Rossi v Mar­quez

World champ breaks all the rules but re­mains adamant his Rossi col­li­sion was un­in­ten­tional

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - SI­MON PAT­TER­SON MO­TOGP RE­PORTER si­mon.pat­ter­son@mo­tor­cy­cle­ @Mc­n­sport mo­tor­cy­cle­news

Marc Mar­quez has played down the col­li­sion that saw Valentino Rossi crash out of Sun­day’s Ar­gen­tinian Grand Prix, in­sist­ing con­di­tions at the Ter­mas de Rio Hondo track were as much to blame for the Ital­ian’s fall as his own ac­tions.

The Spa­niard was handed a ride­through penalty in the open­ing stages of the bizarre race af­ter stalling on the grid. Ig­nor­ing the in­struc­tions of race of­fi­cials he bump-started his Rep­sol Honda and re­turned to his grid slot. He then made a bril­liant start and was lead­ing be­fore re­ceiv­ing a ride-through penalty for rid­ing the wrong way down the grid to re­turn to his start­ing spot.

Af­ter los­ing 20 sec­onds by do­ing so and go­ing from the lead to 19th place, the reign­ing cham­pion was then forced to scythe his way through the field. Show­ing no mercy as he came into con­tact first with Aleix Es­par­garó and then fel­low Honda rider Takaki Nak­agami, Mar­quez’s ag­gres­sive move on Es­par­garó then earned his sec­ond penalty, forc­ing him back one place.

But de­spite ad­mit­ting the blame for that in­ci­dent, Mar­quez was quick to pass some of the re­spon­si­bil­ity for the col­li­sion that saw Rossi fall­ing from the race, in­stead in­sist­ing that the damp track and nar­row, dry­ing line also played a role.

“I ob­vi­ously tried to 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 to. I saw the penalty and, to be safe, gave up two po­si­tions, not just one, be­fore start­ing to push again.

“But 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.

And while Mar­quez ac­knowl­edged his mis­takes and took the tor­rent of abuse thrown his way by Rossi af­ter the race on the chin, Mar­quez was also quick to counter one of Rossi’s al­le­ga­tions – that the in­ci­dent be­tween the pair was de­lib­er­ate.

“Hon­estly, I do not care what he says be­cause I just fo­cus on my words and know what hap­pened. I recog­nise my mis­takes and will try to im­prove for the fu­ture. I’m happy for the race as the pace was very good, but about the rest I just try to fo­cus on push­ing 100%.

“But I’m dis­ap­pointed, too, be­cause in my ca­reer I never go into another rider think­ing he will crash. I try to avoid that! Some­times you over­take and it is close, some­times it is clearer. What hap­pened with Valentino was a mis­take caused by the track con­di­tions, be­cause I tucked the front, and he is wrong to say I did it on pur­pose.”

‘What hap­pened with Valentino was a mis­take caused by track con­di­tions’ MARC MAR­QUEZ

Mar­quez hasn’t made him­self Mr Pop­u­lar Mar­quez was un­scathed af­ter his col­li­sion with Rossi But the Yamaha star fell com­pletely out of the points

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