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MotoGP, Bernie Ecclestone spectator of the Bagnaia-Martin duel in Valencia

“The motorbikes put on a great show and are growing rapidly, they are not a problem for F1 because they attract a different target of spectators" said the great manager a few years ago. Who knows if he still thinks this way

MotoGP: Bernie Ecclestone spectator of the Bagnaia-Martin duel in Valencia

The former F1 Supremo, Bernie Ecclestone, who abandoned the scene at the end of 2016 after the sale of the championship rights from CVC Capital Partners to Liberty Media for 8 billion dollars, showed up today on the MotoGP starting grid for the head-to-head battle between Pecco Bagnaia and Jorge Martin.

Bernie, 93, who was recently sentenced to a 17-month suspended prison sentence and a €750 million fine for concealing a multi-million dollar trust fund in Singapore, has always been a big fan of two wheels.

While it is known that he began his career in motor racing, until an early retirement from racing competition in 1949 after an incident in F3 at Brands Hatch, what is less well-known is that in the immediate post-war period Bernie took his first steps in the world of motorsport astride a motorbike. And like many motorcyclists of that era, he paid for his races by selling and buying motorcycle spare parts.

Famous for his unconventional opinions, on the famous Rossi-Marquez incident of 2015 he said: “in F1 Rossi would certainly have been disqualified. Or he would have had a black flag”.

Next to him, in this photo, from behind is the former champion Randy Mamola who had the honour of giving him a lap at Barcelona as a passenger on the two-seater Yamaha YZR.

On that occasion Bernie, as soon as he got off the bike, only said: "Super, super, super". And Randy replied: "this was the most precious load I have ever carried, and will probably ever carry".

"I started my career as a motorcyclist - remembered Bernie, who was 72 years old at the time - and obviously I hoped I wouldn't end it as one...".

“The motorbikes put on a great show and are growing rapidly - the great manager continued, and then added - they are not a problem for F1 because they attract a different target of spectators". Who knows if he still thinks this way and if Dorna is thinking of hiring him as a consultant...

 

 

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