Lorenzo Baldassarri’s victory in Sunday’s Moto2 race was a timely reminder that the MotoGP paddock goes beyond the world of sport, as the Italian was fully decked out in his Stars and Stripes livery.
The Forward Racing rider has been due a win for a long time, but the main reason for this feature is because of the sheer meaning and significance that the win had. On a day that 15 years ago would never be forgotten, nor could it have ever been predicted, it almost seems strange that we celebrate a tribute just like this.
It was almost scripted. Baldassarri’s home race. His first race win. And on a day that is so often associated with negative events, a breath of fresh air was hovering over to finally cheer something on. Good times were much needed too, after controversy in the Moto2 paddock last time out, it took the sting and all the bad thoughts from Silverstone.
But it was a much needed win for other reasons. Considering he was riding with the American Flag livery, and for the reason he was riding with it, it makes sense to link this to terrorism. The 9/11 attacks were sadly not the last atrocities on Earth, and that makes the win very fitting. This shows that no matter how much terrorism happens or what the political situation is in certain countries, it will always be the people on the side of the victims that show us just how to deal with it.
The victory for Balda today shows that MotoGP is standing up to terrorism around the world. That it isn’t going to let savages win and let innocent victims be forgotten. It shows that the best way to remember the lost and the families affected, is to do your best and win at what you’re good at. Try your best and if you don’t succeed then you keep trying because you don’t know what may happen tomorrow.
It was an emotionally draining event for everyone at Misano too. 6 years ago we lost Shoya Tomizawa and on Thursday, the late great Marco Simoncelli had his number 58 retired at the circuit that is named after the 250cc champion. Wayne Rainey’s career was cut short at this very circuit and on top of all that, Italy was still grieving after last month’s tragic earthquake. Which brings me on to the win from Lorenzo. It has reunited a country; remembered those we have lost to terrorism on a day that connotes tragedy; remembered Simoncelli in a way that he would have wanted and on top of all, highlighted that despite however many difficult periods this track has been through, and how many names are remembered at Misano, success is inevitable and that you have two extremes at each end of a scale. Travesty and terror at one, yet supremacy and delight at the other. A weekend that will be remembered for so many good reasons, a day that finally has something to celebrate. Lorenzo Baldassarri has really done the world proud.
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko