“Rossi will not return and we have to get used to it”

MotoGP may be going through its most competitive moment, but the audiences are going the other way. With an increasingly tight World Cup, the expectation is less and less. There is no doubt in which the withdrawals of great pilots such as Dani Pedrosa or Jorge Lorenzo had an impact, but the great catastrophe came at the end of 2021. Valentino Rossi said goodbye to the paddock in the same year that Marc Márquez was again absent due to injury. Two great stars who were lost and, although the Spaniard returned to the tracks after a winter of recovery, the level of the Honda rider ended up weighing down a year in which Italy won the championship title again with a new star, Pecco Bagnaia .

Now the expectations are high again with the rebirth of the eight-time champion. Of course, before waiting if the brand of the golden wing He knows how to give you the necessary tools to return to the top of the Olympus of MotoGP. But there is a clear fact: the championship continues to seek a solution to overcome Rossi’s withdrawal and, for more, the drama with the privatization of broadcasts and the price to pay for following a full season. Formula 1 has managed to recover and the two wheels are already fixed on them to remedy before it is too late. And in that equation, marketing has a lot to do with it. In fact, events like the one held by Marc Márquez in the heart of Madrid help put the focus back on MotoGP in order to once again be the benchmark.

As a clear connoisseur of this industry after many years within the paddock, Lin Jarvis, head of Yamaha, analyzes in a talk with speed week the fragility of the health of the World Cup today. He admits that “the absence of Valentino (Rossi) It definitely had some negative effects.” because his figure implied “that unique attractiveness, history and charisma” as part of “a household name throughout the world.” Also decisive was “the absence of Marc Márquez, who suffered physical problems at the same time as Valentino’s departure”, for this reason, everything was complicated. “MotoGP was Marc against Valentino. And Marc is also a phenomenon. He is an eight-time world champion who has not been in the game for two years, ”confesses the manager. Two events that paralyzed the mobilization of thousands of fans who, perhaps, already preferred the comfort of their home to follow the races.

However, for Jarvis, the third factor is also key: “I think Formula 1 has done a very, very good job in recent years and generated a lot of interest from new viewers.” And much of his success resides in the successful Netflix series, which has just released its fifth season on the platform. “F1 has become fashionable”, admits that of Yamaha, who applauds the work of the organization, taking into account that “five years ago it was the opposite” when the great circus “I was in trouble.” “We were the reference in many ways”, remembers Lin when MotoGP was in good health. But now the goal is another: “We have to be more active again.” Of course, taking into account a very important premise, that “Valentino will not return and we have to get used to that.” The pressure falls once again on Márquez and HRC: “We need a Marc in shape and we need to get Honda back in the game. It’s an important reference and right now they’re not really there. They are definitely not where they should be.”

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