lorenzo deliberately snubbed Spies overlook one major factor, however: Human nature. When Spies pulled over to congratulate Lorenzo, the Spaniard was in a daze. Members of his fan club had started the preparations for the complex and impenetrable celebration they had planned before the race, and Lorenzo was clearly struggling to remember what it was he was supposed to be doing. He had marshalls, photographers and his friends all around him, all slapping him on the back, poking him in the gut and touching his arms. There was a lot going on.

Most of all, though, this was the moment that it all started to sink in for Lorenzo. After a tough race in stifling tropical conditions - the race had been shortened by one lap at the request of the riders, because the Sepang race is so physically demanding in the heat and humidity - Lorenzo had finally crossed the line in one piece, and with enough points to win the title. He had achieved a lifelong dream, a goal he had dedicated himself to for at least the past 15 years. A goal that he had sacrificed his relationship with his family, his relationship with his manager, and even his relationship with the only girl he ever loved to achieve. Finally, for the first time in his life, he was MotoGP World Champion.

He had gone through several harrowing weeks before finally reaching this goal: He had lost points to Dani Pedrosa three races in a row, putting Pedrosa back in with a chance. After Pedrosa injured himself at Motegi, and Lorenzo could have wrapped up the title, he was surprised to be given a good old-fashioned smackdown by his teammate, reminding him that the title is never certain until it's officially in the bag. Those fairing-banging passes between Rossi and Lorenzo reminded the Spaniard of his vulnerability, that a simple mistake can cause a serious injury, and undo all the hard work of a season in a fraction of a second.

Finally it was over, and the title was in the bag. At last, after weeks of pressure, Lorenzo could relax. As he pulled over, the emotions washed over him, elation, relief, exhaustion. Within seconds, he had fans around him starting on the Spaniard's meticulously planned celebration. He had barely gathered his thoughts to start dealing with the complexities of that celebration when Spies pulled up beside him, tried to shake Lorenzo's hand, then rode off shaking his head, probably in bemusement at the state of Lorenzo, a reminder of his own emotions at winning the World Superbike title last year. By the time Hiroshi Aoyama shook Lorenzo's hand (the third rider to do so), he had recovered enough of his composure to act as expected, and acknowledge the gesture appropriately.

There is no question that Lorenzo's actions are open to interpretation. The video only shows men whose faces are hidden by helmets, and whose intentions are therefore much more difficult to interpret. It is entirely possible to read the entire event as a deliberate snub to Spies, and a warning for the future. Occam's razor, however, suggests a simpler explanation: that Lorenzo was overwhelmed, and not completely aware of what was going on.

Later, once Valentino Rossi arrived to congratulate the Spaniard, Lorenzo had fully recovered his composure. He accepted the Italian's congratulations in the spirit in which they were offered: begrudgingly and half-heartedly. Once in parc ferme, the childish rivalry continued, with Lorenzo trying to hog the limelight after winning the title, and Rossi trying to steal it after winning his 46th race for Yamaha. They both may ride the same bike and bear the same colors, but Rossi and Lorenzo are still a very long way from being teammates.

The rivalry between Lorenzo and Rossi is much of the fuel feeding the conspiracies about Lorenzo's behavior. With such a fierce rivalry between the current teammates, surely this must continue into next year, when Ben Spies takes the place of Rossi in the factory Yamaha garage? That is surely the driving force behind Lorenzo's behavior in those few seconds, the conspiracists ask.

Lorenzo himself today responded to questions on the issue on Twitter, posting the following response to the many people who had asked him if he had deliberately ignored Spies at Sepang: "I had some messages asking me why I didn't pay attention to Spies when he wanted to congratulate me. I have to say that I didn't see... ...And feel he was there at that the moment of our celebration. I just told this to him. He is a good guy and we have a good relationship."

Naturally, that will not appease the conspiracists, for they will see what they want to see. After committing the worst crime that a motorcycle racer can commit - beating Valentino Rossi - the benefit of the doubt is the last thing that some fans are willing to give Lorenzo. With a brand new MotoGP championship under his belt, he will not lose too much sleep over it.

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A buddy of mine notes that one of the Marios points towards Spies and Lorenzo shakes his head "No".

To me it looks like Lorenzo is shaking his head in disbelief that the moment of all moments has finally arrived.

Lorenzo spent the entire one second that Spies was to his left, looking right. He had no idea Ben was even there IMO.

If Jorge could muster a handshake for Rossi, and even a hug in Parc Ferme, there is no way he intentionally snubbed Ben.

I'm pretty sure that if had been the Pope arriving in the Popemobile to shake Lorenzo's at the exact moment that Spies stopped, Lorenzo wouldn't have noticed.

Although it is a shame you felt the need.

What concerns me is the liberty at which people will sling an accusation against someones character with certainty under no proof other than an interpretation of a single action. Without knowing what was going through JLo's mind at the time it would seem giving him the benefit of the doubt would be best. We see them only in a snapshot of time under extreme conditions.

Personally I didn't see a slight, my husband and our friends didn't see a slight and were all shocked when the conspiracy reared its ugly head.

Now, had JLo hauled off and punched Spies there on the track we could draw a negative conclusion, but this? I think it is a bit much. And, let's not forget that Spies has spoken of Jorge's kindness towards him this year.

I congratulate Jorge on his championship. Without a doubt he was the clear victor in 2010.

I will however root for Dani or Ben next year ;)

Once again David, you sum it up so nicely. It was clear to me that Lorenzo didn't see Spies and that there was no snub intended, but at the same time its easy to see Spies' reaction as understandable - after all he did just stop to congratulate a 'team mate' and get no reaction. If Spies had been the third person to arrive and then be snubbed, then there may have been something in it, but to be honest I think Lorenzo just got caught up in the euphoria of it all.
Rossi's action was showboating for sure and an attempt to steal thunder from #99. He'll be smarting from losing this year, so next year is going to be interesting to say the least.
As an antipodean (and not a fan of Stoner - yes there are some!) I'm not a big Spies fanboy but I find his elevation amongst many fans (mainly US-based I'm assuming, rightly or wrongly) curious to say the least. Yes his result last year in WSB was fantastic, yes he's good at learning tracks, for sure he's got talent, but at the end of the day he has just the one podium this year and has not really run much at the front, just at the front of the following pack. It will be interesting to see him on the factory bike but in all honestly I can't see him challenging for line honours - not just yet... I don't think Lorenzo sees him as a threat. Next year he has three Hondas and a Ducati that will be more on his mind.

I just wanted to kindly point out that Ben has accumulated two illustrious podiums this year, GB and Indy. And please don't forget the fact that Ben has been the only satellite rider to ever appear on a podium, let alone twice. And of course he's consistently mixing it up with the factory boys, during the race and the championship itself, which he's well over 50 points from the next satellite bike. So I think our man Ben is doing quite well for himself....
But that's just my opinion! Another opinion of mine is Jorge didn't snub Ben at all! From what I remember, Ben came up to Jorge, Jorge was too excited to see him and Ben tried to get his attention, then Jorge saw and him and gave him a quick shake.
This happens ALL the time though, it's not like those helmets have great visibility, and it's only because they will be team mates next year that anyone is giving a fuss. Jorge will glady shake with Dani and Vale and anyone else, snubbing Ben seems pretty pointless at this time.
I personally can't stand these sensationalist news stories.

