Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 22 Oct 2015
Valentino Rossi has launched a scathing attack on Marc Marquez ahead of the weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The 9-time World Champion believes Marquez deliberately held him up in last week’s race at Phillip Island as he wants Lorenzo to win the title.
Marquez spent a large part of the race in Australia battling with Rossi and Andrea Iannone, before going on to break the gap to Lorenzo in the final three laps to win the race.
“Marquez did not play with both of us: he only played with me!” said Rossi speaking to Italian journalists in Malaysia. “It is important that he knows that I know! Now let's see what happens, but I am quite concerned because to have to fight with Lorenzo is one thing, but if you have to beat Marquez as well, everything becomes much more difficult, to be honest - the case is that he isn’t playing fair. Especially because Marquez could be very competitive in the last two races.”
“In the race I noticed it, but I did not understand; Marquez was a step above everyone, but instead of trying to try to battle Lorenzo, he stayed with me to fight with Iannone and others. He knew that I was losing out to the Ducati on the straight. And so every time I tried to pass him, he re-overtook me. But then he slowed to create a gap to Jorge. His bad luck was that on Sunday Jorge was not so strong, because otherwise it would have been over already. Instead, he always kept Jorge in check, knowing that he could catch him within 3 laps, and then tried to slow me and Iannone, perhaps trying to put other riders between me and Lorenzo. And in the end, that's what he did. It is clearly quite worrying, but it doesn't worry me too much”
When asked why he thought Marquez would do this, Rossi says it’s because he wants Lorenzo to win the title as revenge for two incidents earlier in the season. The first was in Argentina, where Marquez crashed chasing the Italian and the second incident was when Rossi and Marquez collided in the last chicane at Assen.
“I think he would prefer Lorenzo to win,” he explained. “He is angry at me for a personal matter. Although he never said it, he thinks that in Argentina I made him crash; and then at Assen he is still thinking about the last chicane; in his head he feels he should have won that race. Since then he has been angry and thinking like a child: I do not win, but you do not win either. At this point, the lesser evil is for him is for Lorenzo to win.”
“If he's faster yet slows down to get involved in the battles further back, it could become difficult. Because he has nothing to lose, but I do. I have to be wary. I'm sorry and I'm quite angry. I did not expect that Marquez was an obstacle for this Championship, I thought I was only fighting against Jorge, as it should be.”
Marquez has always made it clear that before he came to MotoGP he was a big fan of Rossi, but Rossi now thinks the Spaniard sees him purely as competition.
"Did he really idolise me? Did he really have my poster at home? I'm not so sure. I'd like to go back in time and see. It will also be a question of character, he is competing with me: I want to win as many World Championships as I can. If I win another title, then he knows that he will have to win one more to overtake me. If instead Jorge wins, then they have more or less the same.”