Aron Canet triggers MotoGP debate after revealing why he's rejected by GP teams

Aron Canet reveals why wears a bow-tie during podium celebrations, says it is a protest against those who have rejected him in GP for his bold tattoos

Aron Canet - FlexBox Pons Racing Moto2

Moto2 front runner Aron Canet claims he has endured prejudice throughout his GP career because of his many tattoos, to such an extent he has been rejected by ‘several teams of various categories’. 

The Spaniard is considered one of grands prix brightest prospects having collected six wins (all in Moto3) and 17 podiums (Moto2 and Moto3) since making his GP debut in 2016.

Currently third in the Moto2 standings, albeit 57 points adrift of the title fight between Augusto Fernandez and Ai Ogura, while Canet’s results have caught the eye over the years, it is the tattoos spread across his body - including full coverage front and back of his torso, stretching up his neck - that have made identified him as such a distinctive figure in the paddock.

However, Canet has revealed his body art doesn’t always receive a positive reaction when it comes to securing deals in GP, claiming some discriminate against him as a ‘worse person’ or even a ‘murderer’.

Speaking to Spanish publication AS, Canet also took the opportunity to finally explain why he wears a bow-tie - which has now broken - during parc ferme and podium celebrations if he’s finished in the top three.

He says he wears it as a ‘faux’ formal garment - essentially the opposite of the impression he receives because of his tattoos - as a message to those that have discriminated against him.

“The bow tie is a message to some people inside the paddock and outside it who have labeled me this or that thing without knowing me and for having tattoos, in a discriminatory way,” he said. 

“You are not a better or worse person for having tattoos. Some saw me as a murderer for having my body tattooed, when in fact I am the same kid as when I was 16 years old and I did not wear them.

"We have the same gas with or without tattoos and I am the same person and the same elite athlete, the one who gets up in the morning to train at home, in Andorra, and having tattoos does not have to make you a better or worse person, the same as wearing a bow tie.”

“It turns out that we were in negotiations with several teams of various categories and some rejected me because I wore tattoos and more nonsense,” he claimed. 

“And outside the paddock I have also been crossed out as things without knowing me, because of my image.

“I can understand that I like reggaeton and another likes hard rock, but that's why I don't treat him worse or I'm going to discriminate against him.

"What I want to make clear is that by having tattoos you are not a worse person or a bad person, far from it. You are the same person.”

While Canet doesn’t name any of the teams he claims have rejected him due to his tattoos, it is known he was in the running for a potential ride at RNF Racing Aprilia for the 2023 MotoGP season. Instead the seats went to Miguel Oliveira and Raul Fernandez.

MotoGP riders wade into tattoo debate

Canet is not alone in the GP paddock - not least MotoGP - for having multiple tattoos on his body, though no-one features them quite so substantially.

Among them is Yamaha's MotoGP World Champion Fabio Quartararo, though he took a diplomatic tone when asked about Canet’s words.

“For sure, he has a lot of tattoos,” the Frenchman told reporters ahead of this weekend’s Thailand MotoGP. 

“But I can understand, also, the teams. I know how, for some brands, it is important to have no tattoos. Some do not care.

“It is sad because he is a really strong rider.Hopefully, if he is ready to move to MotoGP, I hope he finds someone.”

His title rival Pecco Bagnaia, meanwhile, was fully supportive of Canet, calling out any teams that may have discriminated against him

“I think it is strange we have problems like this," the Ducati rider said.

“It doesn’t mean anything if we have a lot of tattoos.

“For a team to reject you because you have tattoos? It is something I do not understand.”