Mamola column: Why Rossi needs to watch his manners

In his latest column for Motorsport.com, former 500cc star Randy Mamola casts the spotlight on Valentino Rossi's manners, both off track and on - and says the Italian needs to change his ways.

Mamola column: Why Rossi needs to watch his manners
Randy Mamola, manager of Bradley Smith, Tech 3 Yamaha
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Podium: third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

Last Friday, we learned that the FIM, led by the Teams' Association (IRTA), contacted the MotoGP teams and gave them a warning: offensive gestures and disrespectful behaviours do not benefit the championship and they need to be avoided, and that the series bosses reserve the right to impose fines on whoever breaks those rules.

As it turns out, that message was broadcast during the San Marino Grand Prix, the same weekend during which Valentino Rossi flipped the finger on Aleix Espargaro as he was running slowly down the straight of the Marco Simoncelli circuit, full of fans from Tavullia.

That gesture probably incited the crowd, but was also the straw that broke the camel's back and caused the FIM to intervene, and I'm in favour of that.

Sometimes, those of us who are in the paddock tend to forget about the millions of people watching the races, but I don't think asking the riders to keep it in mind is asking too much.

That's not always easy, especially now the tension among some riders is at an all-time high, but it's an effort that I'm sure will bring positive consequences for all of us who love the sport.

You have to be careful, because an image can cause a lot of damage. On Saturday, Nicolo Bulega was the first rider to be fined - 300 euros - for the same gesture he had seen from his boss at the VR46 team.

And that image, from such a young kid - flipping the bird on another rider - is even more hurtful than Valentino's on Aleix.

Leading by example

We are coming from a very delicate season in 2015 that led to series organisers having to ask the fans who fill the grandstands to behave in a civilised manner, and to avoid disrespectful gestures such as booing.

But we can't expect that if we don't lead by example.

Having said that, we can now move on to the next item which caused a big stir at San Marino: the war of words between Rossi and Lorenzo during the press conference after the race.

What happened there is simply confirmation of a fact: the impossibility to continue to share the same garage. That's why I think it's good that they are going separate ways next year.

In this case, MotoGP faces a different kind of problem that requires a different type of action from the organisers. I'm talking about the riders' behaviour during their public appearances on live TV.

At Misano, Lorenzo brought up again Rossi's lack of manners, as the Italian tends to start talking with whoever is beside him when it's somebody else's turn to answer questions.

That makes the photographers focus their shots on him, something that logically annoys whoever is speaking given the noise that it generates. Stoner once stopped speaking in the middle of his answer and stared at Rossi until he shut up before proceeding.

The problem, like in many other areas of this championship, is finding someone willing to confront Valentino and tell him what children are taught in kindergarten: when someone is talking, interrupting them, even if it's just to chit-chat softly, is very rude.

shares
comments
Aragon MotoGP: Motorsport.com's rider ratings

Previous article

Aragon MotoGP: Motorsport.com's rider ratings

Next article

Hayden admits: "I underestimated how hard it would be"

Hayden admits: "I underestimated how hard it would be"
Load comments
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021
The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP Prime

The other Austria 'shock' with major repercussions in MotoGP

The headlines after MotoGP's Austrian GP were naturally dominated by Brad Binder's heroics on slicks in the rain. But although seventh was, on the face of it, a fairly average result in the context of his season, that Fabio Quartararo was in contention for victory before the rain at Yamaha's worst venue should sound alarm bells for his rivals

MotoGP
Aug 17, 2021
Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem Prime

Why Aprilia is a good bet for Vinales - but won't fix his big problem

The prelude to Maverick Vinales' move to Aprilia has been his tortured exit from Yamaha. But the Spanish rider must put allegations of sabotage, suspensions and unwanted personnel changes aside once he embarks upon his new journey, while Aprilia must find a way to get Vinales firing on all cylinders once again

MotoGP
Aug 16, 2021