• Welcome to the new B.I.R.D. Forum. Please be sure to read the "New Member / New Registered ? Please Read" thread in the Coffee Shop. This contains some important information. To become a full member ( £5.50 a year ) simply click on your user name near the top on the right I hope you enjoy the new site ................ Jaws ( John )

Ruthless Racer

Dark Angel

Still kickin' it!
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Tonight, I watched “A Decade in MotoGP: 2002-2012”

The programme covered some of the most enjoyable times of our lives (Mrs DA and I), during which we travelled widely in, about and around Europe in support of our favourite sport: MotoGP. Those years represent the best of the Rossi MotoGP era (we’re hardened Rossi fans), during which “The Doctor” thrilled, amazed, entertained and enthralled his adoring fans, but, over and above all of this: he won.

He won, and deservedly so (most would say), overcoming his rivals with such dash, skill and daring that we felt overjoyed and secure in his superiority; safe in his knowing, guileless, assassin's smile. Everything he touched turned to gold and, because the world was his oyster, it was ours, too.

That’s all a crock o’ shit, really. The guy’s a racer. Totally focused on winning – and if that means “somebody’s got to go”, then “go” they will. Ask Gerry Burgess, Rossi’s former crew chief, mechanic, technician, wizard, supporter and advisor: but, it seems, never quite a friend. Rossi has always been consistently loyal to the childhood friends that we know of, but friendships with those who became rivals were always sacrificed, without qualm or query, to Rossi’s ego: to his need to win.

Ask Sete Gibernau, a rival against whom I was seriously, ridiculously antagonised during the halcyon days, but whose sportsmanship and grace in defeat became apparent to me as I watched the programme, decades after the events that provided the excuse for enmity between Rossi and his former “friend”. Marco Melandri was another to suffer an alienation similar to Gibernau’s, and the legendary battles with Biaggi, Stoner and Lorenzo are indelibly written into MotoGP folklore.

It took the explosion of Mark Marquez onto the scene to finally overshadow the myth of Rossi’s invincibility, and it was only then that the cracks began to show in this, the undoubted icon of motorcycle racing: the G.O.A.T. Since then, for the Rossi faithful, it’s been emotional.

As a fan, the competitive drives of a multiple world champion are rarely truly perceived. We’re “normal” human beings with next to no understanding of what it takes to become a World Champion in any sport, much less in motorcycle racing: a sport in which it’s as frighteningly easy to lose your life as it is to get out of your armchair for another beer. It really is.

As hard as it is now, the situation for Rossi can only become more difficult, more pressurised, less enjoyable: harder. According to reports from “insiders”, he and Marquez are implacable enemies, which seems now to be the inevitable outcome for Rossi and those of his friends or acquaintances who evolve to become his rivals on the racetrack.

There can be only One.

And for all the wins and all the titles and all the plaudits the others might gain: that "One" will always be Valentino Rossi.

Whatever they’re doing now; whatever they do in the future: he did it first.