Welcome to the 2015 edition of the MotoGP Oscars!
[imagine a jingle here]
It’s that time of year again. What time? Awards time! Carmelo had his, Vito’s in the making so I’ll fill in the empty time slot with my own. They somewhat successfully managed to avoid controversial topics but that’s not really the case with my nominations. From free-falling performances to excellent taste in T-shirts, everything will be judged in the most biased way possible. And because I don’t have Vito’s talent in opening galas by narrating bedtime stories, I’ll just skip to the shiny trophies. If you would be as kind as to take your places and follow the stage directions.
P.S.: Please respect the dress code. Anyone with an inappropriate trouser length and unapproved jersey-made clothing will not be allowed in. Maverick will receive his medal through the mail.
[loud applause – from the ones who managed to keep their fingers intact all season]
And we start with the first award… The Turtle and the Hare Badge of Honour: Danny Kent – If the hare stopped running halfway through the race yet still won it in the end. His season was a tale of two halves but probably littered with lessons to learn. Appropriate hairstyle was not one of them.
[Andrea Iannone gets up and pats his hair into a shapely quiff]
The Rebel Without a Cause Trophy: Miguel Oliveira – For shunning dress code conventions at the awards gala by wearing a very fetching sweater instead of an evening jacket. That’s how you snub an event *ahem*. But Maverick seemed pleased in the group photo, it must have been cashmere.
The Brighter than The Sun Itself Recognition: Alex Rins – While he did sport a headache inducing livery, this award actually goes to him for being outstanding from a different point of view. “Excited” is not enough to describe my feelings for 2016, and boy-oh-boy, 2017!
[Momma Rins breathes a sigh of relief for managing to hide the chicken suit in time]
The Parkour Beginner Course Graduate: Johann Zarco – The splendidly smooth Backflip King needs to learn some new tricks over winter, if he wants to keep up with the fast-charging pubescent mob of 2016.
[“No, Johann, put your shoes back on. I don’t care if they’re slippery, we don’t have time for this!”]
The Ninja School Applicant: Andrea Dovizioso – After a promising start to the season, he slipped under the radar so much that not even his team knew where he was anymore. Application rejected though: good camouflage, unsuccessful mission.
[After 5 minutes of waiting, Gigi picks up the trophy and promises he’ll be here next year]
The Consistently Wild to Wildly Consistent Distinction: Andrea Iannone – There’s no point in building any suspense for this one, we’ve been hearing all year how unexpectedly constant the “motherf***ing” (his words, not mine) Italian is. No complaints here. Or in Philip Island.
[he jumps over a row of seats on his way back, just to show he’s not entirely domesticated]
The Most Overused but not Overrated Top Gun Pun: Maverick Viñales – You just know there was a Dorna marketing director with his eye on Maverick ever since he stepped off the bike to get his diaper changed. The prophecy came true this year, with the Red Bull air stunt, but luckily he more than rose to his name’s reputation on track as well.
[“Turning and returning
To some secret place inside
Watching in slow motion
As you turn around and say…”]
The Fastest Pamela Anderson Impersonation: Marc Marquez – The already legendary (if VR46 will grant me use of their copyrighted word) quali lap sprint in Texas was one for the highlights reel. As far as watching people run goes, this one was right up there with Pam and the Hoff.
[“Yes, you can bring your brother too, just leave the bike out!”]
Best Jaws Reference (To Come Back and Bite You in the Ass): Valentino Rossi – MotoGP is no art gallery (at most an abstract expressionist one) but Rossi’s ocean-themed helmet with the little fish and the shark was one of his inspired ones. There are really not enough special-edition helmets out there.
[“Umm, Valentino? Where are you? This one you’ve actually won…”]
Best Jaws reference (To Come Back Again and Again and Again): Jorge Lorenzo – Taking off any yellow-tinted glasses, you have to admit that those celebratory t-shirts were quite fantastic. Jorge took the shark metaphor that VR threw his way and played it to exhaustion. Yet somehow it’s still funny.
The Home Sweet Mother of God Not Again Award: Marc Marquez & Fabio Quartararo – Sharing the honours for a red-cheek moment, the two youngsters had the misfortune of crashing at their home races: Montmeló, respectively Le Mans. If only it were for the first time…
[“Don’t get up boys, neither gets the trophy, just settle for second”]
The Non-Stereotypical Flat Cap Wearer Award: Nicky Hayden – He’s no aspiring teenage rapper but his style choices should not overlook the fact that underneath the flat rim there’s… a hipsterish hairstyle. But under that, there’s a true gentleman, with a bad boy accent yet kind words.
