Danilo Petrucci’s arrival at MotoAmerica was greeted with great enthusiasm by the championship organizer (former three-time 500 world champion Wayne Rainey), by all the staff, but also by his opponents.
The idea of introducing yourself with the word “Handymanon the back of his helmet after his successes in various categories, including the Dakar, was unanimous, and the Americans could not but appreciate the character and the authentic manners of a good guy like Petrux.
From the first moment, Danilo was welcomed with open arms. “He is one of us“, they said.
The reason for all this was immediately clear. Petrucci was the touchstone of what the American drivers were worth: if we can beat him, or even follow him, the consideration on the level of the championship will increase.
The wave of consensus did not fade after the double victory in Austinand it continued even after the toughest race at Road Atlanta, where Petrux voiced his first criticisms related to management issues (an engine exploding from running too long on the grid).
However, the situation fell apart in Virginia, when the Ducati rider harshly criticized what happened after his accident, after crossing the finish line in third position in one of the fastest points on the track.
We are not going to repeat Danilo’s criticism, we just reported it by talking to him immediately after the events. Respect his sincerity without falling into the picturesque. That’s how horsemen are. If you catch them on the fly, as soon as they take off their helmets, you definitely get an impassioned, but perhaps not completely factual, commentary.
For clarification, we have asked Paul Carruthers, who takes care of the championship press, and also Wayne Rainey himself, who gave his version of the facts, with great honesty, as expected. MotoAmerica is not MotoGP, and does not claim to be. It’s not even World Superbike. Circuits are what they are – take it or leave it – but they are not so better at BSBJust to be clear.
MotoAmerica is fine, like everything else, but you need to be familiar with the competitions in the United States to offer proper judgment. For example, on one of my first visits to Daytona – oh, Daytona! – which is idolized in Europe, I was baffled. The organization was mainly at the level of our Vallelunga superbikes, where Franco Uncini racedand Checco Costa did much better in the 200 Miglia.
In reality, I still don’t understand the hell Kenny Roberts has put into trying to improve World Championship security since 1978, I must say, supported by Barry Sheene, who didn’t even love him. It’s true, there were dangerous circuits in Spa, in Imatra, in Rijeka but, in those days, it’s not like Kenny was racing between rubber walls in the United States.
Over all, I think Roberts went after the FIM at the time – the president was Nicolas Rodil Del Valle – since he only represented himself. The runners were paid a few cents, and they had to queue to get them, at the end of the race. King Kenny didn’t like it at all because, in America, the organization was more down to earth.
And it still is. It might have been better if after the fact, Danilo approached Wayne directly, perhaps shouting in his face what was wrong, instead of complaining on social media. Rainey would certainly have listened to him, since Petrux is not a crying baby. And, in a way, his complaint was misinterpreted. It was the outburst of a sincere guy who doesn’t control his thoughts. The review is here, for God’s sake, but you have to understand Danilo. He was angry, because he risked badly, but knowing him, everything was going to be over in ten minutes.
Now, accordingly, since you have to be good journalists on this, roadracingworld.com let Danilo Petrucci’s opponents do the talking, and what emerged was of a rider who, after experiencing a few setbacks, began to complain. Certainly, the Americans must defend their championship, the only one in which they can race and hope to grow. And even their words must be scrutinized.
We are not going to report everything. Those who wish can read Danilo’s review HERE. The headline is: “MotoAmerica: Riders Don’t Support Petrucci’s Complaints”but I would like to dwell on a statement, that of Josh Hayes:
“So I get it, coming from how fast it was and time dilation (i.e.: 3″ is a lifetime when sliding at 280 km/h). And he’s Italian, so he’s dramatic. I think he’s a bit brash and unfair in a way but, at the same time, I understand his plight.”
Josh was a pat on the wrist, but that”And he’s Italian, so he’s dramaticvs”is the typical “pasta, pizza and mandolin” stereotype that we Italians and Petrux don’t deserve.
The Americans gave us a bunch of super pilots, who crossed the wheels with our best, and some, on both sides, lost their lives when the security conditions on both continents were not what they are today.
“Mess with the best, die like the resyou”.
Petrucci in MotoAmerica is a wonderful opportunity for everyone, Europeans and Americans. Let’s take Danilo’s words for what they are: an outburst, certainly with an intrinsic truth. Wayne Rainey could have grasped that. He has already done it. And Danilo’s colleagues must also understand that criticism, even distorted, is an added value for them too.
When Kenny Roberts, at the Spanish Grand Prix, removed the winner’s laurel wreath from around his neck and threw it at the feet of Rodil Del Valle and the King of Spain, it was not a princely gesture but it was the beginning of a change that has brought benefits to the world of motorcycling.