I'm pretty sure there have been a lot of other non-factory riders with podiums. Even if we restrict to MotoGP, there's still Edwards, Elias, de Angelis, de Puniet, Barros, Melandri - and that's just the 800cc era. A few of those at least have had multiple podiums, even wins.

Sorry for being such a nitpicker ;)

Apologies, I stand corrected, two podiums as you say. I'm keen on any rider breaking the established podium club, so I didn't mean to sound so down on Ben. But I stand by my assessment of where JL's main rivals will be in 2011.

"At Sepang on Sunday, Jorge Lorenzo committed what a very large group of motorcycle racing fans consider the most heinous of crimes: Taking a MotoGP championship from Valentino Rossi."
You said it all, thanks so much for that.

... unintentional, but you never can tell with the GP riders, but my wife and I both sat there and watched Ben repeatedly try to congratulate him and we knew then that something would be made of it.

Needless to say, it's irrelevant what was or wasn't intended at the time. Jorge is champion so what does he care, he will also not be friends (I mean in the real-world sense of the word) with Ben next year, it's just not in the make-up of these guys to be buddies with a rival, in the same garage or not. As Shedman says, they'll both have more than enough on their plates next year.

... and considered news, but the insane internet frenzy might have called for a voice of reason to level against it. Still, as someone pointed out above, it's a shame that it is necessary.

However, something that's rubbing me the wrong way in the entire discussion about Lorenzo's title, on both "sides", is the apparent understanding that people only don't like Lorenzo and read this stuff into his actions because they are fans of Rossi and sore losers. It also hinted at in this article, but what this general notion basically implies is that it's not allowed to just not like the guy for whatever other reason, you *have* to be a crazed Rossifan.
Which is simply not true. One can read into Lorenzo's recent actions whatever one wants, but even without all that there's still plenty of things about him as a person (not necessarily as a rider) that people might not like, no matter if they are also fans of Rossi or not. He's a human being with flaws, that's just the way it is. There might also be, for example, some people around with a working long-term memory who remember him from the smaller categories where he didn't have anything to do with Rossi. Tastes differ, it's just the same with every other rider.

brilliant first few paragraphs, david. thank you - i've had it with the ridiculous scrutiny over every single action Jorge takes having just won the WC. even the "game over" sign, Spanish flag getting shredded, etc have been scrutinized to point out what an unworthy champion Jorge Lorenzo apparently is...

I think at the end of the day it's much to do about nothing - Spies will be not be affected by it (though motivated perhaps).. but you're, right most of the conspiracy theorists will make something of it.

Though I personally dis-agree with your premise that Lorenzo committed a crime by taking Rossi's crown (I am a big Rossi fan, but much more a fan of great Racing).

Lorenzo was un-flapable all year - No wrecks, seldom off the podium, front row etc. I was awed by the display (and I must admit very bored too) when JLo was winning race after race with easy. I am pretty sure even a healthy Rossi would have had trouble with JLo.

I don't know Jlo or any other rider on the grid past what I read here. But he's lost some cred with me due to 1) his celebrations - I have largely seen them as copies of Rossi. and 2) Bitching about the battle in Mortegi to his management. I did'nt get that one at all (still don't).

I just hope we get to see more great racing between these two and the rest of the grid now that the gloves are off (with the champion determined). No more 200MPH parades please!

At the end of the day - racing would be a lot less interesting without the Antic's of both sides of the Yamaha Garage over the last couple of week - so bring it on.

Just as I don't know why Jorge pulled into Rossi's winner's slot at parc ferme, I don't know what happened between Spies and Lorenzo at the culmination of the race (but I believe that Jorge did not see Ben); however, why shouldn't Jorge have begun psych ops for 2011 then or any other time he saw fit? Winning a consecutive championship in 2011 will take everything Jorge has, and if it would take his being dismissive of Ben's congratulations, then so be it. One other point: Jorge isn't aiming for a consecutive championship, nor is he aiming for five consecutive championships. Jorge is thinking beyond that: If Vale can win five consecutively, then he, Jorge, can win six. What I think, what the fans think, and what management thinks is not important. Jorge thinks for himself, and until he's shown otherwise, he won't believe it. Would any true MotoGP fan want it to be any other way?

I saw this controversy as being of the eye-rolling type. I never doubted it was an unintentional slight and I would be surprised if Spies thought differently. It may have been a little embarrassing to be on TV all over the world being ignored by Lorenzo but Spies strikes me as being as easy going as they come.

Glad to see you wrote an artical for this. To tell you the truth I thought that he did snub him. Spies sat there and tried to get his attention for a while. Whatever, this is getting more tabloid than it is GP. I hope Rossi hasn't soured Lorenzo's thoughts on teammates. I'd love to see them remove the wall when Spies gets there, even a half wall. Here's hoping for a more cohesive Yamaha garage.

Wow, this is what I get for not keeping up with the euro sites. I had no idea anyone was even talking about this. Personally I agree that Lorenzo didn't intend to snub Ben. As an aside, when Yamaha were at Leno's garage before Laguna Seca it was pointed out by the guys at Superbike Planet that Lorenzo and Spies actually got along quite well, so I don't think there will be these retarded "mind games" going on; just hard racing from these two.
Of course, I still don't like Lorenzo much. I was really impressed with him when he joined Yamaha but this year he has become a prima donna. Between advertising his twitter account with a sign on the grid before the races to the obnoxious post race antics at every race he's really started to grate on me.

That, my friends and fellow enthusiats, was a snub. Watching the race online I replayed it several times and confirmed my initial thoughts. Then, when stopping by my local dealership, a couple of the guys threw out a few of their own thoughts on the subject.

While committing a cardinal sin, taking what is Rossi's, there is no doubt that he is gifted; there is also no doubt that he is a pretender and Rossi's petulant mini-me.

I do hope that this rivalry continues into next year and also hope that people continue to look past Spies!
More than anything else, though, I hope that we actually get to enjoy some real racing; while there have been an exciting 6 or 7 laps over the past two races an exciting season it does not make - i am finding myself tiring of hoping for this every year.

Spies for President

Not saying I agree with you all the way, but you have a point.

Game Over is not so much seen when you win a Mario Bros game but more often when you lose a Mario Bro's game. When do you lose exactly? When one of the two italians you are playing runs out of lives and dies.

Do I think Lorenzo's celebration was a thinly veiled 'I killed Valentino', hell no--that's ridiculous. We must understand though that the 'game over' wasn't being shown to Lorenzo, but from Lorenzo to the other riders. It was a 'ha ha you lost' not a 'yay I won'.

Is it a big deal? Not really. There probably wasn't any malicious intent in any of the celebration, but him and his fan club could have been a bit more tactful.

David, Great stuff as usual! When I saw Spies try to shake his hand, Lorenzo was swamped by everything. But honestly, when Spies shook his head as he rode off, perhaps some people assigned a feeling of "snubbed" to spies because they had watched him shake his head a few times in anger/annoyance/incredulity during the weekend? (2 quick examples: during qualifying when edwards ran off track in the last minute on the back straight and Spies was cut off or his line was ruined as a result, Spies did NOT look happy and was shaking his head. The other example on the coverage that I saw, was when Spies was back in his paddock immediately after that qualifying round and the coverage showed Hayden being 2nd fastest with his miracle lap, and the camera cut to Spies who had a look of "WTF?" as he was watching the screen, and he shook his head and had a glare about him that was basically asking "where did hayden pull that lap out of?"

