As a Scotsman, I can tell you UK fans have a long memory and will not easily forget Zarco’s infraction… losing the support of an the entire union and its compatriots across the pond may have been the single biggest mistake of his career to date. The Lowes brothers are beloved by us, and rightly so..
I am having a serious issue with the Zarco over the Lowes incident… and it is exacerbated by the lack of news coverage by MotoGP itself. This story is split into two parts the media question and the rider question… I struggle as to which part to present first…
The apparent media blackout at MotoGP is disgusting, is it censorship? Why does MotoGP/Dorna want to drum up controversy for Marquez and Rossi, with a headline “Rossi and Marquez get personal.”, while ignoring Zarco’s irresponsible riding and the taking out of Lowes?
The headlines on MotoGP’s page after this morning’s races are:
“Maverick rules Silverstone for a stunning maiden win” ,”Rossi and Marquez get personal.”, “Vinales: Today we did it!”, “Brivio: It’s a fantastic fist victory.”, “Lorenzo: We gambled on the setting.”, “Iannone crashes out of hectic podium hunt.”, “Marquez we got the tire choice wrong.” all good stories but the single most shocking story is missing from the headlines.. Even in Moto2 headlines and second page the headlines are Luthi: An indescribable feeling.” and “Championship shake up as Luthi takes a Silverstone stunner.”, two headlines only then the stories go back to qualifying… where or where is the headlines regarding Zarco’s response to the incident?
I am not offering a conspiracy here… it is more likely a professional gaff…
So where do we find the story and video?? At Eurosport’s page!…
Why do we have to go to Eurosport’s page to get this story? (which is only available in French)… is it because Dorna and MotoGP have issued a gag order and have ordered a blackout?? Ordered MotoGP media staff, of which they have control, to ignore this story? Even BT Sport, which has the ability and right to report anything under the sun, is silent.. (I have accused them of being a Dorna lap dog in the past).. why isn’t Neil Hodgeson chasing Zarco down for a comment?
Lets hope that is not the case… and that this editorial will reach the right ears and this will be remedied.
There are only three possible explanations for the lack of story.. the first is a simple enough explanation, but not sufficient excuse for a professional journalist… That is that Zarco himself refused to talk to English speaking reporters. As I mentioned it is only and excuse because a professional journalist (and anyone who saw the race would have seen that immediately after the race he agreed to speak to a reporter, it was live there for everyone to see,) would have found a copy of that interview and reported on his comments. (Which I will do in a moment).
The second and third reasons go hand in hand… MotoGP officials knew that Zarco was not apologetic and decided it was better to keep it out of the news reports and media coverage.
Now let’s drop the whole media thing and focus the rest of this opinion on Zarco himself…
It turns out Zarco will not accept responsibility for his, “in too hot, unable to break on the paint, bad line approach” irresponsible action. He claims its Lowes fault for not giving way to him, and that his penalty was undeserved. British fans would undoubtedly lynch him for being unapologetic if they only knew what a bad attitude he actually had toward the matter. At least they wouldn’t be in the forgiving mood for some years to come, British fans have long memories… and Zarco will have in my opinion lost the support of one of the world’s greatest fan bases, and I say, “Good.!”
Here is why I am so upset.. It turns out that just one week ago I just wrote an article about my favorite French riders… in which I hailed Zarco as a calm and respected gentleman. Even as the today’s race ended I was sure he would come right out and apologize in the most sincere of fashions and simply offer his sympathies to Lowes. Instead we get more of what is becoming an MotoGP trend, denial and clueless bewilderment. Who? What? and Why me? Oh no! I didn’t do that! It was the other guys fault!!” Maybe Zarco is Iannone’s cousin! When great sportsman like Pedrosa or Dovizioso take out another rider, the apologize… they do not try to inflate or support their ego’s with self serving bias… they bite the bullet and take a knee with humility and sincere regret.
I recently saw a video of Zarco teaching children how to ride pocket bikes, I applaud that kind of commitment to society and the younger generations… but his failure to recognize his own mistake troubles me… next year he will be in MotoGP… let us pray that he has learned a truly valuable lesson…because the most sincere apology is one that is followed by a change in behavior. If he considers himself a role model, then he should start acting like it, and we as fans and enthusiasts should demand it of our athletes.