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