MotoGP Press Conferences, Must See TV
Thursday, May 12, 2011
The 2011 MotoGP season
is young but already boasts some wonderfully awkward press conference moments. Jorge Lorenzo and Marco Simoncelli sparring last round at Estoril
was the highlight thus far, though Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi have exchanged some press conference barbs
as well. There was some expected tension between the latter pair preceding the Le Mans action, as rumors swirl in the Italian press of Rossi having accused his Australian rival of obstructing his line during the one-day post-GP test at Estoril.
Stoner was a notable absence in the five-rider panel at the recent Le Mans press conference, which featured the points leading Lorenzo, Rossi, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, American Colin Edwards and French rider Randy de Puniet. The Stoner/Rossi business did come up as expected.
Lorenzo: 'I guess, it must be a shame to be beaten by kids, no? Every race.'
Rossi deflected the question with, “In reality nothing of special, just a… Nothing, no problem. Nothing happened.” He even almost managed a straight face before stealing a swig from a nearby bottled water.
So there it is. Nothing happened…
The best quotes from the Le Mans press conference, however, came from the always-good-for-a-sound-bite Edwards, who induced laughter answering the question: “Colin, as the elder statesman, are young riders pussies nowadays, or are they just as tough as you guys were?”
To which the Texan replied: “Just a bunch of pussies [laughing]. No, I retract that statement. Obviously these guys coming up, I would say our old Texas saying is ‘young, dumb, full of piss and vinegar, ready to rip your head off and s&$t in your neck’ [press laughing]. But that’s the attitude you have to have, and it’s the attitude that these guys have.”
The Texas Tornado would go on to say of his younger competitors: “I’m still working on my pace to be up with those guys to talk s$it about them. So I’m not quite there yet, but hopefully this weekend will turn around.”
The topic of rider manliness, or lack thereof, referenced a recent quote attributed to Rossi. The Ducati
pilot reputedly chided his competition with the derogatory term after the aforementioned Estoril press conference spat between Lorenzo and Simoncelli. The two riders’ public tiff came over comments made by Lorenzo regarding Simoncelli’s recklessness. Rossi’s comment presumably interpreted as a defense of his friend Simoncelli and directed at the likes of Lorenzo.
More humor at the Le Mans press conference came with the final question of the session, when Lorenzo was asked about the quote: “About the comment on the younger generation of MotoGP riders, which I guess is you, being pussies. What’s your response?”
When Lorenzo asked what that word meant, the point leader’s ESL moment was aided with good-natured assistance by a beaming Edwards. Lorenzo regrouped by saying, with the glimmer of a smirk: “No, I don’t know, I think… I guess, it must be a shame to be beaten by kids, no? Every race.”
A grinning Edwards replied: “Yes it’s a shame.”
The MotoGP big boys will get back in action Friday with a pair of 45-minute practice sessions.
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