News 28 Oct 2011

ASBK boss defends motorcycle racing in response to Herald Sun

Australian Superbike Championship boss Yarrive Konsky has defended motorcycle racing. Image: TBG Sport/Andrew Gosling.

Australian Superbike Championship boss Yarrive Konsky has defended motorcycle racing. Image: TBG Sport/Andrew Gosling.

The following is a response from ASBK promoter Yarrive Konsky to the article entitled ‘Race fans deny their inner ghoul‘ by Jill Singer, published on the 26th of October:

WOW……I sat motionless for quite some time after reading Jill Singer’s personal views that blatantly blanket motorsport to be evil-spirited. Ms Singer, your disrespectful opinions laid bare your shortcomings as a knowledgeable, researched journalist and compassionate human being. I am glad you’re clever with words, as I feel you will always do well ducking behind them.

As humans we are taught to love, improve, help, support, encourage, nurture, and develop ourselves and others, and above all respect the freedoms to do as we please so long as we do it diligently without harm to others. We choose to go after our dreams and we inspire others to do the same. Perhaps you weren’t taught these things.

How dare you suggest motorsport fans watch to revel in the death of someone they love, follow, admire and feel a sense of connection with. When someone is tackled in football and crushed, fans cheer – by your rationale, they must be hoping for blood. God forgive such an inhumane suggestion. When someone falls in our sport we worry, pray and hope they get up. To consider that anyone wishes death or injury on someone is barbaric.

You go on to bemoan the outpouring of grief from fans following the death of Marco Simoncelli – as though you are qualified to judge – and have the audacity to complain about the response to your inaccurate, insensitive, evangelical accusations that understandably provoked contempt from motorsport fans.

Not only have you invalidated and disregarded the emotions and opinions of the entire motorsport fraternity, Jill Singer, you personally have disrespected a supreme elite athlete, a son, and a human being without true insight to his reason for being.

You also quoted Valentino Rossi – “The rest means nothing when this happens”.

You then continued to question his reason for continuing to compete. Who are you to make such a comment? Do you know him? Again, you place blame for the passing of motorsport athletes on others. Motorsport athletes are accountable for choosing to compete; not their fellow riders, motorcycle manufacturers, or the fans.

Rossi has said, “Riding a race bike is an art – a thing that you do because you feel something inside.” Such raw vulnerability from a man who is revered as genius for his capabilities can never be questioned. He competes for the love of sport, for the peace it brings his heart, mind and soul – everything else is merely an unexpected but deserving bonus.

These athletes are no different to anyone who has a burning desire to better themselves. Whether the field of sport is athletics, football, cycling, or it’s a field of business, scientific research, or perhaps even journalism. They are merely people trying to be better every day and in every moment of their lives…..stand up and bloody applaud them.

Your suggestion that motorsport is a legitimised form of road carnage is nonsense and provokes rage. It saddens me that you think so little of the capabilities of our drivers and riders and the respect they have for one another. Road carnage is how you label our sport? These athletes ride with the same precision brain surgeons operate.

Imagine, if you will, Australian hero Casey Stoner is racing at 300kmh; he has to use his front brake, rear brake, change gears, use the clutch, throttle, counter steer the motorcycle, balance the inside and outside peg, look way ahead in order to read the track at the speed he is traveling. Now add passing into the equation. A rider is calculating and physically activating upward of nine to 10 separate elements simultaneously. Rossi, Stoner and the field of Moto GP racers are athletic geniuses. How ignorant of you to suggest this is not sport. How ignorant of you to denigrate motorsport fans, overlooking their admiration and appreciation of such finely tuned skills and talents, and simply labelling them as ghouls.

Don’t feel for a moment you have the right to pass judgement on the competitors, the sport or the fans.

I will not pass judgement on other sports, I admire athletes in all disciplines, but let me make it clear race fans do not turn up to horse race events to see jockeys or horses die, and this happens more often around the world than it does on the motorsport scene. This does not make death right in our sport, nor does it make it acceptable in any sport. But people will not stop doing what they love because there is an element of danger involved. More people die rock fishing, so should we place a ban on fishing? Boats capsize and fishermen die, should we ban the sport of fishing and boating. Should all boat lovers, car and motorcycle enthusiasts and manufacturers walk around with blood on their hands?

R.I.P Marco Simoncelli.

PS: Some research I thought I would do own your behalf. These figures are based on the elite performers in varied sports.
· Motorcycle Racing – 2003-2011: 3 deaths
· AFL 2011: deaths due to sporting incidents: 3
· Boxing: 6 deaths in the ring since 2003
· Cycling: 2000-2009, 10 racing deaths, 2010-2011 2 deaths
· Rugby: 5 players died since 2000 due to injuries sustained on the field
· Gymnastics: Rates of eating disorders / knowingly stunting young children’s’ growth for competition (major research showing adverse effects of years of gymnastics training)