Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - Dirty money in MotoGP? It’s nothing new

MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.


Dirty money in MotoGP? It’s nothing new

For many decades the wheels of motorcycle racing have been oiled by money emanating from unsavoury sources

Now that the initial hoo-ha over VR46’s alleged multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Aramco oil company has calmed down, perhaps this is a good time to take a long look at motorcycle racing’s historic relationship with dirty money.

The fact is that most motorcycle racers will do just about anything to go motorcycle racing. It’s a tired analogy but it bears repeating – bike racers are junkies and like any junkie they’ll do anything to get their next fix.

For example, during Britain’s 1980s proddie racing boom the paddocks at Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Cadwell and elsewhere were full of stolen motorcycles, with racing numbers in place and engine and chassis numbers mysteriously missing. So this was motorcycle racers robbing their brother and sister motorcyclists to score their weekend fix, just like a heroin addict stealing his mum’s purse.

When the media asked Valentino Rossi about the Aramco deal during last weekend’s Spanish GP the nine-times world champion artfully dodged every question, then offered these words, perhaps by way of explanation. “We are motor sport addicted.” Like the addict apologising to his mum for nicking her purse.

So what kind of dirty money has helped turn the wheels of racing motorcycles over the decades? Perhaps we should start at the top, or rather at the bottom, in the absolute pits.

Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.

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Comments

Rossi is nothing like anyone you describe. He is wealthy, not scrabbling from pillar to post to keep going week to week. He is the biggest name in motorcycling who could have corporations clamoring for an association with him. Yet he chose perhaps the bloodiest regime on earth to get in bed with. If morality is not part of the equation then why not cigarettes? Why not porn? Weaponry? But if there is some kind of moral element, Saudi Arabia is clearly on the wrong side no matter whose moral scales you weigh them on. Far on the wrong side. And Rossi chose them.

I think Matt should go and spend some time over in Saudia Arabia, preferably with his wife and daughters if he has some, that usually drives the point home in a special way. I have been in and out of there with the military for many years and the ish-hole deserves no place in MotoGP. There are some things more important than 'going racing' - and the pockets of gutless journalists that pander to Rossi's media powerplays are complicit, now, in a much bigger game than simply losing their interview & question opportunities at the pressers. They're on the wrong side of history for their own selfish reasons and will be judged accordingly.

You're entitled to your own opinion of course, but not your own facts.

Bravo to the media members not afraid to tackle the situation head on for what it is.

Rossi wouldn't want to be using his own money (understandably for so risky a venture) but its very dissappointing, and the first I'd heard of it was Mat's article.

Excellent piece, one of those where you learn things you'd never otherwise have known or sought out!

I confess I was never very impressed with Rossi's tie up with Rupert Murdoch's Sky either (Murdoch has nothing to do with it now) but it appears he's ready to hold his nose as necessary where sponsorship is concerned. Or perhaps he's not bright enough to neither notice or care, although he's always seemed to be one of the more intelligent racers so I'm guessing he knows full well what the implications are. I'm very dissappointed at this news and I hope he thinks again.

Simple "Peter Pan" Syndrome and adolescent development, plus self involvement and grandiosity furthered by insular unmitigated adoration and power. Beautiful "at play" on a bike. Fun most of the time off it. Also, tribalism and entitlement. We all have internal processes like these (toddler entitled rage etc), and it is not acted upon unchecked by self AND others. Not a bad guy, just a hopefully growing human being. 

MotoGP and Vale need support, we shouldn't have this here. Look what this does to US here and now. That is about the problem at hand! 

Shoddy article from Mat. Minimizes the Saudi regime's wrongdoings both in kind and severity. Suggests equivalency with small scale drug selling and cigarette industry. Off handedly normalizes. Not cool Mat. Better that you don't do this article if you are going to just do that. Disappointed in you. Some of your work is really good! Some not. This? Very much the latterest, in that never have your articles looked to be a part of causing harm to our sport and community. David, can you please make a response to this if it is going to be here? Thanks!

