Rossi vs. Marquez – Sepang MotoGP Clash
Monday began yet another chapter in the Valentino Rossi / Marc Marquez clash. This was after Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) released a Q&A with its Executive VP Shuhie Nakamoto regarding the controversial incident involving Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi two weekends ago at Sepang, round 16 of 17 in the 2015 MotoGP Championship.
Of course, Nakamoto was on Marquez’s side. Most of the controversy arrives from Nakamoto’s quote that says Rossi kicked Marquez’s bike:
“It is clear that Valentino intentionally pushed Marc towards the outside of the track, which is out of the rules. Therefore, Marc had no other option other than to run wide. The data from Marc’s bike shows that even though he was picking up the bike trying to avoid contact with Valentino, his front brake lever suddenly received an impact that locked the front tire, which is the reason for his crash. We believe that this pressure was a result of Rossi’s kick. The data acquisition from Marc’s bike is available if anybody from Dorna, the FIM, or media want to check.”
On Tuesday, The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team responded to this and another statement released earlier from HRC tgat is highlighted in our first Marquez/Rossi Clash piece.
Yamaha says: “We refer to the press release issued by Repsol Media Service on Sunday 25th October 2015, titled “Pedrosa wins and Marquez crashes after unsportsmanlike kick from Rossi”, as well as the press release issued by Honda Racing Corporation on Monday 2nd November, titled “Q&A with Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Executive Vice President”.
“Yamaha would like to express its disagreement with the words that have been used to report on the incident between riders Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. Both press releases included words that accuse Valentino Rossi of kicking Marc Marquez‘s bike that is something not proven by the investigation of the Race Direction.
“We therefore reject the wording used in the said published statements that do not correspond with the findings of the Race Direction. Yamaha has no wish to enter into further discussion regarding this unfortunate affair and our desire is to conclude the 2015 MotoGP season in the best possible way.
“We go to Valencia with the clear intention of trying our best to win what we hope will be a memorable final race with all riders and teams competing in an exemplary sportsmanlike manner befitting the top category of motorcycle racing.”
Following the Sepang MotoGP incident, the nine-time World Champion Rossi was given three Penalty Points. Due to another Penalty Point having been assessed earlier in the year during qualifying at Misano (illegal pass on teammate Jorge Lorenzo), Rossi now has four Penalty Points, which means he must start from the back of the grid at the season finale in Valencia.
Rossi leads Lorenzo by seven championship points as he chases his 10th world title, but starting from the back of the grid is going to provide many challenges. Rossi has appealed the Race Direction penalty, and a decision is expected Friday.