All the inside racing gossip that's fit to print from Mike Scott,
TWO's GP paddock oracle
Afterwards, he showed the mark of a champion in another way -
complaining how people had bullied their way past him, bone-head-style after the start. They'd even forced him to pick up and change line!
This comment equates to: "Unfair - there were other people on my race-track," and shows a mind-set shared with a number of past champions. John Kocinski's one coming to mind; likewise Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan.
All three thought, without fail, that anyone who ever overtook them was quite clearly a dangerous maniac at the very least, possibly even criminally stupid. If young Casey sticks to the script, he is surely destined for greatness.
The Spanish GP, round two preceding a long break, was special. In a bad way. It was, said onlookers, the first Formula One bike GP: no overtaking up front, team-mates circulating in close company, and Rossi leading from start to finish.Will there be more of the same?
It seems hopes that the 800s would allow multi-line corner entries and bring paint-swapping battles have been dashed. The new bikes are so precise and accurate that they can only follow one perfect line.
We must hope the riders can prove otherwise.
Jerez featured the all-too welcome return of the hospitality units. Marlboro proudly displayed their new palace of haute cuisine, mounted on four trucks side by side. Breakfast is Eggs Benedict, and many fine partridge, salmon, lobsters and wild boar are doomed to make a final appearance on the buffet table.
The mobile restaurant may only be another F1 hand-me-down, but it raises the standard yet again for bike racing. Just one problem. Under new European no-smoking legislation, none of the free-spending sponsor's well-fed guests are allowed to light up a relaxing smoke after their meal. Instead they have to gather in guilty groups outside the front door. Pretty soon, the only place you'll be able to smoke will be in the Clinica Mobile.
Marlboro's generosity is especially welcome - the last real remnant of the fag money that kept bike racing in luxury for two decades. The lack of any significant replacement was the topic of a lively 'sponsorship summit' hosted by series bosses Dorna in in the weeks after the Spanish GP.
The mid-field teams are sure to be thumping the table. The main
complaint will be a lack of TV time for their bikes, seriously crippling their chances of changing the minds of all those sponsors who aren't currently interested.
It was no coincidence that coverage of the Jerez race painstakingly went back down the field, a decision made easier to bear by the lack of action up front.And no coincidence either when Dorna's head honcho, Carmelo Ezpeleta toured the pits after the race to make darn sure the likes of d'Antin Ducati and Tech 3 Yamaha had seen it.
Will Dorna be able to help the teams find sponsors? Right now, the Spanish company seem to be more in opposition to the teams for the loot - and pocketing most of it. Their latest deal is for designer men's jewellery, with the MotoGP logo, with fashion house Rochet.
The enterprising Team Roberts have found an angel in the form of Alex Copson, owner of the F1 MAX-X brand and management group that now adorns Kenny Junior's fairing. From the same source came the link to another deal, with MGM's Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Copson is a colourful character, claiming to have been drummer and/or bassist for heavy metal screechers Iron Butterfly. Both more interestingly and more recently, he was also a principal in a multi-
billion-dollar nuclear waste deal with Russia.
Dorna, for all their honeyed talk about helping the teams, might not be so pleased with this team having helped itself - the casino being a direct gambling-based clash with their own Bwin.com (formerly BetandWin.com) backing.
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