Yesterday, Suter Racing‘s crack team of professionals started their retired MMX1 MotoGP racebike at the Swiss-Moto show. Its BMW inline-four and Akrapovic exhaust sounded crisp and impressive, but the Suter crew’s promotional angle made them look foolish.

You see, Suter decided to use a co-worker as a prop in a cheap ploy to pander to the crowd when they uncorked the noise. In doing so, they made their female co-worker look awkwardly incompetent, pinching the fingers of her left hand behind the clutch lever which was actually being operated by a man standing next to the bike. She reflexively recoiled and then placed her hands on the tank while the two men operated the clutch, starter and throttle. Clutch dork then grabbed poor Vivienne’s left hand and placed it back on the left grip as though she was a living doll (she showed remarkable patience throughout). Meanwhile over on the right side of the bike, the throttle man stood to the side and extended his arm to operate the throttle while Vivienne carefully placed her own right hand on the right switch cluster to assume something like a rider’s pose. “Rev-rev-rev” went the bike operated by two men. Sit-sit-sit did Vivienne atop the impressive sounding machine.

Sound awkward? You betcha! Sadly, such a display isn’t unique; similar vignettes regularly play out in the racing world. Meanwhile, real racers (females included) go about the business of, you know, actually being riders.

Suter Wasn’t Done.

In their infinite wisdom, they then proceeded to upload a video clip of the event to their ‘Suter 500’ Facebook page, making the brilliant decision to accompany the video with the text below:

Our divine Vivienne starts the Suter BMW MotoGP, probabely (sic) the loudest bike of the show. The beauty and another beast. Pure culture.” (Click the image above to play video)

Dear Suter Racing, Eskil and his organization represent world class thinking and superb engineering. Suter Racing is authentic, respect-worthy, and credible in its field. However, Vivienne did not start anything in this video. She sat on a motorcycle while her co-workers started and revved it. This is some shame-worthy pandering on your part, and I’m simply embarrassed for poor Vivienne.

“Pure culture?” More like: Pure bullshit. Authenticity matters. Why insult your fans with this tripe?

#SaveVivienne!

  • DickRuble

    “Pure culture”. I couldn’t have said it better.

  • Campisi

    Even within the realm of male-focused pandering this doesn’t make sense. How hard would it have been to walk her through the starting procedure before the show?

  • Y.A.

    Why o why do motorcycle entities feel the need to parade these women around like show dogs

    Couldn’t they have found one of the millions of female riders to do the job

    What a mess.

  • Y.A.

    Why o why do motorcycle entities feel the need to parade these women around like show dogs

    Couldn’t they have found one of the millions of female riders to do the job

    What a mess.

  • Y.A.

    Why o why do motorcycle entities feel the need to parade these women around like show dogs

    Couldn’t they have found one of the millions of female riders to do the job

    What a mess.

  • Bruce Allen

    No one does righteous indignation better than you Sean. TELL THE MAN!!!

    • Old MOron

      Hey Bruce! How about if you cover WSBK and WSS for MO, too? We had three good races this weekend. It would be fun to track Nicky and young van der Mark. Also to see if any of the Moto 2 converts can knock Sofuoğlu off the top.

      • Bruce Allen

        Here’s an even BETTER idea. YOU cover WSBK AND WSS for Mo. (YOU know more about the stuff than I do,) YOU’ve got the chops to turn it into English, and YOU might be willing to work for free, the current going rate for WSBK and WSS racing on MO. Me, I’ve got a thing I need to do this year…

        • Old MOron

          See, Man? You’ve got style. Oh well, I guess I shouldn’t be greedy. I’ll just enjoy whatever you put up.

          • Bruce Allen

            Um, my crummy communication skills seem to have fooled Born to Ride. He must have thought I was kidding about your knowledge of the product (encyclopediac), your own writing skills (formidable) and any notion that I cover MGP for free. (In fact, I keep worrying that they’re gonna offer my job to you and you’ll put my $hit out in the $treet. MO loves reader engagement, perhaps enough to hire readers to write this stuff!!)

          • Old MOron

            Gee Bruce, I guess you’re too busy talking yourself down to notice that you’ve got the race fans pretty engaged. Keep it up!

        • Born to Ride

          Dang, the tone of that response seemed a little bit unwarranted. How was Old MO supposed to know that you don’t get paid?

  • Gruf Rude

    Thoroughly cringe-worthy . . .

    • DickRuble

      Not really.. they exposed themselves as what they are.. total morons..and we had a good laugh at their expense..

  • Kenneth

    “…poor Vivienne”? I agree, in theory, about this beautiful young woman being placed, figuratively-and-literally, on a pedestal, but all this hostility regarding her treatment? With her looks, she’s bound to be on someone’s pedestal for some time to come. From what I see, she doesn’t appear to be insulted by all this attention (and I’m sure she get’s lots, everywhere she goes). The fact that Danica Patrick can actually race competitively “with the guys,” i.e., usually finishing ahead of many, hasn’t seemed to lessen the male vitriol directed toward her from her Indycar start. If this young French woman was actually allowed to be – or more-fully simulate – a real rider, would that really change anything? Then, I can imagine all the insults directed toward HER (“She can’t be a real rider!”).

    • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

      Nobody was insulting Vivienne, it was her treatment that was being insulted. They could easily have trained her to start and rev it, instead of parading her around like some sort of idiot.

      • Kenneth

        “…but all this hostility regarding her treatment? ”

        Yes, it’s her treatment that I was referring to, Sean, which could be interpreted as her employers (?) suggesting “she’s too helpless to start and rev the bike herself.” She looks, to me, though, like she’s truly enjoying the attention – simple as that, and no reason to make anything deeper out of it. If she started and revved it, I’m suggesting that many men would as likely THEN shift their negativity to her, as just another beautiful girl acting like she can ride (whether she can or can’t).

        • http://www.motorcycle.com/ Sean Alexander

          Kenneth, it seems you are worried about what your fellow citizens might do, instead of what Suter actually did. The bold text in the story is an exact quote from their video posting.

          • Kenneth

            I’m not worried about this, Sean. I simply think your rant made something out of nothing. I see: “Our divine Vivienne” and that is absolutely correct, and thanks for the video.

  • JMDonald

    Shouldn’t Vivienne be naked? It would go a long way in the credibility profile.

  • Omar Wardak

    She’s a grown woman, and has the agency to learn and do whatever the hell she pleases. If a guy were tasked with “posing” on top of a motorcycle, and he didn’t know how to turn it on, or operate it on even the most basic level, he would be made a laughing stock. She is paid to loiter around motorcycles all day, yet the only clutch Vivienne understands is the type that holds money. That is her prerogative, and her choice. Nobody is responsible for spoon feeding her. So I don’t understand why those guys are held to some higher moral standard where they have to teach poor Vivienne how to do the most basic tasks, and why she isn’t held accountable?