2 x Interesting stories here from “non-bike media” sources for a change:
http://www.bigpondsport.com/stoner-owed-motogp-apology/tabid/91/newsid/78833/default.aspx (and a 4 piece wrist)...
My “theory “on this lack of recognition, for what it’s worth, is that Casey Stoner achieved very early in peak bike racing life. In this regard, he is akin to “Fast Freddie Spencer” who also won his first 500cc crown @ 22 (and incredibly went on to the “double” – 250 AND 500cc in 1985). For example, at just 25 years of age, Stoner has won 31 Senior Class GP’s. At the same age, Doohan had won just 1 – and, later at 27, the criminally negligent medical treatment inflicted after his crash @ Assen in 1992 meant amputation of his leg was not just seriously considered, but highly recommended! Wayne Gardner and Doohan were around and highly visible for quite some time before they gained their Titles (in Gardner’s case, his 1 in 1987). In that sense, they were recognised as having “paid their dues”...
By contrast, the World has very much changed since the 80’s and 90’s – and not for the better. The disparity in wealth and ever-growing gap between the haves and have nots is wider & deeper now than since feudal times. Riders used to be celebrated for their on track “performance success” – never mind anything else, like pantomimes or comedy shows. In the long “age of Rossi” (1997-2009), Stoner very much flew “under the radar” before blazing onto the Senior GP scene in 2007 like an asteroid striking the Earth. For many this was unheralded and totally surprising - those who only watched and/or were aware of the “big names” were stunned!
Frustrated & disappointed their favourite, Rossi, had been beaten for the 2nd season in a row – and by a fresh-faced 22 year-old “unknown” Australian kid at that, was all too much to bear for some. These, who included some motorcycle media, sought “advantages” for Stoner that were & still are just excuses & camouflage for his sheer raw talent & speed. The social & economic conditions of the late 2,000’s meant also a side-issue of that BIG surprise was deep & lasting resentment and jealousy: - this “jumped-up, inarticulate nobody” was not only mega-wealthy, with a “glam-wag” partner and feted as World Champion – he had comprehensively beaten all, including Rossi – until then the undisputed and warmly accepted “fun” multiple champ that everyone felt they “knew”.
What to do? Invent personality problems and confect psycho-babble rubbish as a means to diminish & question a great young rider. What a cruel, self-inflicted joke on the Stoner-resenting/Rossi -worshipping Zombies & some bike media 2011 has turned out to be. Without being too D&M - one person’s “Mudita” can be another’s “Schadenfreude”. To me – both are perfectly relevant in their own highly specific way.
“As ye sow, so shall ye reap” Jeremiah 1 – 19. Discuss. Cheers