In the developmental sense there needs to be an adult in the room of the VR46 organization, and considerations of this sort. Some adolescent processes have been the norm. Cue concrete operational stage discussions even here and the usual stuff covered in undergrad logic and critical thinking texts. Before shrink work here were degrees in Economics and Political Science, minors International Relations and Ethics w honors. Can be ironic to hear "schoolyard" and "personal" or "cancel" arguments. 

Further irony/paradox? Politics don't belong here. Really! And personalizing things. Is it US that made that be? You sure? No. Someone is doing something RIGHT NOW bringing the Saudi regime into the center of the Paddock. As DIGNITARIES. With literal plans for a Yellow theme park. "Initial hoo-ha" behind us? Look what this is about to do. VALE of all people, who is "as big as the sport," going all the way over there to them, and ushering them in here. The German racers of the 1930's had no choice, they were subjects. Rossi is an Italian, Catholic, in a very high position of power, nearly as far from the Saudi regime as can be imagined outside of Israel. This has no precedent. Malaysia is a Muslim culture, and Petronas is here. Hafiz arriving in MotoGP was to be celebrated! Growing into huge markets for motorbikes and growing parts of the World. Even including Petronas. It isn't qualitatively the same with the Saudis. Maybe half of us see it that way and half don't right now, but that doesn't make it "just another difference of opinion" when WHAT half of us are saying is that it is HORRIFIC. The finger pointing at the moon...

I LOVE Valentino Rossi! And MotoGP. And our community here. This does not belong, and it causes harm to MotoGP. We can see it even here and now amongst us. I am SO SORRY that this is going on, we have been hit by something many find horrifying, and those responding with concern are not to be equated with the problem. Rossi is not "good." Rossi is not "bad." Rossi needs support. From all of us. Right now. It may not be too late. He is a community guy, albeit somewhat tribally. There can be wise caring but firm response. This isn't another "should or shouldn't we (spec electronics, single tire, penalize Fenati, et al)" chit chat consideration this time. 

I respect and like you, even those that disagree with the manner of process you are choosing. We share much more. And that is love for the sport of motorcycle racing, right? Perhaps this isn't about us, but THAT. 

Remember visiting "Ducati Island" in the Paddock? I used to smoke cigarettes some back then, and still knew it was a bit "off." But not horrific. Can you see what the Saudi Regimere VR46 Hospitality celebrity hangout constantly at the center of the Paddock is and means? Not just "beliefs" and "morals." They are not "supporting a race team financially," what they are buying is at the very heart of US. 

Except of course the German racers did have a choice. Many Germans chose a different path, many forced into exile, many died for dissent. That's always an interesting point. Everybody would like to imagine that if they were there, they would be the righteous among nations, they would make a stand, even if only symbolic. The numbers suggest most probably not. Mr Oxley was pointing out that to a racer, to some degree, if throwing your arm straight in the air and going along with the whims of the day puts you in a better position to win...they do it because the ARE racers.

 

That's the point. No comparison is being made. No attempt to equate anything with anything is being made in Mats blog.

Beautifully written as always, thanks Mat !

Just because someone does not say what you would like them to say, or say it how you would like it to be said...insults ?...back to the school yard ? These days, present an opinion and there's a problem...which leads to people presenting -> no opinion...which these days leads to a problem which leads......

I know ! Lets reply and block at same time ! Problem solved !

 

Great article, Mat! Thanks for your brevity as always.

If one were to thoroughly examine all that they engage with in life, be it material possessions, people, a society, beliefs, etc. (just to mention a few), they may come to realize that human atrocity has been playing a role in humanity for as long as humanity has been on this planet. Being selective with memory, which Miller pointed to in the post race presser, and picking out those specific examples that strike a chord is not serving justice. Taking resposibility for all of it is near impossible for the person. It brings a lot of heat. I accept that that which interests me, such as Motogp racing, has a checkered past and present when it comes to the dilemma of the human condition. And bar the alternative of living alone on a mountaintop, or in a cave, I willingly continue to accept what is.

Bring on Le Mans!

I don't read any endorsement of the behaviour in Mat's article, just examples of how long this has been going on for, and how flawed our "heros" can be.

I'm still a fan of Rossi-the-Motorcycle-Racer but he hasn't been Rossi-the-moral-compass for me for a good long while!

