HRC defend Marc Marquez against accusations of foul play, as alleged by Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi came out swinging as soon as the helmets were off after the Valencia MotoGP race last night.
Valentino Rossi: “We build this season from the first race, and at the end it was anyway a great season. I was always competitive and never make any mistakes. I think that after Motegi I have the potential to win the championship but unfortunately from the race in Phillip Island something changed and in these last three races we saw something that we never saw before in our sport.
“I think that the situation was already bad, but today was embarrassing for everybody because it was unbelievable, the behaviour of Marquez is something very bad for everything, especially for the sport. It is something that nobody expects, because a Honda rider that made a Yamaha rider win and give the maximum just to push out his teammate is something that nobody expect and I think it is very, very bad news. Anyway, it is like this, we have to accept.
“I am happy because now everybody see what I said in Australia and I don’t understand the behaviour of Marquez but sincerely for me it is very difficult to say something to him because I hope that he will understand what he did in these last three races in the future of his career.
“For sure the Hondas were faster. We know that in the second part of the race Honda have a better potential but Marquez just protect Lorenzo like he did in Phillip Island and also Sepang. At the end I think that also Lorenzo have to not be very happy, as it is not a Championship that was won on track. But anyway is memories.”
In retort HRC issued the following statement.
Shuhei Nakamoto – HRC Executive Vice President – “This is not the atmosphere we wanted to experience at the end of an unforgettable championship. We understand that it’s been a very difficult day for Valentino, after leading the championship for 17 races and losing by just five points in the final race must be very disappointing. However, on the other side we cannot accept the strong accusations he has directed against our rider and Honda in the past weeks and in today’s post race press conference. Together with the allegation he made after Phillip Island, there is no evidence to support these accusations, only the fact that Marc took five points away from Valentino’s competitor in the championship, Jorge.
“Today Valentino has alleged that Marc never attempted to pass Jorge, who has clearly had a very good pace all weekend which he demonstrated by taking a strong pole position in qualifying. Marc was struggling to stay behind him during the race and both him and Dani have done a great job to not lose too much distance to Jorge. Marc’s plan was to attack in the last lap, as we have seen many times in the past if the opportunity presents itself, he will try. Dani’s pace increased at the end of the race and he overtook Marc but ran wide and Marc was able to immediately pass him back, but this is racing.
“We are sorry that Valentino doesn’t believe this is the case, but we are certain both Marc and Dani were pushing 100% to achieve the best result for the Repsol Honda Team and all our partners as always. We cannot accept that these accusations continue to surface time after time, as this is the perception of one person – which we respect – but it is not the reality.
“Valentino is a great champion and clearly an intelligent individual so we truly hope that in time, once the dust settles, he can reevaluate what has happened and accept this was another great race from a wonderful season, and it’s a shame to spoil it. Marc and Dani have taken points away from both Valentino and Jorge this year, this is the nature of racing.”