Of course, it's very true that the dark-visors don't let anyone see the all important facial expressions, and so Spies was probably grinning ear to ear like "Wow Jorge is lost in heaven right now".

But regarding the snap telepathy of the italian press, is anyone really surprised at this style of journalism coming from the usual sources?

Sorry to say this was the most unprofessional and tabloid-worthy 'article' I've read on MM.

David, your "inference" (i.e., assumption/speculation) that people who dislike JLo MUST BE avid VR fanbois is of the same pallor of fatuous and unfounded tripe as that espoused by the "snubbing conspiracy theorists" which you attempt to parody.

It is entirely possible to respect JLo as a racer and dislike his personality regardless of ones feelings for VR (I know many people who love/loathe VR and JLo in all permutations).

What does not pass the smell test for me is JLo's seeming lack of sincerity--all his actions on and off the track are those of a brash, self-absorbed, hard-as-nails racer (an opinion formed since following him in 250 days), but he seems to try desperately (and fail miserably) to cultivate this "kooky, happy-go-lucky, fun-guy" persona through his painfully contrived (and ofter obscure) celebrations, etc. His persona is just so disingenuous and artificial that watching him just makes you feel awkward. He's a narcissistic phony, and an awesome racer.

In short, very disappointed by your shit post, David. Let's leave this for the likes of Matt Birt. It is far beneath you, and I think belies some of your own biases.

I still believe this is one of the best (if not the best) websites to read about MotoGP, but it changes nothing to the fact I believe David has spent too much time as the special Yamaha guest.

I won't hide I've never liked Lorenzo, mainly for every reason you exposed there, which doesn't mean I don't acknowledge his strength as a rider.

Besides, Lorenzo has never got well with anyone (rider) in MotoGP (team-mate or not), and that will certainly not change now that his ego has been blessed with the crown.

That said, I don't think Rossi was trying to show him anything about the title, he was simply saying "you'll be champion but you aren't the fastest rider". The fact is since Rossi disappeared and then announced his departure for Ducati Lorenzo's performance has started to fade. Actually, if not because of Dani's crash he would have also finished outside the podium in the past two races, while the battle with Rossi shows that after Pedrosa's crash he was confident enough to clinch the title not to be really "riding safe".
Also, beating Rossi isn't something that special; Hayden did it once (and people like him), Stoner did (and people like him), Dani did (and outside the US people like him) and is likely to do it again this year.

Lorenzo is simply an ass of an hypocritical person, and it's only natural people don't like him (no matter how much make-up he puts up in there). His reaction after Motegi with Rossi and after Sepang with Spies was just as childish and absurd as everything he does as a person, no matter how good rider he is. Don't think Yamaha did the best long term investment by getting rid of Rossi, because Lorenzo would have won this year anyway, but he is not likely to win ever again.

We'll see how many victories he clinches until the end of the season now that he has absolutely nothing to risk but his own pride.

I live in the US and just happen to like both Dani and Jorge. I still can't get over the fact that people still can't forgive Dani for the Estoril 06 thing. It makes me laugh.

But intelligent people usually dis-agree - this for me is not a negative - quite the opposite.

But, for the first time, I did not like the tone of David's article and thought for a a moment that I was reading something on CRASH.... (but this is still, by far, IMHO, the best damn site for Motogp).

First of all I don't think the topic itself is so important.
Second I don't believe it's about Rossi's fans. For lots of people Lorenzo is as nice as he is slow. And he is fast.

Beating Rossi is not a crime. Hayden did it and everybody like is it? Why?
I suppose because he is a good rider, serious and nice at the same time. Have you ever checked number of laps done during practices? He is always one of the "hard worker" out there. When he talks he doesn't say anything stupid.

Stoner won. It's not as likeable as Hayden but that has to do a bit with his whining and a bit (I suppose) with being from Australia where they have a different (not better or worse, just different) communication style. Not for becoming WC.

So the point is that the whole post from David to me is on a lower standard than the others. Or better is on the same level of the pointless discussion.
Said that, I still love the site, not an inch less of respect for David.

In Europe at the time, I'd say 80% of all MotoGp fans did feel he committed a crime. That he did not deserve it. That it was unfair/not right/whatever.
Only when Hayden was no longer a threat, he got the praise he deserved. Miraculously, these days most people think he rightfully earned the title.
Pretty much the same with Stoner. When he won in 2007, hardly anybody thought it to be his own achievement. Now that he is not the No.1 threat to Rossi, the guy gets more praise than ever.
The same does/will happen with Lorenzo. He beat Rossi and people say he got it easy. IF he has some bad years to come, the appreciation of his achievement will grow and grow.
Valentino Rossi, as one of the greatest racers we have ever seen, just has gained so many fans that people feel attacked personally when he loses.

By the way I am not saying people can't dislike Lorenzo or anybody because of what they (think they) know about his personality. I am just talking about achievements.

This is so true! Hayden is now popular in Europe because of his aggressive riding style, hard-working ethics and general behaviour (smiles a lot, looks like a nice guy) but back in 2006 most motorcycle fans talked trash about him, because "he didn't deserve the title" and so on...that is exactly what it takes when you upset the natural order, whether your name is nicky, casey or jorge!
Casey achievements are still very much underated by a quite large proportion of motorcycle racing fans, this is the kind of discussion that never ends.
This year, Jorge has been outrageously dominant (just look at the facts!) but the exact same thing is happening, "what if...", given that Rossi did hurt himself, what could Jorge have done to deserve better the title???
And indeed one may argue that if Rossi did hurt himself this year, as this is something very very rare, it could have something to do with the tough competition he was without "ifs" and "buts", Jorge won the title fair and square and he thoroughly deserves it, just as all his oppponents underline it, no matter what some of us armchair experts think ;-)

dr evol i really dont think the article was meant to infer that being a VR fan makes a person unable to have coherent thoughts on the other riders in motogp.
I'm pretty sure david's article wasnt aimed at the well informed readers of MM, but rather a reaction to the (mainly european) press that decided this issue was newsworthy.
and like it or not, upsetting the natural order of things is usually the cardinal sin in any form of sport, it just so happens that in motogp for the last 10 years or so the natural order of things has been valentino rossi winning.

as for the article i didnt mind it but i didn't think it to be particularly newsworthy.

dr evol you let yourself down with the last two lines in your comment.

As has been eloquently argued further down the page, there is always a broader perspective to consider...

Those of you, growing in number, who come to this site for the best news should keep in mind that we who write for it are allowed (and even encouraged to) the occasional travel through humorous environs. The sentence in the middle of the 2nd paragraph ("Rossi, who reports would have us believe is Lorenzo's teammate at Fiat Yamaha..." one of the funniest quotes of the season!) should have been a big tip-off to the nature of this opinion piece.  Sometimes the best medicine for public overreaction is to insert sarcasm and draw out a larger perspective, which is what David has done masterfully.

Also, as is said further down the page, consider that the atmosphere is not uniform around the Globe, so it is reasonable to trust that David is picking up on something that may not be prevalent in your particular corner of the World.

I never heard of anything like this before... I'm curious to know where this info came from as well?

