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Paolo Scalera writes about the Rossi and Biaggi incident in Catalunya

Paolo Scalera writes about the Rossi and Biaggi incident in Catalunya

Anglo-saxons are always saying it about us: ´They talk with their hands´. Of course they are referring to the gesticulations and hand movements that accompany our conversations. For them, and for the rest of the world too, we are noisy, ill disciplined and somewhat confrontational, a peculiarity we share with the Irish. It´s a cliché, but last Sunday it was confirmed in the incident involving Rossi and Biaggi before the podium ceremony. A sad ending to what had turned out to be a good 500 race.

To move away from the significance of what happened for one moment, we must remember that this is news in motorcycling, but not completely unheard of: English riders Phil Read and Bill Ivy came to blows in 1970, both of them World Champions. On another occasion, at a race in Riccione, Agostini spent a ´bad´ quarter of an hour with Pasolini’s fans after beating him on the track. Whilst the great Ago was always indifferent to provocation, animosity clearly exists between the two main protagonists of today´s 500cc. It is known only too well that Valentino initially built his sporting career up by using Biaggi´s notoriety to make ridiculous provocations and behave foolishly (´better a day of Rossi than a lifetime of Biaggi´ is his most famous crazy remark) this isn´t history though, this is the here and now.

The worst aspect of it all, in my opinion, is that they are both victims of the character that they themselves have constructed, and in a certain way, they are at the fans´ mercy. Rossi behaves like a comic actor and Biaggi like a tragic actor. To the insult ´You´re such an idiot!´ Max´s reply would clearly be ´well, so are you!´. Insults straight from the pub fight, which have meant that Honda will have to avoid any future provocations from Rossi´s part. It´ll also help that Yamaha and Marlboro will now wake up to their previous lethargy in clamping down on unsporting behaviour. It will always be better to have the battles on the track, rather than in the paddock.Paolo Scalera, Corriere dello Sport

500cc, 2001

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