Please keep shining the light into the dark areas Mat, David, Simon etc.

I think the article's point is to simply acknowledge that dirty money is frequently in and around motorcycle racing. Here in the USA, illicit funding has been imbedded in all forms of motorsports for as long as I can remember. The most common is probably drug money. Motorsports is expensive and proper sponsorship is hard to come by. Unfortunately some people will resort to the worst to participate. Meanwhile the Saudi's seem to be a source of funding by all kinds of sketchy characters that can't be banked through traditional means...  

I read that the bank liquidity problem during the economic crisis in 2008 was solved by underhanded loans from drug cartels. Don't know if this claim is factual or not, but what appears to be happening in this world is that the corrupt mind has a way of slithering into the best of intentions. Best to point the scrutinizing light of consciousness on one's own intentions rather than going "out there" to solve the world's problems. And this comment is meant for anyone who cares to read it and is not directed at you personally, LAH. 

Agree, disagree or don't care. It's all the same. It's all good...

Not sure I understand, Peter.  Expound?

Going out on a limb here, LAH...

What I am trying to say is from my own extremely limited viewpoint. When one sees that what has been perceived as the greatest injustice enacted upon them as right action, that the lesser of two evils was used to halt the greater from taking place, the ability to judge the actions of others as right or wrong action falls apart. The endlessly available, non-polluting, intelligent energy that makes this reality possible, that causes the tiniest of solar systems, the atom, to vibrate, and causes all of the atoms in the universe to dance in an orchestrated manner, must be assumed to be conscious. This intelligence dwarfs that of human intelligence. I cannot see how the human atrocities that are allegedly taking place in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere on this planet (and I use the word allegedly because I have not witnessed these actions firsthand) can be used for good. But at the same time, I cannot doubt the abilities of the conscious intelligence that makes life possible to find a way. I have heard it said that consciousness will use whatever is available for self-realization, and I believe this to be true only from my own experience.

Yes, following one's heart is a true endeavor that ultimately brings the mind in service to the heart. Yes, the golden rule of treating others as one would choose to be treated themself is wisdom in action. But, trying to go out in the world to correct the injustices taking place can be met with difficulty. The outer world is a mirror image of what's inside, and what's inside is a part of the collective. In this world of opposites, of love and fear, all that one doesn't like about this world is also inside of one. Best to work on oneself.  

Reading a book such as "Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews of Former Slaves" can open the mind to the possibility of something good coming out of slavery. Not to mention the intermixing of DNA that can bring about all kinds of positive possibilities that cannot be seen from a limited viewpoint. But, it is the dark side of slavery that is pounded endlessly into our consciousness. This keeps the dark energy alive because it grabs the attention and causes an emotional reaction. Energy goes into it. 

This is simply one perspective from an uneducated, nothing guy that likes to lounge around on the sofa cushion and watch motorcycle races. And I enjoy a puff of tobacco on occasion. Mexican organic tobacco with herbs...

 

I thought we were talking about dirty money in racing, not slaves...

I believe the real subject here is part of the human condition: How to make rational choices in what appears to be an irrational world. This repetitive conundrum has shown up fresh and brightly lit in the moment as dirty money in racing because of VR46's move to partner Saudi Aramco. But it is the same human difficulty over and over despite the change in form. How to make sense of this world - a worthy endeavor. Some people don't like it when the viewpoint becomes too narrow or personal while others find inclusive, generalized or expansive (sometimes referred to as "off topic") viewpoints disagreeable. But, we are all talking about the same thing again, in my opinion, and each one has their own unique viewpoint. Which I find interesting.

More lost than I was at first. 

Salesman? Lawyer? One of the Bostrom brothers?

Luv ya Pete !

I miss the Bostroms! Once rode a Replica 998 Twin some oddly wealthy Ducatisti sales dude wanted to see get flogged around Seattle's Pacific Raceway (weird track). It was bitchin. Met both Bostroms, had a favorite. Super good guy. Gave me Laguna tips, his time and kindness, and made me feel valued.

