by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 192
22 GPWEEK.com // 22 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: It is two years since the sepang crash that claimed the life of rising MotoGP star Marco simoncelli. Naturally his memory is strong, reinforced by the memorial at the corner where he died. It’s been kept alive in many other ways, especially in Italy, with tributes including renaming Misano circuit, a monument in his home town, a charitable foundation, a family biography. ... At Brno this weekend there will be a memorial riding event. And so on. Quite rightly, the fallen hero is remembered with full honour. He’s remembered in a different way too. He spent his final season much criticised for his riding manners, which were daring, to say the least. His harshest critic was Jorge Lorenzo, but the general response to the senior rider’s words was somewhat sneering, as he spoke about such concepts as “respect for other riders” and the need for authorities to find ways to calm Marco before someone got hurt. Sneering, because whatever else Simoncelli did, he was a real racer, the kind the public love. Lorenzo spoke like a killjoy. Until it happened. Jorge is a real racer too, without the flamboyant technique – though he had plenty of that in his younger days. Until he was banned for a race, which he now insists was what calmed him down. This other memory of Simoncelli is also ever- present, though banished to the background, and certainly seldom mentioned in this regard. Present nonetheless in Lorenzo’s condemnation of the new wild boy, Marc Marquez. Criticism that has likewise fallen on deaf ears, for Marquez is even more special than Simoncelli. Rides like he’s stolen it ... and wins races to boot. Marquez came to MotoGP with a bad reputation from Moto2, and cemented it almost from the start ... at round three by using Lorenzo instead of the brakes to make it round the final corner at Jerez. Over and again in that race he almost ran into the back of the Yamaha, an exercise in swerving avoidance that he has repeated frequently and finally at Aragon with fateful consequences to team-mate Pedrosa. But, a dribble of penalty points aside, Race Direction has stopped short of any meaningful sanction. And the fans loved it. Lorenzo tried a different tack at Sepang, after the officials missed, in his view, another golden opportunity to reign the guy in a bit, for his own good, and for the good of his rivals and the whole sport. His speech at the pre-event Press conference was perfect irony, saying the direct opposite of what he felt and leaving the assembled company initially baffled. Rider safety, he insisted, was less important than giving the spectators a good show. Dangerous riding he said, giving a list of Marquez’s recent indiscretions, should be rewarded with extra championship points rather than punished, in order to encourage young riders to do the same. Heavy handed, but thought provoking. It contains uncomfortable truths. In the same way as people get the newspapers that they want to read, we get the sport we want to see. And there’s an unavoidable bloodthirsty element to it: Oh, nobody wants to see a rider killed or badly hurt. But if accidents are going to happen, well, might as well watch. And then watch the replay too. Perhaps Jorge’s target was not Race Direction or Marquez, but the whole of human nature. lAYINg THE gHOsT OF MARCO sIMONCEllI OPINION OPINION MICHAEL SCOTT MotoGP Editor