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@ Bikenut & Shamarone
"I believe the riders and their competitiveness or otherwise is secondary...."
Then they need an event for people like you where they just have something like qualifying and not bother with that pesky inconvenience of the race.
Even better, they can just use one rider as a control element to take each bike out in turn, so that you'll know which manufacturer's bike is best at the end of all the runs.
Sorry, but for most Fans of bikesport what you say is utter nonsense. It has to be, otherwise places like Crash would not be full of threads arguing about which Racer is better. The interest is in the Competition and the Riders for the vast majority IMO. The Rossi fanbase alone should tell you that.