What happened to the Fun? | GTAMotorcycle.com

What happened to the Fun?

LWTRacer

Well-known member
What is wrong with motorcycle racing?


Why are they current crop not liked?


Why is Rossi such a huge entity?


This is purely my thought, having spent the last 25 years watching motorcycle racing from National Superbikes to 500GP to MotoGP, from racing, and getting to know plenty of top crop racers.


What is missing?


I feel that the biggest issue in motorcycle racing (not just MotoGP) these days is all the professionalism. Everyone seems to have a ****ing stick up their ***....and those who seem carefree and fun are harped on for it.


The Danis, Jorges, Dovis, etc....all are tremendous racers. But are always the "Villians"...why? Because they are boring. When they talk it is exactly what the camera wants to hear, as if they are reading off a script.


What makes guys like Iannone, Rossi, Crutchlow all fun and have legions of fans? They are the "common man" they shoot from the hip and have no regrets about what they say.


And its the Rossi's and Crutchlows that are slowly evaporating from the sport. New talent is groomed to be perfect, and camera ready (look at marquez)...


Rossi and crutchlow grew up in the days Of Schwantz, Rainey, gardner...The Sennas, Hunts, Sheenes....Racers with personalities.


I first started to notice this at a national Superbike race. Guys like Art Robbins, and Rueban McMurter, Lang Hindle were all known for the parties and the fantastic interviews, and showmanship (wheelies, brakies, throwing the leathers into the crowed etc...)...Jeff Williams jumped into the pool at corner 4 at mosport a few years back, Old Jordan Szoke once landed a flippin helicopter on the front straight! Now a days the Jodi Christies, "New" Jordan Szokes, Riedmans etc... have all stopped. No more crowed pleasing burn outs, no more hilarious off the cuff interviews (Steve Crevier and Pascal Picotte were hilarious on the stand). No free auto graphs or mingling with fans.


And all the people who do those things are called "bad for the sport" Guys like the Trevor Daleys are fantastic, they bring the girls, the energy drinks, the couch in pit lane. Dude had a personality and was wild out on the track as well. But he was labelled off the collar, and a "wild man" why? He isnt partying nearly as much as Art, or Steve did.


So then things started to get boring. Sure the racing was good, but the rider v rider paddock battles are gone.


Whether people like to admit it, the drama/fun sells tickets (look at Sepang 2015) and bigger turn outs mean that more money comes into the sport. Which leads to bigger races (Frack Canada had GPs and WSBK at some points when we had lots of talent and charismatic riders)


I think a lot of riders these days need to remove the sticks from their butts, and have a little more fun. Yes its a job, so you have to be professional, but dont be a ****ing robot, sign some auto graphs in the pits, talk to the people, be approachable.

This of course is just 1 mans opinion.
 

ZX600

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Szoke is alright



I think is the same reason why everything in the world is changing - how many public places were you able to have access and now you can't or is corded off. Remember all the things we used to get away with and now you wouldn't even think off - All the games that school boards have forbidden.

In sports is all about the sponsors, factories don't want to be put their sponsors at risk, so they write into contracts these policies we don't see in order to manage the risk of a mouthy rider.

Look at the NBA, if a coach or player speaks off publicly against referees about a bad call it's 10k out of their pockets.

Industrialized countries for the most part are becoming all about being politically correct in their culture.

Anyways that is just my rant/opinion.
 

inreb

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Seems like more people you cram into ahole the less room there is to be anass.
 

N3WMAN

Well-known member
Paulo is right.

Getting a ride is not about being the best rider anymore, and as such a lot of riders don't dare say or do anything to risk the ride they have. Rossi and Crutchlow can say more things because they are bringing the money. I wouldn't call Dani and Dovi villains. They are company men. They know they are lucky to have the ride they have and keep it on the straight and narrow as to not jeopardize that. I wouldn't say they aren't professional, but lack personality. Whereas, Jorge more often than not says thing nobody wants to hear.

On the partying side of things, times have changed. Back in those days talent was enough, and it isn't anymore. When they aren't riding they are in the bloody gym working their ***** off. If they do go out and party and somebody snaps a cell phone picture of them doing anything out of the ordinary it's their ***.