David, I rather sadly must completely agree with DrEvol - I am normally totally impressed with your very professional reports - this was not one of them. I am a Rossi fan and for some time have not liked Lorenzo, however I predicted early this year that he would beat Rossi and I applaud him for that, and have no problem with him taking the championship from Rossi and there are many more thinking like me. I have never been sure of what it is about Lorenzo that I do not like. maybe his post race antics which I find rather childish, whatever - I was mightily impressed with his Motegi race and he went up in my estimation, though why he took the fight to Rossi baffled me, then his post race whining caused me to lose that new found respect.
I do not think that you should lump all who are not Lorenzo fans into a rabid Rossi fan group, I find that insulting. Now the gloves can really come off for the remainder of the season and hopefully we will see real racing as we watched at Motegi. Maybe Dorna could cut a lap or two of the races to ensure the ridiculous fuel limitation does not come into effect!
Next year should be great - Rossi wishing to repeat his 2004 year, but on a Ducati. Stoner proving that he can win on a Honda. Pedrosa trying to prove he really is the fastest Honda rider (also Dovi) Lorenzo wanting to retain his crown and Spies? I believe he will be right up there from the first round! Rossi's prediction of JLo having his "own" Lorenzo just might come true.
Bring it on!!

WOW ... I've been staying off the MotoGP related sites as I was just able to finally watch the race ... so I missed the 'Ben Spies' snubbing story. What happened when I read about it? Eyes went from the screen ... up to the right ... swept across the sky to the left ... then settled back on the screen. Absolutley meaningless story.

WRT the rest of the article ... I too find it a bit at odds with David's usual posts. I like the tongue-in-cheek conspiracy parody ... but I don't agree with the thoughts about rabid Rossi fans. We ALL know that Lorenzo didn't take the championship away from Rossi ... he earned it this year by not crashing and finishing at or near the top in every race. He is the dominant force in 2010. Period. And it doesn't matter who you are a fan of ... Lorenzo's championship win stands.

All of this sets up interesting speculation for 2011. And I hope that we have great battles between Rossi; Stoner; Lorenzo; Dovi; and Spies. My guess is that we'll still have boring racing for the most part in the premier class until 2012. But I'd loved to be proved wrong!

David for speaking the truth? For stating that "a very large group of motorcycle racing fans consider the most heinous of crimes: Taking a MotoGP championship from Valentino Rossi". If you don't think this is true than you need to simply read almost any of the GP racing forums to see it. He didn't state that all Rossi fans are like this, in fact where does it say anything about Rossi fans? Talk about folks putting words in someones mouth or inferring that they know what a person, such as David, really feels.

One of the reasons that myself, and obviously many others, enjoy this website is because we can count on David calling things as he sees them, based on facts. The fact is that there's tons of Rossi fanbois out there who feel that Rossi was robbed, either by injury or somehow Jorge, and can't admit that the reality of the situation is that Lorenzo has ridden like a man possessed this year and earned the title. If you don't fit in that group, great. I applaud those that give Lorenzo the credit he deserves, whether you are a Rossi fan or not. That shows that your're a real fan of MotoGP and not a fanboi.

I just don't see where there was a real ""inference" (i.e., assumption/speculation) that people who dislike JLo MUST BE avid VR fanbois". He simply said that there were those of that ilk around, not that all VR fans are that way. I agree, there's plenty of the "those" fanboi types. I also know numerous hardcore VR fans who aren't that way and most I've had the chance to talk with give huge props to Lorenzo and the season he's put together.

I guess what I'm saying is that if the shoe fits, step on in. If it doesn't, leave it on the shelf.

It seems to me like David is just trying to balance the whole jump on Lorenzo bandwagon. Because whether you want to admit or not, alot of people around the world just do not like the guy. It is his own fault off the track because he is like a young Max Biaggi trying to be a grown Rossi.

To me, it is great. These rivalries are what gets people to watching. It makes the race that much more fun to watch. When everybody is hugging and lovin each other, it gets boring. But when you get enough people talking bad, or just straight out not liking each other it makes for more tension in a race. It gives racing the drama that it needs to get people watching and rooting HARD for this or that racer. Or this team compared to that team.

David's article to me, IMHO, just seems aimed at making this whole 'funk' Lorenzo seems to put out, less of an issue. He is the champion. And will continue to be for another year. Some people hate it. Some people love it. To me, next year seems to be shaping up just right, if all the top riders go into test season to next year healthy.

This all good fun. I would say it is just racing, but everyone reading these posts are probably rabid fans with seriously solid viewpoints that they cannot be moved from. Cannot wait for this weekend and what new drama it brings.


Watching it a part of me though that Lorenzo was snubbing Spies, but then I noticed that the other riders actually gave him a slap on the arm or something - Ben just hung his hand out there, I was wondering why he didn't give him a slap on the arm as well.

I never would have thought there was such an uproar over the alleged snubbing, or that Lorenzo had upset The Natural Order.

"Sorry to say this was the most unprofessional and tabloid-worthy 'article' I've read on MM."

Have to agree with DrEvol. Used to seeing a far higher standard here on Motomatters. Here's hoping this article isn't indicative of a trend towards more of this kind of kneejerk tabloidism that fouls many a racing website.

For my worthless 2c I don't think it was a premeditated snub on Jorge's part and was a little disappointed that Ben seemed to shake his head in disapproval.

I too found this the mosy bizzare article you've ever written David. It is so different from your usual prose and intelligent analysis that I kept expecting to read a punch line in the next paragraph along the lines of "Yeah, right. Just kidding folks! And bats were flying out of his..."

Just because people are slamming JLo for being a Rossi wanna-be doesn't mean we're saying it because we're brainless Rossi fans.

I love motorbike racing. Period. Have done since the 1970s in the back pages of Cycle magazine and Jim Greenings (?) Pipeline column. I guess those 1-act plays that Rossi started and JLo copies are for the Italian and Spanish media because they never rate anything other than one photo in the Superbike Planet photo galleries in North America.

Seeing the video clip makes it look less like a snub, but that's 5 days after the fact. At the time it sure looked and felt like a snub.

Mind you, Rossi looked like an idiot in parc ferme with his 46 wins sign and mugging for the camera. Who the heck celebrates 46 wins? Call us when you hit a nice even number like 50, or even better, 122/123!

I checked out the video clip posted by Ades: (better camera view)
1) There is no one to Lorenzo's left when Spies arrives.
2) Only the Mario brothers are tugging at JLo... not a crowd.
3) One of the "Marios" points towards Spies and informs Lorenzo.
4) It looks like Lorenzo means "no" by shaking his head... for the benefit of JLo's doubt, plausibly he was still shaking his head in disbelief over how overwhelming winning was... what disproves this? Along with shaking his head, his right hand moves towards his left and signals 'no' (watch carefully, by the Mario standing in front of his bike)
5) The way Spies shakes his head suggests he found it incredulous- not reminded of his superbike win (if shaking your head in jest, your head will move from side to side more than once)
Hate to judge based on a micro second gesture... I am no Lorenzo fan but definitely am having a hard time believing this myself.

This is starting to border on ridiculous with how many viewers are looking too much into the 'snub'. There was no snub, and if so, it appeared completely unintentional.

Even when Lorenzo posts on twitter that he didn't see Spies and contacted him about it afterward, many are still refusing to believe it. It is absolutely incredible how many people are so narrow in their view towards Lorenzo that his statements to clarify it do not deter their view of the situation.

..David but your article sucks all the way. What for?? I don't understand. There allways will be some dumbasses who see something in nothing but..tone of Your article is in contrast to Your usual posts. It's crappy. First time I didn't like your writing.
I saw this situation but I guess it wasn't intentional from JL and I forgot about it minutes after. Didn't realize it's such big issue. Neither i thought it's such a big issue for You.