I hope we don't have to go over this shite forever, I detest it. We deserve better mates. Notice NONE of us are in support of the Saudis! Not a ONE. Some don't care much, and that is okay and expected eh? A Saudi reader would agree!! Perhaps most. 

See you all in France!

ABSOLUTELY agree Cloverleaf. Thanks for including it. Once shuffled down off the front page of the site it is out of mind and could use repeating. There are a very few voices within the Paddock doing so as of yet. Fingers crossed that someone closer to Vale is doing the same. Unfortunately Carmelo is, as in his role, doing his business handshakes. There may literally not be an adult in the room before the ink dries. Really unfortunate for all of us. Even the Saudi regime, who needs the tough love to come back to the community of humanity. 

Just because it was done in the past doesn't make it right in the present. That should have been included in the article, not justification. Typical liberal Oxley column. Saudi blood money, slavery, and human/womens rights violations are ok, but Trump was far worse! 

I didn't glean that from the piece at all. He's not exonerating VR, he's chronicaling the historical instances of dirty money at all levels and I found that to be fascinating.

Good stuff below Johnmh. Much worse than a "company which props up a" theocratic regime getting away with terrorism and atrocities as fundamentalist jihad, Aaramco IS the very power that is the heart and blood with which it does so. They are not just financially motivated. Saudi Salafi is a madness of religious fervor set on horror. 

Folks above, I too find the history lesson here interesting. Lincoln's wife really enjoyed the play. It may have had political themes, highlighted poignantly by Mr Booth even! See the trees here of course. Then, forest. And, what is happening and NOT happening in process of the piece? To do so can be an interesting challenge of conceptual synthesis and integration, dynamic awareness (like a good racer's!), and both a long arc of concrete operational account AND more representational intuitive systemic awareness. Please don't feel criticized mates, rather a call to something compelling and good. Like an Alien on a bike. More is possible. 

It looks like such concerns as the Saudi Regime gaining prominence and influence really runs the WHOLE spectrum of political values Right, Left and Center. That says alot. While a "business person" may make a deal with terrorist jihad abusers to buy or sell something (~30% of the Saudi populace is foreign business people on an Aaramco diet), even they are not in support of the Saudis. Unless specifically an extremist Sunni of that actual region and sect, you are not in support of them. Not just Sunni. Hanbali school, Salafi sect. Do you use the phrase "evil?" If on the fence, modern Saudi Salafi might bump you that way. A wolf in sheep's clothing is worse than one in wolf's clothing (and I like wolves). Worse yet is a wolf in SHEPHARD'S clothing (and distracted neutral sheep?). That is YELLOW. Right Valentino Rossi?

You do realize that Saudi Arabia and Israel have been secretive allies since the early 60's ? The history of the region, of the influence of Marxism on Islam and the effects of the cold war is fascinating and the relationships between states very complex and surprising.

You know, Saudi Arabia isn't that bad, relatively speaking. Take your phone, find it on maps, zoom out...nice neighbours eh ? Iran executes more people per capita than almost all other countries which still apply capital punishment...except Yemen but that's disputed. Iraq, Syria, maybe take a swim over to Sudan, Somalia or hike further to Libya. Maybe we would prefer to travel east past Iran to Afghanistan, Turkmenistan or Pakistan.

No, everything is not rose scented in Saudi Arabia but compared to some places..it ain't that bad, relatively speaking. There has been some change. Lets hope it continues. A move away from oil is a big step towards that. There's not many shops called 'Vast amounts of oil 'r' us', a difficult situation for anybody wishing to apply any pressure for change. Nothing changes the past.

Appreciating your knowledge of a convoluted powderkeg of mess, and caring to look. And yes, Saudis and Israelis have colluded against Iran etc. All of them are doing bad things. Right now, we need to not do bad things like do a basic logic error and ethics blunder like saying this means it is ok to usher the Saudi Regime into the center of the circus. "If Billy can squeeze a girl's privates, and Phillip Morris is here, I don't know why the Iranian Regime's nuclear power selling company Blaamco is anything different. Let's put it at the center of our home in glory, wear their hat and try to get in to see Justin Bieber and Carmelo eating 46 Bone Saw ribs." This is serious, forgive hyperbole to illuminate. Don't you dare f$cking see the ridiculousness of the face of that last statement, say that me and all this are ridiculous, and toss it aside. Did you see you just start to do that?! That is not only a childishly regressive process, it is an abusive one. Like THEM. 

