Cycle News

Cycle News 2020 Issue 20 May 19

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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Page 102 of 105

P102 CN III IN THE PADDOCK BY MICHAEL SCOTT "W ell," said the millen- nial I was talking to. "It's better than nothing." No, I replied. It's worse. We were discussing that reli- able topic for dissent between curmudgeons like me and every- one else in the world: virtual re- ality versus real life. In particular, Dorna's febrile attempt to keep the so-called "MotoGP fam- ily" around the table by staging virtual grand prix events at virtual tracks—Jerez, a couple of real weekends ago, and now another one at Misano. Just to include another layer of dullness, this lat- est exercise in trivialization adds MotoE to the three classes. Even under lockdown, it should be possible to find some- thing more interesting to do. Both the participants, at home on their sofas, as well as race fans. NASCAR, my "better-than- nothing" correspondent said, had also been engaged in lockdown virtualizing; likewise, with real drivers piloting avatars of themselves and their cars… and in one race, one of the driv- ers had thrown a hissy fit and stormed off. Whereupon his sponsors with- drew their support! What? When virtual nonsense takes a controlling hand in the real world, something has gone badly wrong. Is it just me that thinks so? Am I out of step with the rest of the racing world? Again! Happily, MotoGP's stay-home play-play not-racing has yielded no such consequences. Yet. No- body's been sacked, drug-tested or otherwise inconvenienced. We've had a couple of highly unlikely winners in the warm-up rounds (Alex Marquez, I seem to recall, first time, and then Pecco Bagnaia (and now Alex Marquez again), but I might be wrong, because I really wasn't paying too much attention. It might have been Mike Hailwood who won. Or possibly Elvis Presley. Then the "proper" three-class extravaganza at not-Jerez, and this time Vinales was victorious. My respect for Rossi soared when I heard he had declined to take part, ceding his factory Ya- maha slot to Maverick. Rossi is clearly a man who understands WHEN NOTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING

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