MotoGP Valentino Rossi Rossi: 'I'm Scared on Track when I'm with Marquez' | Argentina MotoGP...

Rossi: ‘I’m Scared on Track when I’m with Marquez’ | Argentina MotoGP Crash / Interview Video

Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez Crash Video Argentina MotoGP

The tension between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez ascended Sunday during the second round of 2018 MotoGP at Argentina’s Termas de Rio Hondo.

During round two of 19 of the MotoGP World Championnship Series, Repsol Honda’s Marquez collided with Rossi on the penultimate corner of the South American circuit – the right-handed Turn 13 – sending the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pilot to the ground.

Rossi, who was in sixth at the time of the crash, was able to restart, but finished 19th, missing out on any points.

Rossi: 'I'm Scared on Track when I'm with Marquez' | Argentina MotoGP Crash / Interview VideoAfter the race, the 39-year-old Rossi, who renewed his contract with the factory Yamaha squad for two more years, remained calm, though his words were furious: “I’m OK, but this is a very bad situation. 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 Viñales, 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 300 km an hour on the track, you have to have respect for your rivals.”

(For more, check out the video above: 0-1:00 and 5:20-end are in English).

As for Marquez, he was first penalized with for a botched start, and was later forced by Race Direction to give up his position due to clashing with Aleix Espargaro (Gresini Aprilia). Finally, he was penalized 30 seconds due to the incident with Rossi.

Marquez finished the race in fifth, but after the 30-second penalty he was dropped to 18th – meaning zero points for the four-time MotoGP Champion.

Following Argentina MotoGP, Marquez said: “It was a tricky race, in very tough conditions, with several drawbacks. Just before the start I had an issue with the engine, which stopped. We’ll look into it later. Anyway, I put my hands up but nobody was there. I was able to restart the bike and then I looked for some input from the marshals, as I wasn’t sure if, with the bike running again, I should go to my place on the grid or back to the pits.

“One marshal raised his hands, and a second one gave the thumbs up, which I interpreted to mean I could stay. When I saw the penalty message on the dashboard, I didn’t understand why, but I of course complied. Then I obviously tried push to recover and unfortunately I made some mistakes, the biggest one I believe being with Aleix. I approached faster than him and I didn’t realize 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 apologized. 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 incident didn’t only affect Rossi and Marquez. Because the press flocked to Marquez and Rossi after the Argentina Grand Prix, and many were missing from the post-race conference, the race winner, LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow, had some negative words for the press.

“It seems there is a lack of respect for the show we put on. The headlines are here. We pushed and this is disrespectful. In the end the rest of these media people that don’t bother coming, they can don’t bother coming to the rest of my media for the rest of the year.”

The drama is intense both on and off the track, and it all continues in two weeks with round 3 of 2018 MotoGP at Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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