What is going on in the later stages of this post are the comments opposed to the 'tone' of Davids article. David's site is the site I go to even before MGPdotcom. I have come to expect beautiful analysis of the sport. Levity is rare and dry and tabloidism is unheard of here. It is disappointing that if it was for levity's sake that it did not come out that way to me and others here. If it was real tabloidism that belongs on cRaSh then it should have been written there. I highly regard this site as a premier news and views posting and do not wish it to be devolved into less.

David chose to give his VIEW of the situation. If you don't agree with it, that's fine, but don't bash his view or his right to voice that opinion. I certainly don't expect the quality of David's future reports and muse to be any lower than it has been.

While this is -again- a great write-up, and i totally agree Jorge is a worthy champ' and there's no free lunch in motogp, and i do think Jorge was busy and just didn't see Spies, there is still something that can be read from that "event": we can see Spies' reaction.

The nod he had speaks volume.

These two guys are not even in the same garage yet, and it appears the body language used by Ben is the one someone saying: "what an imbecile" or "what an *ss" or "what a snub" and nowhere the one from a friend, or even a partner, being happy for his friend or partner, and by doing so he was also recognizing there a pattern of behaviour in their relationship. These guys will share garage, infos and datas next year ? I don't think so...

These two guys don't like each other or at least don't communicate well or not often. Rossi was right: Jorge has to worry a lot about his next year partner.

I think it's absolutely clear that not only did Lorenzo purposefully snub Spies but that all indications are pointing towards Lorenzo being possessed by the devil like that little girl from The Exorcist (the original) you know the one who's head spun around.

Either that or he is in fact the son of the devil! (Like that Damian kid from The Omen, or Southpark). At this point I think it's only prudent for Wilco and his staff to forcibly hold him down while his man-servant guy searches him for a 666 tattoo or other related marking of some sort.

At this point you're all probably thinking I'm nuts, and you might be right! in fact it's highly probable to be honest.

Either way I'm really looking forward to next season when all this stuff can be settled on the track.

Now pardon me please, my holy water bath with garlic salts is ready for me.

BMW Corporate Head Big Cheese

... and if you watch the clip carefully again you'll see that JLos left foot turns towards Spies just at the exact moment he wanted to shake hands which means that he is interested in him. Big Foot snuck past in the background as well ... no really... he was obsucred by the Marios and the flags but you can just make him out if you just take a firm grip of yourself LOL this matches any TV soap opera :-)

C'mon the guy was in shock. The main thing that would determine what type of person JLo really is would be how he conducted himself with Spies later. Anyone know what happened there? Probabaly both had a bit of a laugh about it. Both probably having a huge laugh about it now. Give the guy his dues, he may be a bit tacky at times but by crikey he can ride and he thoroughly deserved his title.

Now this is what a funny and lite post is suppose to read like.

The 'Rossi Fanboi' element in lack of acceptance of any other rider winning a WC in which Rossi is a competitor is absoloutely and undeniably real. Both Hayden and Stoner are still treated as targets of abuse on some sites - noticeably UK ones - and in the case of Stoner, with some of the vilest stuff around including disparaging his wife. I cite Crash, MCN and Visordown as examples.

If any more proof were needed, consider this: the nullification of Stoner's achievment is always in terms of what Rossi suffered - notwithstanding the fact that the existing WC that he beat was Hayden! Never a damn mention of Stoner's performance relative to Pedrosa, who also beat Rossi that year.

No, most certainly NOT all fans of Rossi are fanbois - If you care to look, you'll find that one of Rossi's keenest and most committed fans on this site (Albert) is entirely objective about and appreciative of the success of others, Hayden, Stoner and Lorenzo included.

Read David's piece with a more open mind and I think you'll see that his opening paragraph was an attempt - partly tongue-in-cheek, and perhaps too subtle - to ensure that this piece was NOT followed by flaming. If you take umbrage at being a dyed-in-the-wool Rossi fan and apparently being accused of fanboiism, then pretty much by definition you are NOT a fanboi - and hurrah for that. Please, do true fans of Rossi and motoGP alike a favour and come down hard on those who sully your reputation - not those who seek to elevate on-line commentary about motoGp racing by pointing out the silliness of the bleedin' obvious - that fanboiism exists and it sucks.

Why the angst at David? He's just offering an opinion on what is an opinion and news site on Motogp and WSBK. Even journalists such as Michael Scott write opinion pieces.

Bring on the next few races and 2011. It should be a cracker!

I hope you knew what you were getting yourself into when you dared to indirectly mention something even remotely negative about Rossi. This article will be considered as your official application for acceptance into this very exclusive club which includes the likes of Biaggi, Hayden, Stoner, Lorenzo... It is an elite club and you should be proud of this accomplishment.
In all seriousness, I enjoy reading your article. I see you trying to walk that fine line but as you are well aware, not everyone can be happy. Keep up the good work.

What I clearly did wrong here is a technical issue of layout. This was not a news story, this was an opinion piece, voicing my own opinion and nothing else. Unfortunately, I have not designed the site well enough to make it clear that this was opinion rather than news. I shall have a look at the design and try and fix it.

Generally, in news stories, I try to add background and analysis but no opinion. I do actually have opinions, and occasionally I'll share them with my readers. Whether they're popular or not. 

I value your opinions and welcome them when you choose to share. You certainly have more insight than most of us who can barely make it to 2 or 3 races, if that many, per season. And when we do go to the race weekend, we don't get access to the paddock.

News is news: it is what people are talking about. David explored a legitimate issue in his typically insightful fashion.

Hell, everyone likes to gossip; it's the point where gossip crosses the line to become scandal or otherwise have repercussions on some material aspect (e.g. sponsorship, teams, etc) that it becomes 'news'.

We read David because we value his insights. On all matters...

BTW -- I was there, know Ben reasonably well, and can tell you he was shaking his head not at being snubbed but out of a sense of embarrassment that he had made the error of offering his hand at an inopportune moment. Just like you might step forward to a stranger at a cocktail party and start an introduction, only to realise too late he is in the middle of deep discussion with another... Any other interpretation is just... gossip.

Gordon Howell
Managing Director, Pole Position Travel.

Thanks for the clarification, David. This definitley works as an opinion piece. I thought it went to a little too much effort to vilify the Rossi fans, and the part about J-Lo forsaking the only woman he'd ever loved made me laugh. But you're entitled to your opinion, and I'm happy to read it.

I've been reading MotoMattters for a long time but have just registered, in part because the standard of discussion is usually so good that I don't feel that I have much to add.
On some other sites there is a determined attempt by some to portray Lorenzo's victory as hollow due to other's injuries/lossof form and to portray being a effervescent personality (ie like Rossi) as a prerequisite to being an acceptable champion.
I see David's article as a brave and welcome antidote.

Sorry to say this. But, I am dissapointed to read this article. Some Rossi fans or anti Lorenzo just do not like everything Lorenzo does. I think they are more like boyband fangirls than the motor sports fans. I think it is better to keep it within the forum. Writing about it as an article only give them more opportunity to talk nonsense and make it appear like something big deal. In the forum or message board, it looks like many poeope are talking about a snub, but acutally the same people are repeatedly posting on the same subject. Now, it becomes an article, so they get what they want. Those fangirls disappears like vapor once Rossi retires or fails to get good results on Ducati. Better keep them in the forum.

