Reigning world champion cops three penalties in drama-filled Argentina grand prix.
Marc Marquez has labelled his clash with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) during Sunday’s second round of the MotoGP World Championship in Argentina as a racing incident, which saw the latter ultimately fall when he was pushed wide into the grass by the Spaniard.
Rossi lashed out at the reigning world champion, stating he’s ‘destroying our sport’ when speaking in regards to his aggressive riding style, however Marquez is adamant the clash was a consequence of the mildly wet circuit.
The Repsol Honda rider’s woes started before the race commenced when his RC213V stalled on the line, he was able to fire the machine back into life, although he would start out of position, resulting in a ride-through penalty.
It marked the first penalty of three for Marquez, as contact later in the race with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) saw him ordered to drop a position, while we was handed a 30-second penalty for the incident with Rossi on lap 20.
“I obviously tried to push to recover and unfortunately I made some mistakes, the biggest one I believe being with Aleix,” said Marquez. “I approached faster than him and I didn’t realise it – I tried my best to avoid contact but unfortunately I wasn’t able. I saw the penalty, and to be safe, gave up two positions, not just one, before starting to push again.
“With Valentino it was different, as it was a consequence of the track conditions. I touched a wet patch, locked the front, and released the brakes. I tried to turn, again making my best effort to avoid contact. When he crashed I immediately apologised. It was a racing incident as happened earlier with Zarco and Dani, and then with Petrucci and Aleix.
“It was a tricky Sunday. Of course today I made some mistakes, which I recognize. Other mistakes were made by Race Direction on the grid, and others were due to the difficult conditions, but one thing I know for sure: never in my career have I intentionally hit another rider.”
The final time penalty meant the multi-time world champion was relegated to 18th, pushing him back to fifth in the overall standings as the series heads to Circuit of the Americas on 22 April.