Are the media enemies or allies of the MotoGP? This question shouldn’t even be asked, since the answer is so obvious, but what happened the past few days has sadly made it a topic. The Sepang Shakedown was first closed to journalists, and then partially reopened (the media will be able to stay in the paddock, but not in the pit lane).
Usually, a sport needs professionals to talk about it, and the managers of the World Championship Constructors will confirm this. We recently published an interview with Francesco Guidotti, KTM’s team manager, and we also talked about it with Massimo Rivola, CEO of Aprilia Racing.
“We live through visibility. We need sponsors to support our investments, because we can’t always go crying to the mother company. In order to have visibility, we need a media following,” Rivola said. He was surprised by the decision to prevent journalists from entering the Shakedown: “It was a surprise to me. I didn’t know anything about it.”
Everything comes from the demand of one constructor, which perhaps fears the prying eyes of the media on their bikes. This problem doesn’t even exist, because all the constructors are present during those tests and peeking at the competition is normal.
“Espionage has always existed and always will. And it’s also something journalists can talk about. Obviously, everyone must play in defense. In the Formula 1, panels were banned and, in the MotoGP, you can’t close the doors to the pit boxes. We need to be open, respecting the work of the constructors,” Aprilia’s CEO continued. “We are totally open, and it’s part of our philosophy to get them involved. We need journalists, even if many times we get angry reading an article,” he said smiling. “It’s part of the game. It’s fair even if we get slapped around. The important thing is keeping our attention high.”
From this point of view, two wheels should take inspiration from four, since they really know how to communicate.
“The Formula 1 has increased its glamour level, even through its drivers. You go there because it’s nice being there. Our races are more adrenaline-filled, but we also have to improve on the glamour,” Rivola specified about the MotoGP. “Everyone remembers the Miami GP, regardless of the organizational difficulties. We have to create these types of events. Like at Le Mans, where there are loads of people. It’s vital for us to expand these formats.”
Interview recorded by Marco Caregnato