Ultimately it comes down to money. There is a lot less of it to go around these days as there was then. Back in the old days wearing a Marlboro shirt, and a Budweiser has was enough for sponsors. Now a days you pretty much have to say they are the reason that you won the race. I think most of the guys in the Canadian scene recognize the fragility of the sport here and don't rock the boat so the circus can keep going.

As Stirling Moss said "In my days, the drivers used to go out after a race and chase girls. These days, they thank Vodafone."

And if you want to shoot from the hip, there is only one man for the job.
 

Lightcycle

Motorcycle Nomad
Site Supporter
On the flipside, why do we expect motorcycle racers to be entertainers? To want their off-track antics be as riveting and newsworthy as their on-track skills?

Is it not enough to turn on the TV, watch the lights go out, see a good battle and exclaim at the end, "Good race!"?

I'd prefer they fix the fact that there are only two manufacturers each year contending for the championship, rather than have the racers be comedians and louts post-race for the sake of ratings and audience interest.
 

BigEvilDoer

Well-known member

Owen

Well-known member
On the flipside, why do we expect motorcycle racers to be entertainers? To want their off-track antics be as riveting and newsworthy as their on-track skills?
Seriously! It's a race not a daytime soap story or WWF. Hockey players are even more stale than motorcycle racers. I've never once though "man, you know what would really improve this game? If the players said some out-of-line **** during the match". If everyone was like Roenick, that shi t would get annoying.

On that note, I'd like Lorenzo hell of a lot more if he shut his mouth. What a whiney ****.
 

dricked

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Company's don't want to be represented by a holes. When you're sponsored by a company you're directly associated with them and their products. If I walk around and piss off everyone and act unprofessional I'll have a harder time getting support from an industry where it's already near impossible. Gone are the days of riders being paid to ride and bringing in big money. Everything is paid out of the riders pockets or from their sponsorship money if they're lucky enough to get any. Paying for a helecopter to fly you into a race will cost a few thousand so are you going to recoup that money because you're going to attract more sponsors? Nope.
 

LWTRacer

Well-known member
Seriously! It's a race not a daytime soap story or WWF. Hockey players are even more stale than motorcycle racers. I've never once though "man, you know what would really improve this game? If the players said some out-of-line **** during the match". If everyone was like Roenick, that shi t would get annoying.

On that note, I'd like Lorenzo hell of a lot more if he shut his mouth. What a whiney ****.
Im more saying that the riders from the 80s and 90s were far more approachable, far more willing to put on a show, and interact with the people paying to watch them.

I'm just wondering what happened?



Company's don't want to be represented by a holes. When you're sponsored by a company you're directly associated with them and their products. If I walk around and piss off everyone and act unprofessional I'll have a harder time getting support from an industry where it's already near impossible. Gone are the days of riders being paid to ride and bringing in big money. Everything is paid out of the riders pockets or from their sponsorship money if they're lucky enough to get any. Paying for a helecopter to fly you into a race will cost a few thousand so are you going to recoup that money because you're going to attract more sponsors? Nope.
I never said walk around and pss everyone off and act unprofesional.

You yourself are a newly minted Pro rider, you must have been around for the days of the 20,000+ people at Shannonville and Mosport. The days where the top riders were more willing to sign random autographs outside their tent vs having a set time to do so. The pay outs for racing were huge, and the contingency pay outs were large as well.

The last time I saw it was when there was a 1 million dollar purse up for grabs at Mosport (I think it would have been early 2000s).

Is it because the Booze, and smoke companies were more willing to shell out cash? More willing to sign and pay riders who had a little more edge to them?

It is sad that the days of the big transports (Honda Canada, Blackfoot Suzuki, Diablo racing, etc..) are all gone, Yes that was a time where a privateer had no chance at a top 10....because there were 10+ factory kitted bikes on the grid...but there was more of a draw.

I think last year was a start at recouping motorcycle racing in Canada. Shannonville (under Peters direction) actually promoted, and had more than just "a race". He had the "Legends" thing going, the LiquiMoly folks promoting etc... And there were more people in the stands then I have seen in years, and more riders by far.

