Pit Shadow

Fast Bikes - - PIT PASS -

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?

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