This is partly what drove me to post the story. In mainstream news sites, this is not a story. Every forum on the internet, though, is buzzing with talk of this supposed snub, and I wanted to point out that they were viewing this incident out of context and from a very jaundiced perspective.

You make an excellent point about Valentino Rossi's dominance of MotoGP. Rossi has made MotoGP huge, but the danger is that interest will wane when he retires. Italian TV viewing figures were down 50% at one point while he was injured, and elsewhere interest dropped off too. This is a huge threat, as Rossi cannot go on forever... 

Alright already, give it up. Jlo is a champion and he may have made a mistake not worshipping spies. The best way to settle this is simply wait til next spring, Jlo builds a wall makes mockery of spies, punches houseworth then maybe I'll say there is a bad blood.

I have my own opinions to the situation but it won't be settled without time. You guys attacking David, rossi, spies, Jlo, Jlo's fan club and there post race antics give it up.

Maybe it was; maybe it wasn't; let it go. Quit the keyboard puffing and screen shouting this is rediculous. You are fighting over 2 people's actions that may or may not be true to what we are making it out to be but let it go.

To those attacking David -
It is a worthy article, needed to be given. Remember He is there you are on the otherside of the world. David is recognized on a first name basis with those in the Paddock you are on a first name basis with no one. Get off the site, if David wants to write about the Color of Pramac Ducati and its similarity to infant Feces let him it is his "FREE SITE" if he wants to cover Jlo's post race awesomeness I won't read it but he is free to do that.

To those After Jlo -
He won sorry. I don't care for his antics there is a good story as to why he is unliked, Read this by barry Russell (This is a very well put together article

To spies Fans - He's a big boy.

To Rossi Fans - Obviously he is recovering from a loss of winning so give it time and he'll probably dominate next season.

To everyone - Lets let the keyboards calm down take a deep breath maybe sip a little tea (no beer that might make people angry and start another word slapping) and watch the rest of the season. Deal?

Lastly I didn't read all the comments because I was frustrated after about 3 lets keep this an intelligent site leave the garbage off, Please (see I asked nicely)

'if David wants to write about the Color of Pramac Ducati and its similarity to infant Feces let him it is his "FREE SITE" ' now there is a topic for discussion!

That one got me laughing out loud.

I was totally entertained reading the article and all the reader posts. Tempest in a teapot, but amusing none-the-less. A good read.

Regarding Ben Spies, he didn't feel snubbed. He's not that sensitive. He's having the time of his life and feeling pretty happy with himself right now.

When I checked this site this morning, I initially thought I was somehow redirected to People magazine by mistake...

Is the racing so bad that we are now concerning ourselves with head nods? Or are we seeing the true nature of many fans, who jump at the first chance to behave like gossiping teenage girls?

To those that are overly concerned with this BS: This is MOTORCYCLE RACING. This is *not* American Idol.

I didn't realise that motorcycle race fans are such avid mind readers.

It is a good thing they are because without that I would never have known what Jorge and Ben were thinking.

...but I give the kid 100% credit for taking the title this year. And I seriously doubt there was a snub. And even if there was, I doubt Spies would lose a minute of sleep over it. The fact that people are reading this far into it is just crazy.

I'm more than happy to accept David's take on the situation. My pride does not enter into it. I noticed it, made a snap judgment, and I just so happened to be wrong. I admit that right here in front of God and all my friends on MM. Thank you for the write up, David.


"Later, once Valentino Rossi arrived to congratulate the Spaniard, Lorenzo had fully recovered his composure. He accepted the Italian's congratulations in the spirit in which they were offered: begrudgingly and half-heartedly."

To me it looked like Rossi was genuine when he slapped Lorenzo on the back and tapped his helmet. Didn't look half-hearted to me at all. It's not the first time Rossi has lost, and he was quick to point out that Lorenzo deserved the championship as any good sportsman should do.

I'm not even going to talk about the imaginary snub, that's just a weak excuse for sore losers. I always get shivers when I see Lorenzo celebrate a win anyway, it never seems relaxed to me. Kinda like the Terminator smiling, or Barbra Streisand's acting.

Bottom line, a lot of people don't like Lorenzo. Either they are all wrong and he's actually a great guy, or he really is a bit annoying. Or are they all pissed that he's winning instead of their favorite rider. I know for a fact that I like him a lot more when he's not beating Rossi :)

Oh, and if you feel opinion articles don't belong on this site perhaps you might want to start your own site instead of telling David his article sucks. Judging from the number of comments, it's not such a bad topic at all....

Spot on David.Ben,Cool Hand Luke,was surely shaking his head with a big grin inside the HJC. Huge emotional moment for an emotional competitor like George.
They will be great competitors and team mates next year.Fire and Ice and no brick walls between them.
Ben summed up his emotions pretty easy last year when he won the SBK title.
Pretty much none except for the afterthought...'Oh yeah,I'd like to thank Yamaha for giving me the shit I needed to win with'.
Between the pair of them,they will make the M1 even harder to beat.
Yamaha and HRC are in the ascendancy,bike wise,team wise,everything wise.

I am a Lorenzo AND Spies Fan. I think it was a snub. I think Ben can handle it after having had Mat Mladin as a teammate for all those years. Can't wait til the next race, Can't wait til next season...

I am a 100% Rossi fan, but i'll give evrybody credit for what they have accomplished, Crashy Casey, Nicky, and now JLo, Congrats, I understand and appreciate David's article, now the best part or it all and why im a huge Rossi fan, met him personally at Laguna a few hours after the race last year, the best part is because i know for a fact, anybody in the grid now that want to try and be as big as VR is already too late, a big star as succesfull as VR starts @ a very young age, everybody is too old for that so i dont care who wins as long as its entertaining, wich we all know these silly little guys are far too sensitive to withstand a old fashioned ass kicking like VR provided at Motegi.


First off, I for one am glad David decided to write about this. Why? Because everyone else is writing about it! If it has to do with "anything MotoGP" ... then i want to read about it. Simple as that. What kind of writer would David be if he ignored a topic because of it's subject?

Second of all .... if this wasn't worth writing/reading, why are there so many replies?? It seems to me that anything with this much feedback is worth putting pen to paper ... ur, you know what i mean.

As far as Lorenzo goes ... can't stand him. He is a good racer, but I'm convinced when the time comes for him to "develop" his own M1, things will change. And it's easy to see his desire to act like Rossi .... IMO.


Im sure he was very excited, but its clear the refuses the first handshake, the luigi guy on his face points to spies, then came bautista and and aoyama grasping his arm and shoulder, and then rossi, he stays until he decides to return the hand shake, he know his colleagues are there...
I know he got talent but i also think he will always be that arrogant, pusillanimus, egocentric, rossi-wanna-be.
Lets wait in 2011 , if he do it again, ill eat my words, now for me, he is not a real champion, he just didnt fall this year....

Im sure he was very excited, but its clear the refuses the first handshake, the luigi guy on his face points to spies, then came bautista and and aoyama grasping his arm and shoulder, and then rossi, he stays until he decides to return the hand shake, he know his colleagues are there...

I have previously posted that this works as an opinion piece. And I stand by that. But the more I read this opinion piece, the less I like it.

First of all, the people who think Lorenzo snubbed Spies are characterized as "conspiracy theorists" and a "voracious pack". I'm generally a fan of colorful language, but the way these terms are condescendingly perpetuated throughout the article is tiring.