Bricktop, I hear you on Qatar! If we have a look, not only is the Saudi Regime showing itself worse by a factor of 10, but this is not just an annual track we visit...it is bringing them into the heart of us on a clean Yellow pedestal. 

Whilst The Red Cross or Habitat For Humanity are not proferring money for a place in the Paddock, and no hands are ENTIRELY CLEAN, (did you know Mother Teresa was a bit sadistic and condescending?) we have something here without real equivalence. The adult in the room is...us.

David Emmett, please take us with you when you go into pressers. When you talk with journos to collaborate. When you muster tough insightful effective questions for the important people in the Paddock. "Maybe we can help change (atrocities), I don't know" and "we are just addicted to racing" my ass Valentino. Not funny, not going away, not right for us or anyone incl you, and ON YOU.

Sure thing Shrink. I have a problem with facts. I think when people start to use falsehoods or hyperbole to illuminate, because it's so serious, then half the world turns off. It reduces the strength of any argument saintly or not. It's like hearing something will be highly radioactive for a hundred thousand years. In that moment half the world turns off because the words in the statement do not reflect reality. There is the possibility that the argument cannot survive on facts alone. The facts are being twisted to present the argument more favorably. Therefore, the argument is weak. People justify this because maybe it's only a small manipulation of the facts and it serves a purpose in reaching the end goal. The ends justify the means. I hope at least half of the world knows the folly of such wisdom.

Shrink, i do not really see anybody disagreeing with the underlying issue. People just don't much like the way you are trying to convey the message. It matters. In utopia even bank managers can wear clown costumes but it comes at a price.

 

 

Whelp, tried my best. Won't reach everybody. This whole article and comments should start w a warning "everything below is political crap, not motorcycle racing." 

Going to leave what you've written there be. Feel free to skip all this shite. 

While the use of VR's name and image promoting a company which props up a government responsible for terrible things will certainly harm his reputation, the bigger fear is that Dorna will cave to the pressure and put some races there.  Imagine the glossy 60 second video shown in the online stream before the commencement of each session, showing KSA as a 'beautiful tourist destination' full of happy people.  

I have been to Saudi a few times for work and have Saudi friends; the idea of using sports to promote the State and government makes me (and, for the most part, them) queasy, but perhaps for different reasons.  Even if they don't support the idea of huge expenditures of 'public' money to bring MotoGP into the Kingdom, they would fear saying anything negative about it.     

I think that David's twitter bestowed name for this team is a goer. Certainly that's what I will be shouting at the television. I normally enjoy Matt's articles, but this is about the worst piece of whataboutism I have ever read. And warning for the unitiated - apparently giving a damn about human rights (not to mention the future and reputation of MotoGP) makes you a virtue signaller. Still I reckon it's better to be that than the opposite, don't you? And boy, do I need to buy Motoshrink a beer.

Tony! Sincere thank you friend. Lots of us are here together.

"Whataboutism, also known as whataboutery, is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by raising a different issue, counterargument, or charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument." I will add that it is a tool of narcissistic abuse.

Beers can be sent to a great pick on this, WISE. Women's Islamic Initiative in Spirituality & Equality.

"WISE promotes an overarching message of gender equality as a value intrinsic to the Islamic faith meaning that a denial of any of those rights constitutes a violation of Islamic principles."

No link on our motorbike racing site, but a quick search shows their donation click. Great project.

Gas! See you in France

Those so appalled should no longer use gasoline, especially those in the States.  Saudi is responsible for 6-7% of every gallon you use.  Time to convert to an electric bike and car/truck.  

Next call for the cancellation of the Qatar round of MotoGP.  Then tell Dorna and the teams that they need to pay the freight for the paddock themselves instead of Qatar footing the bill.  

Then twatter bomb Ducati for still taking Phillip Morris money.  