Best comeback (no, I don’t have a fancy name for this one): Bradley Smith – While Vale is an obvious nomination, we sort of already knew what he can muster when needed, but I’ll admit that I didn’t use to rate Bradley as high until this year. Kicking the factory-favoured boy’s bottom is no mean task, but ending the year as 1st of the non-aliens (official or honorary in Andrea’s case) makes him worthy of any extra perks Yamaha throw his way.
[accidentally drops his trophy in Pol’s lap on his way back]
Best Fairytale since Cinderella: Stefan Bradl – Just when you thought things cannot go any worse after losing a factory bike for a third-hand Yamaha, the evil step-dad’s chequebook bounced and Prince Charming plodded in on an Aprilia. Maybe that bike is not a “happily ever after” story yet, but you’ve got to kiss the frog to get the prince. Wait, that’s a different story…
The Taylor Swift Award for Least Likely Romance: Cal Crutchlow & Jack Miller – One second you share a movie and a drink in your motorhome, the next he throws you on the floor at your home race. But that’s what you get for jumping from teammate to teammate. Taytay would have a field day with her next hit.
Best Use of Sponsorship Clauses: Repsol – I don’t care very much for badges on a bike but I can get on board with ingenious marketing stunts. This year’s challenges were a delight for fans, showing the playful side of the orange garage and introduced us to the crews a little better. Almost up to Red Bull Media House standards.
The Storm in a Boot-Shaped Teacup Award: VR46 Crew – Besides Vale’s actions on and off track, I’ll call a few others to the stage to pick up this award: best friends, Dainese employees, fan club managers and then the Italian media, most of which seems to be suffering from neon plague.
[as they’re not coming, we didn’t bother with trophies]
Most Worthy to Wear a Suit in Valencia Award: Dani Pedrosa – for proving to all (but also himself) that writing him off even after a career-threatening surgery was foolish. He brought us that heroic ride in Brno with a heel injury, the MMA rumble in Aragon, that samurai fight in Motegi and a clean whitewash in Sepang. But none of that even comes close to his demeanour off track, where he varied between calm clear diplomacy and honest childlike enthusiasm.
[“Ok, ok, enough with the applause, we still have a few to go”]
[“Seriously, we’ll bring him back to the stage after, ok?]
The Charles Darwin Spinning in His Grave Award: Every schoolyard bully who attacked any other rival rider or fan in broken English, bad grammar, poor judgement and bitter taste.
[they were not invited but they started a petition to protest this nomination]
Best Unintentional Power Rangers Reference: Jorge Lorenzo – Now I haven’t seen much of the Power Rangers (nothing at all actually) but their pose came immediately to mind when I saw Jorge’s victory lap celebration in Valencia. One of his most inspired ones.
Best Weird Survivalist Uncle Who Lives in a Cabin with a Shotgun Blaming Stuff on the Government Impersonation: Valentino Rossi – All the explanation you need is in the title, although that’s a big-bottom inscription to fit on a trophy. So there’s no trophy. Also expect a nomination for the Golden Raspberry as acknowledgement of his newest script massively losing the plot.
Honorary inductee in Murphy’s Hall of Fame: Jorge Lorenzo, once again – A loyal yet unfortunate supporter of the famous philosophy claiming that “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”: foam lining dropping, helmet fogging, bronchia clogging, rain falling, ants invading crops, etc.
[Jorge slips on a banana peel on his way back to his seat]
And now for the big one: The Lifetime Achievement Award: *drum roll* Marc Marquez – For his extensive research in the field of pissing Valentino Rossi off in 2 weeks more than others in a lifetime. Casey called and dinner’s on him!
[Sete and Max hand out the award then go give Jorge a sandwich hug]
Talking of which… Best Armchair Commentator goes to Casey Stoner, who still manages to speak his mind, on his own terms, and then go feed some kangaroos because, you know, he can!
And with that half-truth apparently, since Casey might still make a minor comeback, concludes our coverage of the 2015 MotoGP Oscars. You’ve seen the winners (and the losers) and I hope you’ve enjoyed your evening. Now it’s time to let them pop the champagne or, you know, dangle it in front of their nose and whisper “better luck next time”. Have a smooth and fast winter break!
Photos: MotoGP.com, Repsol, the world wide photoshoppable internet