But the biggest disappointment is that the author sets up his own self-contradicting double standard. First he says, "The video only shows men whose faces are hidden by helmets, and whose intentions are therefore much more difficult to interpret." This is fair enough, but then he baldly states, "He accepted the Italian's congratulations in the spirit in which they were offered: begrudgingly and half-heartedly."

So while Lorenzo's actions are "difficult to interpret," Rossi's actions apparently are perfectly clear. But Rossi's face was equally hidden by his helmet, so how can the author be so sure about Rossi's entent?

The author has made clear that he wrote this piece in reaction to the internet buzz about the snub. The problem is that this piece is just that: reactionary.

Other have pointed out that the tone is condescending. That's almost never good.

And now it seems that Rossi's congratulatory handshake has been prejudicially condemned as begrudging and half-hearted. Anyone who thinks Lorenzo may have snubbed Spies is prejudicially lumped as a Rossi fan. And Rossi fans are prejudicially ridiculed as conspiracy theorists.

Let's see. Reactionary, condescending, and prejudiced. Three strikes. You're out.

At least, that's what he said himself: when you want to fight a great competitor, you have to hate him a little bit. And when you lose, you are pissed off. It's normal.
Is he really, sincerely happy for Lorenzo to win the crown? Ofcourse not. You don't need to look him in the eyes to know that.

I said most of what I wanted to say in the opinion piece, but I clearly missed one or two things. Certainly, I labeled certain sections of fans as being conspiracy theorists which was deliberately provocative. But this piece was not meant as an attack on either Rossi or Lorenzo, or rather, it was meant as an attack on both. The section you quoted is a prime example of my shortcomings as a writer:

"He accepted the Italian's congratulations in the spirit in which they were offered: begrudgingly and half-heartedly." What I meant here is that Rossi's congratulations were offered begrudgingly, but that Lorenzo accepted them begrudgingly too. There is no love lost between these two, and they were both going through the motions at that point. It is to their credit that they did so, however, they could just as easily have ignored each other.

The behavior later was much worse: Rossi trying to seal Lorenzo's thunder in parc ferme, Lorenzo trying to steal Rossi's glory in the podium celebration. That was what made me say the congratulations were both offered and accepted begrudgingly. Neither man meant it, though both men felt it was required.

The main point of the article, however, was to point out that though Lorenzo was perfectly happy to engage in mind games (he's been learning from the master in the garage next door for the past three years), that does not mean that everything he does is part of a grand master plan, thought out and executed well in advance. Sometimes there are other, more immediate explanations for why a rider acts as he does, and that was the case here, I believe.

As for being prejudiced against Rossi fans, I refute that entirely. There are people who post on here who bleed yellow when they are cut, yet they are prepared to acknowledge the talent of other riders. My beef is with the kind of fan whose posts I have to spend my time deleting from the site, who believe that their own favorite rider can do no wrong, and that any time they don't win a race it's because their rider is being treated unfairly, and not just because he had a bad day or was beaten by someone who was better on the day. Their contributions rarely consist of much more than simplistic abuse, and their grasp of reality is very tenuous indeed. Certainly, Valentino Rossi has a lot of that kind of fan, but I have seen similar behavior by fans of every rider on the grid. Rossi just has more of them, because he has more fans.

My proudest achievement is that the readers and contributors to this site are a step above that level, and even the most argumentative of them are worth the effort of reading.

Im gonna pat myself in the back on this one, i have become a different level of some kind of argument worth reading off of, I have learned from David to appreciate racing in a whole other way than the one i used to, i have had my post deleted a couple of times and went back in forth with David in a few, but thanks to him i see things a little different now, Thank you my friend.

I understood exactly: The provocation; the 'begrudging' part. I thought it was a rather artful portrayal. :-)

It's fun to speculate on the human side of MotoGP. It's full of interesting characters. I'm not here to read a physics text.

I've posted a few comments on this issue, and while a Rossi 'fan', I'm ALSO a TOTAL FAN of Stoner! JL 'talent' is stunning, but his 'attitude', even when in 250's was something I did not like. OR Stoner's attitude after 'Seca! I'm a Spies fan and LOVE TIGHT RACING, like Motegi. JL's attitude, after Motegi, was moronic, at best, a big crybaby to say the the least! Stop whinning and realize that you're NOT at a church social!

I recall that as I was watching the race live, Spies pulled up and Lorenzo didn't respond. Every rider when winning a race/title is going to be congratulated at the end of the race. They know that other riders are pulling up.

If you watch the video you notice that when Bautista arrives after Spies it takes Lorenzo a little bit to turn and notice. I think it was a case of being caught up in the moment of finally realizing his dream has come true.

I am not a huge fan of Lorenzo (Rossi, Spies, Hayden, Capirossi are my favorites) but he deserves the championship given the way he has ridden all season, even if Rossi and Stoner had their issues earlier on.

David hit the nail on the head with the "crime" reference. I think it also explains much of the snipping that Stoner has received ever since becoming the first "criminal".

Stoner has certainly received the brunt of the attention from the Rossi fanboi brigade, perhaps because he a) took the WC so decisively, and b) simply doesn't know how to play the PR game (nor is he interested in so doing). Hayden escaped some of that because even the most die-hard Rossi fan knows that it was ultimately Rossi's mistake in the last race of the season that settled the contest and also that Hayden had been poleaxed by Pedrosa when within sight of taking the lead in the WC.

I have seen comments disparaging Stoner for everything from his teeth onwards. As it happens, Lorenzo's comments after Motegi will tend to diminish the effect of Stoner's comments after Laguna, and in fact objective fans of the sport will notice that much of what Stoner has said that generated controversy when he said it has tended to be found accurate (or reasonable) in the light of other, later information.

Rossi himself eschews the sort of blind negativity towards other riders as some form of affirmation of Rossi's position in the pantheon of motoGp greats that characterises the fanboi comments - it is a pity that these acolytes do not listen to the man himself. The motoGp field is not a place of group hugs, but I believe every rider has an instinct for what is reasonable commentary towards others and if we as fans of the sport cannot follow their lead then I think we miss some of the spirit of the thing - hard, but (mostly) fair. Dummy spits are not unreasonable in the heat of the moment, but calculated abuse of any rider without just cause demeans those to do it.

and agree 100% with Oscar, re his Stoner comments.

Incidentally, in my opinion, of the current top riders, there are two "standouts" who conduct themselves as consummate professionals ( e.g., in the mold of Doohan, Rainey, Lawson et al) and they are Stoner and Spies. They are only interested in winning, speak their mind ( to hell with PR speak !) and eschew puerile "celebrations" and public whining.

They would probably make a pretty good team pairing.

Now, ducks for cover.....................!

Stoner doesn't whine? What about Laguna Seca 2008? That's where he earned his reputation as a whiner.
I rather think that being a professional also includes PR skills and a willingness to promote your employers product.
Spies has been admiral in every respect IMHO.

Is that the race where Rossi cut the track to pass Stoner on the corkscrew to win the race?

If so I don't blame him too much for complaining.

If you gain track position by cutting a "chicane" you are required to relinquish the gained position, ( unless you are Valentino Zanardi, oops, Rossi !)

Apart from which, returning to the circuit from an off road "excursion" is NOT a guaranteed 100% controlled exercise.

It was a "give room or we both crash" manoeuver.

Hey you two on the top comments, check this video, at 0:44 the pass was made at the top well clear of Crashy Casey, then for taking the inside at the top, the rider was forced to go out the tarmac at the bottom exit corner, NOTE "before the actual turn Stoner was passed".


Wow what a fantastic race that was, thanks for the link.

My personal belief is that Vale could only make the pass at the top by over cooking the first corner which made him run off the track on the exit. If there had not been an immediate right corner Vale would have been off in the kitty litter for several seconds (at the very least). He gained an advantage by coming back on the track in front of Casey as seen in the video you provided. Anyone can pass another rider in any corner desired if he enters too fast to be able to properly exit the corner and stay on the track. Lucky for Vale I was not the official making the decision on that one.

It doesn't matter now, but I still think he should have let Casey by for the reason stated above. Just my opinion.

I didn't comment on the tone of the article in my original post as I didn't want to be inflammatory, but since the laundry is already being aired in public...

I think the veil of impartiality slipped a little from your brow this time David, however, it is as always a very interesting read and the manner in which the comments dialogue takes place is a veritable joy in comparison to elsewhere on the web, long may it continue!

Raising a glass to you all,

Polepositions comment seems to be the most reasonable...
"BTW -- I was there, know Ben reasonably well, and can tell you he was shaking his head not at being snubbed but out of a sense of embarrassment that he had made the error of offering his hand at an inopportune moment. Just like you might step forward to a stranger at a cocktail party and start an introduction, only to realise too late he is in the middle of deep discussion with another... Any other interpretation is just... gossip."

David you talk of trying to establish a different format for opinion pieces.
Perhaps as we have your 'Kropotkin thinks...' as a main header, opinion peices could be titled 'Kropotkin says...' thus differentiating from journalistic peices.
Just a thought....

I had actually thought about putting Kropotkin as the author,to distinguish this piece. I like your suggestion a lot, and I'll see what I can do with it. 

Perhaps in the programming a drop-down selection to designate Opinion from er, Standard posting. Or just have a sub-heading that says "Opinion piece" below the title, smaller font and maybe a different color or graphic?

It's telling that an 'opinion' piece gets approximately 10 times the number of responses that the average 'factual' piece gets.

Which only goes to show that what most people on the Internet want to do is tell the world about their opinions, and 'facts' be damned... :-))

Yeah, you are probably right there. :)

Nobody really knows either way - not even David, although this article suggests he does which surprised me, except for Lorenzo.

My thought at the time was maybe that he thought it was Rossi, or maybe his lacky said "here's Rossi" and possibly we could expect a snub then. I'm not sure why Jorge would snub Spies, at least not till next year, especially if Spies starts to do the business himself. The justifiable excitement at winning the title and consequent few moments of hysteria is a fair explanation of what could have happened, although as I said we'll never know for sure. What I do know is that I have never seen it happen before right back to Sheene/Read/Ago days, whatever the animosity normally shown between great rivals.

Also, I thought Rossi was perfectly entitled to celebrate his win, the first for a long time, just as I thought nothing of Lorenzo's podium antics, but maybe I am just naive....


I’m sorry that this is my first post anywhere on this site, but I have been visiting and reading the content here for years. In fact I visit everyday to see what is going on. I do think that this post was different from the others and would appreciate a distinction between news and opinion pieces as has been discussed.

On the topic at hand though, I think that Jorge did not snub Spies in particular, so much as he was irritated that anyone pulled up at that time and interrupted his prepared celebration. Of course, like everyone else here, I have no way of knowing what was actually going through Lorenzo’s mind, but it seems reasonable he was a little miffed that he didn’t get to do his celebration without being interrupted. In fact Lorenzo’s Tweet indicates this may be the case: “And feel he was there at that the moment of our celebration. I just told this to him.”

Anyway just my two cents.

Keep up the good work.

That's why they call it opinion. So I don't need to be impartial, which is what I attempt to do in all of the news on the site.

For the record, I am a fan of two riders in the series (one in MotoGP, one in Moto2) and neither of them were involved in this incident. 

I like the op-ed. I was wondering about the incident myself and happy to see it talked about.

Tabloid? Okay, so what... it's part of the entertainment.

It's funny how many people complained about the incident being unworthy of an article and complete rubbish... after they read the entire article.

Call me crazy, I see the title of an article, and if I'm not interested in it, I don't read it.

To the authors of the rather harsh crticism I have just read,

This article wasn't driven by the fact that this snub occured in the first place, but the media attention surrounding it. In that light, Dave was commenting on the tabloid media making it into a story, the unfounded speculation and the whole circus. He was a person in the media pack who was able to provide a cooler head. So what is wrong with that?

That he offered an opinion. That opinion was at odds with those that have generated the controversy and at it's root would not find this event newsworthy at all. We're not descending into tabloid hell, we have a more reasonable and thought out opinion than the more fanatic among the fanbase. What is wrong with that?

Well, we expect a news site which is impartial allowing us to draw our own conclusions, it is what we are used to and this site is excellent at. Fair enough. The overall opinion of the site in general will tend to attract like minded patronage and we don't want that occuring. But don't we also sometimes want to hear an opinion of someone who is quite well informed to counter the opinions of those that perhaps are a bit sensationalist?

Some of the tone of criticism here has been rather harsh - but where you give criticism you should perhaps make it constructive and reasonable, not "I expect that not this crap grrrr". So Dave, whilst this article perhaps doesn't fit with the site as it stands, I would encourage you, if you still wish to express your opinion on occasion, to put it up under the Kropotkin name as was suggested. Perhaps a different section on the site with the existing Kropotkin Thinks... line as a link?

I would like to also state that we are essentially Dave's guests on this site, he doesn't charge or flood us with advertising, the site is optomised for reading, and the articles are generally well thought out. Be reasonable.

... occured at the press conference in Phillip Island! Not trying to stir the pot, but did anyone notice that when Lorenzo arrived he was greeted by Stoner and Elias ... but totally ignored by Rossi. Should make for great rivalry racing with the championship now decided ... and with other things to prove between Rossi and Lorenzo!

The only thing sadder than the media complaining about the "snub" is the posters here complaining about this article.

Agreed twich. I don't really care if it's Daves opinion or if it's fact, I just like reading what he writes. It's why I visit his site. Actually.... I'm not even sure if I've been to a race website that is just "facts". I doubt one exisits. I don't really see why you need to differentiate between opinion pieces and semi factual reports, seems a bit pedantic. Anyone browsing should be able to tell from the tone of the article, and are quite free to move along to another subject if they want.

Here is the truth dear motorcycle racing fans:

Lorenzo: "I didn't respond to be Ben - Lorenzo said, trying to keep a straight face - because I had blinders on and I didn't want to look at him. He is a bad guy and he worries me a lot, especially knowing he will be in the same garage next year!"
In the meantime, Spies, who had been perfectly silent till then, let out a laugh and made a comment of his own.
"It really makes me laugh to think that people can create controversy over something like this - the Texan said - I have never won a MotoGP championship, and I would like to win one sometime, but I have won a WSBK championship and know how you feel in that moment; you are looking around but you don't see anything. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out, and I can't believe anyone could have seen it differently."
The two then exchanged winks and smiles, happy that - for once - the press was able to quell some controversy rather than fuel it.
"And next year - Jorge joked - when we are teammates, it will be even worse!"

It was definitely an imaginary snub, end of the story.
And it was definitely news since David (ok, since Jorge and Ben) decided they had to explain it because of italian media and forums all around the world fueling the controversy.