Valentino Rossi Broke My Heart, or something…

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Pics: Yamaha Racing

I didn’t watch the Malaysian MotoGP live. Instead, I enjoyed a weekend of debauchery with ten of my bestest mates at a secluded holiday house in Salcombe, Devon. You know, feverishly drinking and inhaling Mr Sheene under a duvet with whores and plenty of poker and japery.

I was sharing a room (not a bed) with Mike, for that was his name. Even after a sleepless night of partying, Mike decided to set his alarm for 7am and follow live updates of the race on twitter from the comfort of his crib. At approximately 7.20am, I was embroiled in a ghastly nightmare involving Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. It was an incredibly vague nightmare but one that revolved around Rossi kicking Marquez mid-race, before Marquez subsequently crashed.

Of course, it wasn’t long before I realised that this nightmare was in fact reality, and it was Mike shouting at me half asleep. Without dwelling too much on the actions themselves and getting overly opinionated (like every other dickhead behind a keyboard this week), it’s pretty bloody obvious what happened. None of it was judicious, but for Race Direction not to at least acknowledge or apportion some blame on the #93 is ridiculous.

As Harry from Days of Thunder says, rubbing’s racing. The concern I have with Rossi isn’t the apparent ‘kick’ or nudge. It isn’t him running Marquez wide – the previous laps dealt us some of the best racing all season, emphasising the on-track hate that’s been absent in MotoGP for years. No, it was the bizarre outburst during Thursday’s pre-race press conference as Valentino set about unleashing his conspiracy theories, and how everyone was out to get him. Had he indulged in too many magic mushrooms throughout the previous week? Was he getting paranoid? Was he playing mind-games? Or was he simply making a point? We’ll never know.

After years of wrecking other racers’ careers through mental strength, indulging in these mind-games and bashing rivals into the kitty litter, it was the press conference contents that had me baffled. It sounded like someone has finally gotten inside his head.

And let’s not forget that Valentino Rossi’s VR46 brand actually sells Marc Marquez merchandise, therefore Rossi’s been earning spondoolies even when MM93 has been beating him. I doubt this little arrangement will continue.

It’s been coming for a while. Even without the pre-race conspiracy theories and mind-games, the relationship has been simmering way before the clash at Sepang, which people keep neglecting. What about the antics of Assen and Argentina?

Despite friends in the GP paddock proclaiming that the perma-smiling Valentino you see on TV isn’t the real-life Valentino that wanders the streets away from public eyes, I refused to believe it. These friends have never worked in the VR46 camp, instead his arch rivals. After all, Valentino Rossi is the only man I’d share a bed with.

Never has an event caused such polarisation. Thanks to last Sunday’s exploits, MotoGP has attracted football hooligan levels of support and social media cuntery over the past week. Crude memes (the ironic thing is Lorenzo and Marquez actually hate each other), Photoshopping of the cuntiest order and, frankly, barbaric rants aimed at various riders/sides with tribal momentum. It’s not an overnight thing. I first witnessed football-esque hooliganism in motorcycling several years ago at a British Superbike round. A beer-induced scuffle broke out between rival factions after someone took offence to the tawdry football-esque songs being chanted.

The bottom line is: if Race Direction hadn’t have penalised Rossi and, ultimately, ruined what has been one of the best MotoGP championships in recent times, would all of this frenzied hate and cuntery still occurred? Maybe, but to a far lesser magnitude. Despite the fact that his Sepang stunt wasn’t the pivotal factor, the only reasonable punishment would have been doctoring a time penalty for Rossi in order to level championship points, leaving a head-to-head at Valencia. Old Stewy ‘Showdown’ Higgs would have done the latter, for sure.

And what of the future? The conundrum we now have (or rather Dorna has) is the balance of Rossi versus the rest. It goes without saying VR46 brings stacks to MotoGP, yet is the Vale’ glory train worth protection over future sponsors and commercial partners? If the stories regarding Repsol getting eggy come to fruition, Dorna will surely bow to petroleum demands.

As well as losing part of my soul in Salcombe that weekend, I lost a bit of love for Valentino Rossi. And for the sport.

  8 comments for “Valentino Rossi Broke My Heart, or something…

  1. Matt
    October 30, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    That’s very brave of you, any opinion that doesn’t support Rossi whole heartedly has been met with hatred from what I’ve seen. Glad I’m keeping out of it.

  2. Richard Franklin
    October 30, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Agree with all of the above. It’s clear that the rules don’t forbid running anyone wide, nor do they forbid being a fucking menace ruining someone else’s race when you have no chance of winning either the race itself or the championship. That MM fell down when trying to barge his object of hatred out of the way is down to his lack of finesse. Had he managed to stay shiny side up there would have been nowhere near the fuss.
    Yes Rossi is a manipulator, of anyone he needs to to get the result. So are they all, it seems to be a pre-requisite for becoming a multiple world champion. Not many of us are under the illusion that these guys are anyone we’d like to spend more than a few minutes in their company. They are not called aliens for nothing.

  3. haseeb
    October 30, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    thanks for the post, AL.

  4. Andy
    October 30, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    “Without dwelling too much on the actions themselves and getting overly opinionated (like every other dickhead behind a keyboard this week)”

    Bit harsh especially as you’re giving us your opinion other than top marks…

    • Alastair Fagan
      October 30, 2015 at 5:56 pm

      There was a massive amount of sarcasm in that sentence, hence the ‘every other’ bit…

  5. Jim
    October 31, 2015 at 8:47 am

    First of all,I’m a massive rossi fan boy and all things vr46 are not for mocking or even gentle head shaking. It’s easy for rossi or mm fans to point fingers at the opposition and remark on rider etiquette. I’m just gutted that due to “THE” actions last round that the goat looks to have lost all hope of title number 10. And although it really pains me to say it,I to feel MR 46 has shown us a chinky in his god like status.

  6. Stevo
    November 1, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Great article. You two cunts are pretty good at this motorcycle article and content ting

  7. Hugo
    November 14, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    He broke mine…

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