No I don't agree with this sponsorship but I'm reading a lot of hypocrisy.  I guess it's time for wokeville to hit MotoGP as well.  I just find it quite amusing how much oil Saudi is responsible for in my country as well as others.  And this entire sport is powered by gasoline.  Then there is the crack in a can sponsorship littered all over the sport currently.  Holler at me when the Qatar round is history as well as the freight money.  Until then....

I suggest we not do something appalling while appalled about something appalling Brick. See comment elsewhere re logic/critical thinking, ethics, and will add here noticing abusive undifferentiated processes. I remember your great posts from when I got here! Been appreciating both agreeing and disagreeing with you all this time mate. No to Aamco here.

Btw, differentiation and non dualism can be like the difference between chatter vibrations upsetting the chassis and nice tuning fork. Or rolling off the throttle and stiffening the body closer to the centerline vs (doing the business) when having a moment in a corner. It will help us not go nuts, and even use the disruptive energy to guide us and sublimate it. On the gas. Eyes at the apex then through to drive out point. Chest down, shoulder out. Braaaap!

Cheers!

Would you please share how you "do the business" when having a moment in the corner (of life) and create the opportunity for the energy to guide you? Either here or private contact is greatly appreciated, Motoshrink. 

Thank you.

Shall we look fwd to this article and comments reaching its demise here? Even I am ready. Last gasp on my end, hoping to get to stick to motorbike racing. Been watching old French GPs. In just chugging along being human like we all are, maybe a few things stick out? We all have both grounding and expansive experiences, here first was a cabin on a Mtn Lake a few yrs and natural immersion...we are just organisms, right? Western wisdom offers something, differentiation and psychodynamic development? Good! "Ego is real, as a noun. Have a healthy enough one to not over use it out of balance." It is helpful for a motorcycle racer to notice one's mind WHEN DISTRESSED OR UPSET, there is often a process of reactivity af self, the other rider, the bike. Usually self or mixed. There is a pre conscious process that can be known of compensation for that. Some instinct for survival that seldom fits with riding a bike. Some, egoic processes. If we see them, as they are functionally, that conscious awareness is enough. Off the bike.

But motorcycle racing, it is more like mindfulness maybe? And should be. Ego is NOT real as a noun. But is as a verb, that we do outside of flow state. Talking in our mind, discursive consciousness, is very surface. Conceptual thinking? Helpful tool, but ALL conceptualizing can't be treated as material. "Conceptual materialism" - particularly storying "me and/vs the world" - is not the racer's friend. Needed initially to get you out there on the bike. Then, process noticed and minimized. Happens when struggling, also when striving...neither of which is in right racing presence but happens. Ego cannot be destroyed or escaped. But it needn't have hands on the bars and levers at all. 

Transcending conceptual materialism (incl of self) for a racer involves death. Literally. And, over and over again internally. Have you ever gone over about 170mph? So interesting how it seems "slower" up there. No discrete peripheral visual references, they smear like a water color painting, leaving just the middle of the tunnel coming at you. It is seductive, kind of peaceful really. Slow back down to 165mph and it feels fast again like waking back up into normal human awareness, noticing the granularity of busier vision and sensation. Perhaps this is transcendence. Same for "the limit" past mere traction patch or sliding, the dynamic riding style. 

Then out there beyond the veil one adds mastery. The rider keeps felt sense of solidity/ground, anchored with bike/body and the tarmac. Reaches out with full open awareness through to openness of expansive everything. STILL has fear, and self doubt of course. Dies over and over again inside. Observes things incl self as they are and finds all as workable conditions. Minimizes egoic and neurotic processes. Enjoys the ride. Hopefully got their start in life on an inline 4, but if it was a 2021 Honda or 2016 Ducati manages to persevere. (Gleaned much integrating Western attachment based depth psych w formal study/practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Then did 5yrs FT at a big hospital doing complicated hospice care. Then started my own clinic. Motorcycle racing as meditation in motion got me ready for that shite).

Motoshrink out. Please forgive any exceeding track limits doing a Maverick in this comments section, willing to start in pitlane next Round. See you in France.

Exceeding track limits is in our nature. It may come as the quest for more speed in order to experience the inner silence again.

