Real Racers

I had the pleasure of watching the MotoGP from Donnington on the TV yesterday. Despite the torrential rain and the trecherous conditions, the race went on. There were riders going sideways down the straights and recovering. Other riders weren’t so lucky as they slithered across the track and onto the grass. Yet none of them gave up, jumping straight up and running to their machines in the hope that the engine would still be running and that they would be able to rejoin the race. Then about three quarters of the way through the race, Rossi took off like a rabbit, putting in times that racers would be happy with on a dry day, showing why the 22 year old is the greatest rider of his generation.

Le Tour finished yesterday with Lance Armstrong cementing his place in the history books with an unprecidented seventh consecutive win. People will argue that he’s the greatest cyclist ever and some will disagree. What nobody can argue with is his attitude. His fight back from cancer, reading his autobiography, has made him the man that he is today. Uncompromising and unwilling to accept anything less than the best.

Now lets look at the US Grand Prix again. Would the likes of Senna or Prost have worried about losing championship points or the threat of legal action? No way. They’d have told the mechanics to change the tyres, stuck two fingers up at the rule book and gone out to race. It was their blood. Their raison d’etre. They lived to race and would have raced in a go-kart if they had to. The desire to win wouldn’t have even entertained the thought of not going out on the track to win.

There’s too much money in Formula 1 for it to die overnight. But at the moment it’s going through death by a thousand cuts as one fan after another turns over or finds something better to do on a Sunday afternoon.


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