Last of the Mohicans, Last of the Rossis
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
has charisma to spare. So if anyone can rock a Mohawk in MotoGP
, it’s lovable Valentino, with his quirky, cartoonlike personality. The Doctor showed up to Mugello with his ‘hawk in full splendor, saying of the new haircut in our Mugello Friday Insider
that “it is a haircut for a battle.”
The MotoGP paddock will get a preview of its worst nightmare this summer - a grid without Valentino Rossi.
A battle often has casualties, with Rossi the
casualty at Mugello suffering an “exposed fracture” of his right tibia during Saturday’s qualifying session. Rossi already had a banged up shoulder thanks to a motocross accident earlier this year. Now the defending champ is on the sidelines for what looks like three months. Amazingly, it will be the first time in more than a decade a GP has ran without The Doctor.
The injury and that Mohawk haircut comes back into the picture and an inevitable analogy to the "The Last of the Mohicans." In the classic American novel, pretty much everyone dies. It’s a complete tragedy. The only Mohican left standing in the end is the Chngachgook, whose son Uncas (the title’s “Last Mohican”) dies in the book’s climax. Okay, okay, so the Mohawk and the Mohicans were two totally different tribes, and the Mohicans may, or may not, have ever worn “Mohawk” haircuts… But getting the facts wrong hasn’t deterred the book from lodging itself in the American, and world, psyche.
Which leaves us with an interesting analogy: The figurative Last Mohicans in MotoGP are Rossi and Grand Prix elder statesmen Loris Capirossi
. Think about it. Almost all the old salts from the 500 2-stroke era are gone - the Biaggis and the Gibernaus. All but those two ‘rossi’s, Valentino and Loris.
The good news is they should be sticking around, for a little while at least. In a recent PR interview on the Rizla Suzuki site, Capirex said he aims to campaign once more on the 1000cc GP bikes, which tentatively return in 2012. The 31-year-old Rossi, after several rumors in past years about jumping to Formula 1, seems to be set on racking up at least one more GP title, possibly with a different manufacturer.
The point is, Rossi’s haircut and the first long-term injury of his career makes you realize something: The most popular rider in MotoGP won’t be around dominating forever. The last of the Rossis will be the end of a racing era.
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