Sometimes a guy can tell from the speed and trajectory that he's not going to be able to keep the bike on the curb. Other times, it's an unknown and only understood afterwards. And there are times that a guy even denies the fact of going over the limits even though the new fangled sensors say it was so. I've done all three on this forum and apologize for that.

I believe your intentions were good for catching a bit of green paint and tripping those new sensors.

Thank you.

May I buy you a WISE beer? Or a different flavor?

I think David has (rightfully) approached the subject as journalist. This involvement of a "front" company for the Saudi regime, that let's recall, murdered a journalist is not a good look, and the "front" company's role, is to help airbrush that event (inter alia) from the public consciousness.

The journalist in question, who'd pointed out shortcomings in the current regime, wasn't replied to in a terse manner, or removed from his job via pressure on his editor. He wasn't frightened off, or arrested, to deter others. He was murdered, then hacked to pieces, and put out with the garbage, because that was how the regime regarded him. That was the level of warning they wished to issue to other journalists who might be critical of the regime. This was *supposed* to be made public - there's no statement of intent if it's kept secret.

I can sense David's outrage, honed to a point, because he's a journalist. I don't believe Mat's piece is attempting to paint a similar picture, nor do I think it's a "move along, nothing to see here" piece either. It's just looking at the subject from a different angle.

BrickTop has a valid perspective from where I am sitting.

Rather than complain, one could quietly take action. But, one might consider digging deeply into the electrical vehicle industry before purchasing a shiny, new, "non-polluting" form of transportation. There is every possibility that the mind generated forces that create human rights violations (or whatever dark energy the mind so vehemently detests) is also present in the production of electric vehicles. And since this discussion has entered the puebla of Wokeville, could it be the same guy (gender neutral of course) playing all the polarities of the ego personality game though the collective unconscious?

Whoa…that consideration is hilarious at first but opens the door to a sad, creepy, guilt-tinged, shameful and judgmental presence. I quite enjoy my private, little enclave of delusion with personal thoughts and emotions. Best to stay away from that one…

Exactly, may have a valid perspective. But it is literally not a valid argument. Any sophomore logic and critical thinking course has it clear as a bloody appendage ringing a bell. Nor is it ethical, as the same general ed undergrad Intro to Ethics class delineates 10 different ways. Then, the history lesson in which it is rationalizations like that which (you know who) have enabled (you know what).

Freud and Jung point out different stuff here, and it is creepy/nasty indeed. Try being solely responsible for diagnosing and treating sex offenders, or discover the creepy young guy here for killing his dog had amassed guns and ammo for a mass murder. And be THE person alone who fixes it. Compassionately and therapeutically, within relationship. That is what is done, not pontification. You and your effervescent mind belong here Peter! The Saudi Regime does not. 

This "effervescent" mind has observed the same energies operating within that many are in extreme opposition to in this world. We are not born with a corrupted mind, it is acquired through conditioning. And it’s not the parent’s fault because they were conditioned by the mindset of their parents, their community and society, their religion or lack thereof, the history of the country and on and on. Each country has it’s own personality type that is expressed one way through its native language. And by learning a foreign language, one can observe a personality shift occurring. It is very interesting.

I have never visited Saudi Arabia, so cannot speak from experience. But, as a gringo living in Mexico for many years, it is obvious that disinformation is a part of the game. There is almost nothing but horrible and sorrowful reports about Mexico in the news. That can lead one to make generalized judgments about all Mexicans. What I can report from experience is that the majority of local individuals I meet on a daily basis conduct themselves with grace in a joyful manner from the heart. There is no doubt about this because the heart makes it abundantly clear when it recognizes itself. As I learn Spanish, my mind integrates into the Mexican mindset bit by bit. And the differences between the Spanish and English languages are very interesting. It easy to see how the personality of a country, the structure of a language and the character of the people are all intertwined.

