If Honda want to be remembered for beating Valentino Rossi
they’ll have to get maximum focus from each and every team.
“Why let our rejection of $20 million in Camel money
(and Telefonica too) get in the way of our corporate dream?”
Yet the Biaggi and Pedrosa affairs are a hindering mindbog of politics
roughly stating power lies more with them than their sponsors.
All around the top tier of motorcycle roadracing, sponsors
have lost control of the sport: just look at Gauloises’ Rossi
(who is anti-tobacco) and Yamaha, who insist the politics
of running maybe the greatest-ever rider on a “satellite team”
are nothing near a boardroom nightmare; yeah, a dream
that came with a hefty toll—no more French cigarette money.
Ducati Corse won’t have to worry about tobacco money
since Marlboro are perfectly happy as their sponsors.
No one disputes the rumor that Bologna’s dream
is to drop Gibernau and pay off Yamaha for Rossi,
creating with Capirossi an all-Italian super-team;
Rossi, though, is mired in Yamaha’s troubled politics.
Kawasaki briefly got involved with Biaggi’s Camel politics
because, with no backing, they could’ve used the money.
Bridgestone wouldn’t let Biaggi (Camel’s star) form a team,
so instead of Kawasakis finally having major sponsors,
they—like seven other squads—will also chase Rossi
around this year without help in pursuit of the MotoGP dream.
Suzuki, the smallest of the factories, had their dream
of plundering Vermeulen from Honda with minimal politics
realized at the end of ’05; they think he, Hopkins and Rossi
will go toe-to-toe sometime soon once the team
gets the bike up to speed; Rizla, tobacco sponsors,
finally come from British Superbikes with modest money.
As for the rest, the satellite squads with no money
whose bosses (Roberts, Poncharal, D’Antin, etc.) still dream
of some miracle that will bring them and the sport sponsors …
Their 2006 looks to be long and full of elaborate politics
involving riders, races, and rules changes in ‘07 for every team
that’ll make bikes slower, costlier, and no different for Rossi.
… Because while MotoGP sounds like a stirring story of Euro-Japan politics,
the dream of moto-glory, and sponsors causing team crises, this fan’s money
says the superstar of the ’06 circus will still be the stunning Rossi.