Author: Oli Rushby Posted: 25 Oct 2015
Valentino Rossi has denied deliberately knocking Marc Marquez from his Repsol Honda during today’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
After an intense battle, Rossi ran the Spaniard out wide at Turn 14, something he happily admits, but the pair collided and Marquez ended up on the floor.
Some camera angles appear to show Rossi’s leg moving towards Marquez, as if he’d kicked him off the bike but the Italian denies this, saying Marquez had already crashed when his foot was off the peg.
"I don’t want to make Marquez crash, and I didn’t kick him,” said Rossi speaking in Malaysia. "If you look at the image, like I did in race direction, frame by frame, you can see more from the helicopter.
"From the side, it looks like I give him a kick, but from the helicopter it’s clear that I go wide – because I don’t want to do the normal corner. I want to go to him, I want to close the line, I want to slow him down, make him lose time.
"It’s the only thing I can do. In every braking he comes past me, he slows me down in the corners, and he doesn’t open the throttle fully on the straights. When I slow down, slow down, slow down and go to try and cut his line, we touched.
"He touched me with the handlebar on my left leg, and when we touch, it is for that that he crashed. If you go slow, frame-by-frame, you can see that when I lose the foot from the peg, Marquez is already down; he’s already crashed.
The championship leader was keen to emphasise that even if he had kicked Marquez, that wouldn’t have been enough to make him crash.
"If I wanted to kick him, I could have done it 20 metres before, when we were already close, but also, if you give a kick to a MotoGP rider, he doesn’t crash. The bike is heavy, it has a lot of grip, and it don’t crash because you give it a kick. Instead, he touched my leg with the handlebars and that’s why he crashed.
"You can touch with the fairing hard and make him crash, but I don’t want to make him crash – I just want to say to him ‘f**k off.’”
Rossi had hit out at Marquez earlier this week with claims the Spaniard had deliberately tried to hold him up in Phillip Island.
Marquez was trying hard to get past Rossi and pulled a number of aggressive moves before the pairs came to blows, but whether he was trying to slow him again is not clear.
"I looked at Marquez five or six times in the first few laps,” said Rossi. "I looked at him to say ‘what are you f**king doing? Why are you doing this another time?’ It was like when you look at another car on the road!”
Race Direction have issued Rossi with three penalty points for the incident, which, when added to the one point he incurred for getting in Jorge Lorenzo’s way during qualifying at Misano, places him on the back of the grid in Valencia.
Rossi leads the championship standings by seven points after today’s race, but beating Lorenzo will be tough from the back of the grid.
"For this, I’m very disappointed for the three points,” he said. “He [Marquez] won. He decided the championship and he made me lose the championship. I think that he will be very happy.
"I think the penalty is too heavy. One point in Misano because I did a mistake on Jorge’s qualifying lap when he already had pole position – and I’ve never taken a point before because normally I am very fair on the track. I did a mistake and for me that was quite heavy already.
"But this three points give me a big problem for Valencia, because if I am to start from last it is quite impossible. I don’t want to make Marquez crash and that makes it heavy.”
When asked if he’d lost respect for the Spaniard after the incident, he replied: "Have I lost respect for Marquez? What do you think?”