Mosport is the same with the BMW motorad and other manufacture test rides and Honda red riders stuff....

So I think things are on the up and up...Im hoping the riders start to loosen up a little thats all.

For the record this isn't an attack on you or anyother rider...I know what you guys have to do for sponsors, and the like. I am more wondering what has changed over the years that doesn't allow for riders to be more off the cuff, fun, and a little out there.
 

Bevo

Active member
Agreed, I miss the characters like Art Robbins, we had a beer at Shannonville and he was talking about the TZ750 he was racing, hilarious!
Rueben McMurter helped me out with my GSXR1100 when he saw me fiddling with my Dynojet system on my carbs at the track, it was a race and I was watching.

Most of the newer racers are what I would call dry, they are all probably great people but have some fun and look like you enjoy the job.
Some wheelies burn outs on track banter would be amazing although probably not allowed.

MX still has that vibe, the pits are open and you can see the riders walking around, no problem to say hello even with the Stars. Had a great chat with Dunge and told Stewart he needed a hair cut, lots of laughs.

Best thing we can do is force it, talk to them at the track, talk to your fellow riders, attend the races, wear your gear to support a team or bike and make them have fun however you can..
 

Jayv

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I think last year was a start at recouping motorcycle racing in Canada. Shannonville (under Peters direction) actually promoted, and had more than just "a race". He had the "Legends" thing going, the LiquiMoly folks promoting etc... And there were more people in the stands then I have seen in years, and more riders by far.
I was under the impression it was Sandy/Pro6 that did the actual promotion(leg work) for Shannonville last year.
 

dricked

Well-known member
Site Supporter
A lot of the riders are out and the pits are wide open. I know I'm out because I don't have an A/C cooled place to hang out which is where most of the guys are probably. When we had the fan walk at Shannonville there was maybe 15-20 people that took the opportunity to meet most of the riders. If you walk up to any of the riders and start talking or asking questions they'll answer. I force fans to talk, ask them if they have any questions and 90% of the time it's a "no I'm fine" and they walk away. It seems like you're looking for personalities that we just don't have. Everyone's different and the guys right now are just normal quietish people. Also you now have to be carful of what you say to anyone with social media. Heck I have to watch what I say here even more.
 

j_e_f_f_williams

Well-known member
The reply from dricked matches my experience. I started heading to races to watch when Don Munroe (97ish?) was winning. Its not as far back as the OP is talking but I can't say I have seen a significant change in the racers willing to talk between then and now. If you have something to talk about they usually will chat for a moment. I don't think the racers attitude or talkativeness (that a word?) though will change us back to the days where the big rigs full of fully prep'd factory superbikes are back and 20,000 people come to the track. I bet out of the 20,000 that used to show up most probably didn't talk to racers then either, they came because the motorcycle culture, the motorcycle industry was different and the money was different that the industry could put into it.

My $0.02
Jeff
 

crankcall

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Having watched racing forever , my guess in the top tiers
1. insurance dictates a lot of what they do off bike, a guy insured for tens of millions doesn't get to do whatever he wants.
2. the 'good ole boy' excuse for crazy behavior doesnt cut it. Even Nascar doesn't have fistfights in the infield anymore.
3. You may have raced bikes, and had a real job through the week. as a GP rider in the day. Now its an industry and thats what you do.
4. The INTERNET changed everything, if racer X was in a bar the night before a race 20 people in the world knew, now every jamoke has a cell phone and its online instantly for the planet to watch

Barry Sheene had a hole drilled in his chinbar so he could smoke on the grid till the lights came on and the paddock girl would walk away with his ciggy. Could you imagine seeing anything like that now?
 

N3WMAN

Well-known member
Im more saying that the riders from the 80s and 90s were far more approachable, far more willing to put on a show, and interact with the people paying to watch them.

I'm just wondering what happened?
I personally have had zero issues talking to any of the riders in the paddock at CSBK. If you go up and talk or ask a question, they will generally have no problem having a chat. Just most people never do.

McBride might be an exception as he's usually throwing **** because his motor just blew up again.
 

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