Apparently, the Saudi regime is controlled by a particular mindset that has lost its way. Mr. Emmett’s article succinctly points this out. But, I must refrain from judgment concerning VR46's move to partner Saudi Aramco, as juicy and jaw dropping as it is, because I do not know what is truly happening from personal experience. And even then, my view would be extremely limited. Were I to visit Saudi Arabia, through the law of attraction individuals may appear in my reality that confirm what we like to label as “good” about humanity. Or, the dark energies that the mind is susceptible to might attract that which is feared. But, I would be willing to bet that the mask of the Saudi regime, as reported in the news, is not an accurate description of the individuals of the country on a whole. And the potential for a great degree of difference is not only possible, but quite likely.

The abuse of power that is so clearly seen in the world also operates within. The human ego has a habit of using the natural power of the self for its own expansion and self-serving personal needs. Money is one form of personal power. But, because change is one of the only constants in this world besides caring, the identity of the person as well as a nation will have a reckoning waiting for them. One’s identity cannot be kept. We all have to give it up sooner or later. Rossi is in the midst of this personal reckoning as he tries his damnedest to stave off retirement. To the point of coming across as delusional according to one moto journalist. It’s possible that his imminent fall from grace as a Motogp god has twisted his logic faculties and he’s grasping for more power from the most unlikely source. Can’t say for sure, this is all conjecture and more story. What is certain is that death is terrifying to the ego identity. Just look at this world. And humans subjected to the ego mind are for the most part a negatively oriented species motivated by fear or a lack of understanding.

At this moment, I keep an open mind. I know from personal experience that the mindset can change. And if the mindset can change in a person, then it can change in a nation. In fact, the mindset is always changing. I’m not the same person today that I was last weekend, a month ago, last year or 20 years ago. There is the potential for something positive to come from this move by VR46. I do not know what anyone else should do with their life. I’m not them. Plus, as the person, I do not possess the vast, expansive viewpoint of source intelligence to see how the future may play out. But I trust that intelligence because it makes the entire universe a reality.

I know. Naively idealistic…

Scroll past if you like.

"...the Saudi regime is controlled by a particular mindset that has lost its way..."

Not lost its way. It's continuing on the same, unchanging path it has before people in the area discovered oil, before it became a nation. The new generation is trying to place a new veneer over the old, that's all.

Islam has been around for centuries, and the Wahhabi sect the same. It (Islam) is badly in need of reformation. Likely in a similar way to the way the Bible has the Old Testament and the New Testament, with the New Testament taking precedence over the bloody ways of the old.

"...Muslims consider the Quran in Arabic to be the unaltered and final revelation of God..."

Islam literally means "submission". Think about that for a minute or two. It cannot be changed, and what's more important, the adherents don't want it to be changed. And there you go.

I know, a whole different discussion, but I'm just replying to Mr. Day. 

I lived and worked in the Kingdom for seven years. Trust me, the chances of VR46 (the man or the corporation) changing the Saudis from the inside out is a nice thought, but a distinct impossibility.

 

It's a big issue for sure but I'm wondering just how many levels we really need to drill down to? If we're not careful we'll end up like a wine tasting or art critic group that, eventually, can't resist proving how much more intelligent or how big their vocabulary is, the salient details of the debate becoming lost as we disappear down the cerebral rabbit-hole. I guess we're all lucky we have the freedom to express these opinions; me, I'm gonna daydream about which bikes VR might run, hope it's Aprilia..

Odds? (Been super into this, bummed we got derailed). How about:

1) Duc 

(Gap to 2nd group)

2) Yamaha 

3) Suzuki

Looks like Gresini signed with Aprilia. Hard to not see it be Duc now. Believe it or not, zipping it on thoughts relating #3 to the Aamco shite.

I was wrong. Brian was right. VR46 has Red locked down tight. Brian was right. I was wrong. Suzuki 2nd Team is not coming along. Worse yet Yam won't get 46, and we get stuck with Saudi dicks.

What are you thinking Funsize? (Watching old French GPs here over coffee. May post a link soon)

That VR46 takes the rose-tinted option and stimulates what's left of the Italian economy by going to Noale, the cash enabling them to build two more machines. However, the news we're all dissecting to death (oh the irony 'Shrink), will probably put off as many backers as it attracts. I would have said shooting oneself in the foot but it's probably the wrong place to do it-double pun intended...