Friday, April 27, 2007

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Ecclestone?

Bernie Ecclestone has been mouthing off about MotoGP, claiming that all its problems could be solved by making it more like Formula 1.
The tiny, ancient, balding tyrant, F1's answer to Mr Burns from the Simpsons, reckons that MotoGP is not exclusive enough. (Who is F1's answer to Mr Smithers from the Simpsons? Pretty much all of them, actually.) He thinks that MotoGP should screw over the 125GP and 250GP classes, downgrading them to support events. This would make MotoGP the one and only world championship, and sponsors would flock towards it, apparently.
Of course, it would royally roger the junior classes, who would surely have a sponsorship crisis if they lost world championship status and were relegated to entertaining the crowd before the real racing started.
F1 and MotoGP are like chalk and cheese. They're not the same thing and they never will be. F1 apologists bleat about how F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport. Really?
There is virtually no technical freedom in the F1 rules. The car must be exactly this size, the yawnodynamic wings must be exactly this size. The engine must have this number of cylinders, must rev to exactly this number of revs and must last two races. (Next year the engine must use exactly these electronics.) Teams end up cheating to try and get around the stranglehold of the rules. (Benetton: illegal ride height; McLaren: illegal brakes, Ferrari: illegal bodywork; Honda: illegal fuel tank; the list goes on.) The tyres are from a single control supplier, but hey, they have to use both hard and soft tyres during the course of the race! (With all these artificial rules, F1 is starting to sound like bloody NASCAR or the British Bumper Car Championship.)
Virtually all overtaking is done in the pitlane.
An extremely talented but very dull young man called Lewis Hamilton is the next coming of Senna because he has had 3 podiums in 3 races. The best start from a rookie ever!!! He even overtook somebody!!! Well, better start engraving his name on the championship trophy, eh?
Motorcycle racing awards full world championship status to the 125cc and 250cc classes because they deserve it. They take on all comers from anywhere in the world, racing on very similar equipment. If they win, they are heroes. When Jorge Lorenzo won his 250cc race at Jerez, the crowd went wild. Can you imagine that happening to a GP2 driver? Never in a million years. It's a different culture.
There is a world of difference between winning a few support races and winning a world championship. Are you a choker or a bottler? Will you get scared when a world title is close, the media keep annoying you and the fans are all stalking you? If so, you will never win a 250cc world title. You might win a 250cc support race title, but where's the pressure? So what if you win or lose, it's meaningless! The junior classes in motorcycling don't just find quick riders, they find quick riders who have battled for world championships.
Sure, you can still come from national championships, like Nicky Hayden, who was hired straight from AMA Superbike because Honda wanted to hire a quick American who isn't covered in tattoos and piercings, and doesn't publicly boot the crap out of the bike when it breaks down. But that doesn't mean that everybody should come from minor championships.
Any sponsor with more than one brain cell knows that the 125GP and 250GP classes are world championships, but MotoGP is the senior world championship. It has the top riders, the fastest bikes (in a straight line at least), wide-open technical rules and a tyre war. 125GP and 250GP are not MotoGP support series, they are MotoGP feeder series. They are designed to provide the top class with the kind of fast, consistent, hard-battling, gutsy riders that it needs, not to give bored fans something to watch before their heroes appear.
F1 changed from an easy-going race series to the most tediously corporate race series in the world. Drivers parrot dull statements, terrified of offending anybody. How many F1 drivers ever speak their mind? Ummm... Maybe Coulthard or Webber on a good day... How many riders are known for speaking their minds in MotoGP? Rossi, Edwards, Hayden, Stoner, Capirossi, Hopkins, Vermeulen, Elias, Melandri, in fact nearly all of them except RoboDani, and even he's more interesting than an F1 driver.
F1 has sold its soul to the devil in return for sponsorship. MotoGP must not do the same.
Valentino Rossi has already spoken out against Bernie's nonsense. The seven times world champion believes that it is vital for 125GP and 250GP to retain their world championship status.
Rossi had the chance of moving to F1, but he stayed in a world where he can say what he thinks and have a chance of victory even if his machinery is 2nd best. That's what it's all about.


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

I stopped watching and following F1 long time ago, with the generation of Senna, Mansell, Prost. If you want to sleep after lunch on Sunday, watch a F1 race: you will see the start and if lucky the winner on the podium because in the meantime the comments, images and car noice will make you close your eyes and crash on you sofa...
Is the F1 that should become la WSBK or MotoGp and not viceversa.

Jimmy said...

F1 has no soul. The drivers are deathly dull, and the races are even worse. It's incredible how aloof the F1 fraternity is, considering what a boring spectacle they produce.
I'll still check out the highlights if there's a massive crash though!

Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

I am glad that Rossi is whatever he is ...Other people wouldn't have been able to resist to the F1's $$$$$. Instead he opted for his freedom, for having fun while working and if one day he will race only rally a lot of fans from MotoGp will follow him in the new adventure. Rossi is often criticized but he is someone who was able to remain himself after seven world championships and milions of $ in his bank account

Anonymous said...

Technically the difference with F1 and GP , well from next season anyway will be F1 has driver input to move the vehicle. motoGp should follow F1 with the banning of dodgem bikes and the like.