News 9 Apr 2018

Marquez ‘destroying our sport’ says Rossi following Argentina clash

Movistar Yamaha contender lashes out at the reigning MotoGP champion.

Source: Supplied.

Multi-time world champion Valentino Rossi has lashed out at Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) after the duo came together in a controversial clash during the weekend’s second round of the MotoGP World Championship in Argentina.

It was an already dramatic affair when the entire field was ordered to move to the rear of the grid by Race Direction as they switched to slick tyres, aside from Australian and pole-sitter Jack Miller (Pramac Ducati), who was already sporting slicks.

Marquez was handed a ride-through penalty after restarting a stalled engine, and as he endeavoured to move through the field from 20th, he dived under Rossi for position on lap 20, making contact with the Movistar Yamaha rider, pushing him wide into the grass and ultimately resulting in a fall.

“I’m okay, but this is a very bad situation,” expressed a furious Rossi. “If you take what happened this weekend as an example, one incident can happen to anybody, you can make a mistake in braking, you can touch the other guy. It can happen, it’s racing. But from Friday morning on, Marquez did this to ViƱales, to Dovizioso, to me, and on Saturday morning, and today he went straight through four riders.

“If you start to race like this, you raise the level to a very dangerous point. If all the riders race like this, this will become a very dangerous sport and it will finish in a bad way. It’s a very dangerous situation and I hope that what I said to Race Director Mike Webb makes them take more responsibility, they have to do something.

“I’m scared on the track when I’m with Marquez. I was scared today when I saw his name on the board. I’m not Race Direction – they will decide – but like this he is destroying our sport, because when you do 300km an hour on the track, you have to have respect for your rivals.”

Marquez was handed with a 30-second race penalty for the incident that has divided race fans, relegating him from fifth to 18th. Rossi was able to remount and complete the 24-lap outing, winding up in 19th.