Fun & Games..
Thank the good Lord for Valentino..
Can you imagine how entertaining MotoGP would be without him?..because that's what it is, Entertainment.
It has to compete in a market place for exposure against other sport. If it wasn't on free-to-view and with the advent of the internet, hardcore fans like me and you would find a way to get our fix..quite possibly delayed/recorded though.
I get pissed if Eurosport don't stick to their scheduling and miss a friday practice, or if the BBC bump it for darts and snooker. We take it for granted nowadays but 20/30 years ago, even hardcore fans had trouble outside of their home GP. Many of us refer to this period as a Golden Era, some fantastic action with terrific racers who are legends within the sport..swathes of it MISSED. I still pull stuff off youtube that I haven't seen before. It's a lot easier today.
Rossi's charisma has gone a long way towards establishing bike racing as mainstream-ish. Most of us love a naughty lad, twinkle in the eye and a cheeky smile. It also helps that he seems to have been involved in 90% of the best racing, a commodity that with technology dominating and the geeks ruling, is most definitely not what it used to be.
Sorry..but whacking off watching Stoner all alone riding in 1000fps clips - his computer controlled bike sipping gas, barely out of line - just don't do it for me. But hey..let's go to a Nostro/Bulto party. Free orange hankies at the door to clear the jizz up. No Strongbow or drugs.
Valentino's antics, both on and off track, have raised the profile and brought money in to replace the sponsorship void left by tobacco companies. There's a reason why FIAT & Petronas left Yamaha and Monster have paid to raise their products profile..it's the same reason Generali, Enel & Diesel won't be seen on the Ducati this year.
Star quality my friends..and with respect to the likes of Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa they are just not in the same class. The jury is out on Marquez.
Rossi and his fans like to have fun and enjoy themselves and to me..it always seems to be the flat cap & whippet dullards, jealous of his flair and popularity who knock him.