Jenson Button says bike racers are 'nutcases'

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Former Formula One world champion Jenson Button reckons MotoGP riders are 'nutcases'.

The McLaren Mercedes driver was talking about MotoGP during the launch of the impressive new £27m pits and paddock at Silverstone yesterday (Tuesday).

During the launch, which was attended by some of the biggest names in motorsport history including Sir Stirling Moss, John Surtees OBE and Nigel Mansell, Button was on stage alongside factory Ducati rider Valentino Rossi.

Bike fan Button, who won the 2009 F1 world championship, was asked what he thought about MotoGP and he said: "What we do is pretty crazy pushing the F1 beasts to the limit but what those guys do is amazing. They are amazing riders but they are absolute nutcases (laughs)."

Button said he watched last weekend's French MotoGP race at Le Mans which was packed with major talking points, including Casey Stoner punching Randy de Puniet and Marco Simoncelli and Dani Pedrosa colliding while battling for second.”

Button added: "I watched the race in Le Mans and those guys are out of this world. How close they get to each other, even with punching going on as well on the bike, is amazing. We can’t do that because we can’t reach! It’s a pity that I can’t make the British MotoGP because we have a race in Canada, but I am a big fan."

When asked for his thoughts on the recent on and off track skirmishes that have made for a controversial start to the 2011 MotoGP campaign, Rossi said: "This year the young guys are very excited."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt