I’m not a massive social-media’ite, I tend to dip in and out of it personally. Work-wise, well, it’s now par for the course in the MotoGP paddock, what we’re allowed to do is at any rate. I may shake my head at the fact Dorna allows nobody to film and release anything within the paddock (though fans can do as they please, for now…), but at the same time it means less for me to do, even if I still believe it’s a little short-sighted and they’re missing a bit of a trick to grow the sport even further.
So that leaves me to play around with things like websites, the Twitter and so on, and these things simply must be done. Yet I will still dive onto certain social media outlets to try and gauge what fans of the sport are feeling, and what’s a hot topic, or what’s not. With so much of our beloved sport now so accessible at any minute of any given day, this has given rise to a far more knowledgeable audience. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s great, however by the same token I am still appalled (given all this coverage) at the attitude of so many ‘fans’.
As I write this column secret-squirrel for Fast Bikes, I often look at their Facebook page. Prior to Silverstone, I noticed FB had stuck a question up on Facebook asking their followers – If you could ask Marc Marquez a single question, what would it be? Rather decent of them, I thought, until I started reading through the replies…
I have always deemed our bike racing audience a step above many other sports, including things like football, always considering them armed with more intelligence and nous than a lout who would take off his over-priced club shirt (revealing to the world no doubt, a beer belly…) and wave it over his head, in January, while it’s snowing, like it actually means something...
But some of those replies really made me wonder; many questions were on one hand pretty repugnant, but on the other extremely disappointing – have people really not let all that crap that happened at Sepang in 2015 go yet?! Some out there seem to genuinely still believe that Marquez ‘handed’ the title to Jorge Lorenzo, among references to the pair being homosexual in some fashion or other. Never mind the actual fact they dislike each other immensely and neither, despite whatever circumstances, would ever do anything to help the other. Others wanted to know if Marc thought it was okay to ‘divebomb’ other riders on track – hang on, really? GP was dull as dishwater for years until Marquez gave them all a kick up the arse. The spectacle has been improved, and this is a problem? And still he gets grief for ‘interfering’ with a title rival from some, when I thought the whole point of racing was to finish in front of the person ahead of you. What’s wrong with these people?
Thankfully the split between posters was about fifty-fifty, and many asked sane, measured, funny or intelligent questions to put towards number 93, salving my worries somewhat. I completely understand fans can get passionate about stuff, and even the panto booing most of the time, and that’s great, but passion mixed with ignorance is about as ugly as it gets, and I genuinely expected more. Was I wrong in assuming that?