Crap man. when AG raced in the states the problem wasn't his lifestyle, as much as it was people in power who did not approve of his lifestyle. I used to say that if he's smoking something, they should give some of it to all the other riders so they could maybe make it a race for a change. With all the rumors, followed by a couple of injuries, that was it.
Then the DUI in Huntington Stalag 13, and that was really it. Hey the PRESIDENT has a DUI on his record.
Oh well, in the end trying to make bike racing a squeaky clean affair is why Honda has been sucking lately. Motorcycle racing sort of needs a risk-taking easily-bored personality sometimes...
Anthony has always had substance abuse problems, but, because of his talent, many folks have tried to help him out. I know the pain that he has caused to those who supported him. Federico Minoli at Ducati tried to help when he raced for them. Minoli was put in the position that others who have sponsored AG have been in. A racer can't perform when he is drunk or stoned. If anyone is to blame it is Anthony or his family, as the support in the industry went on for years after his problem was identified.
Was he worth it? Damn right. I saw him at an AMA Superbike round in Atlanta in the late nineties. He diced for the lead with some of the best in the world that day, and though he didn't take first, he did put in a performance that showed he was one of the best riders around.
Could he dry out and still race at that pace? Probably. But those of us who counted themselves his fans got a little tired of waiting for those brilliant performances he was capable of when sober, like his stunning win on a Bimota in WSBK.
Other than a sad story about a talented racer, what I take from this is when asked why you did what you did, don't tell the judge it was because you were going to get heroin. I gotta think that never helps. Speaking of help, hope he gets some, there's probably still a living to be made out of racing in some format if he can clean up.
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