Originally Posted by kbroderick
With this, not so much. Our entertainment and interest certainly drives sponsorship money into the sport and raises the stakes, but I find it rather unlikely that anyone successful enough to ride MotoGP isn't also a born risk-taking type. Technique and tactics can be learned; an innate desire for speed (and to win) cannot. If these guys weren't hurtling motos around a road race track, they'd be racing their buddies up a canyon or racing Tour de France or otherwise pushing their own limits.
(if you disagree, I'd obviously defer, as you've met these guys and my personal experience is with ski racers, but the competitive drive and desire to push boundaries seems to transcend choice of sport.)
No, that's a fair assessment. They're mostly bona-fide nutcases with no sense of danger.