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Lorenzo states penalty case, Marquez 'fans like it'
16 May 2013
Almost two-weeks after a dramatic last turn incident at Jerez, the clash between Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez remained the hot topic of conversation as MotoGP reconvened at Le Mans.
Rookie Marquez snatched second place when he bumped past Lorenzo in front of their home Spanish fans.
It was the latest in a line of last lap incidents at the corner. Indeed, footage emerged of Lorenzo himself taking down a fellow Aprilia Cup competitor at the same place early in his racing career.
Now the reigning double world champion, a furious Lorenzo had refused to comment immediately after the Marquez incident, but did admit he made a mistake in assuming the Honda rider was further behind.
Marquez handled the situation smartly, stating he would also be angry at losing a place at the last corner - and even apologising for the circumstances - but pointed out such a pass had been seen many times before and “this is racing”.
Race Direction sided with the 20-year-old, taking no action - just as when Valentino Rossi collided with Sete Gibernau over victory at the same corner in 2005. But despite having 'cooled down', the lack of action still angers Lorenzo, who feels a line needs to be drawn for safety reasons.
MotoGP has introduced a new penalty points system for 2013 - where four points means a back of the grid start, seven points a pit lane start and ten points disqualification from the next round. Lorenzo could not understand why at least some points were not applied to Marquez.
After giving his opinion behind closed doors in the riders' meeting
Lorenzo got the chance to air his views in public during the pre-event press conference.
“Now I've cooled down, but I still believe the action from Jerez was too hard,” he said. “I have nothing against Marc, because he's young and when you see some space you try. But I think this year we have got the license points system and we are not using it at the moment.
“I would like in the future for Race Direction to use this new system. And at Jerez, in my opinion, the minimum should have been some points. Some points, a 'yellow card', call it what you want. But something should be used.
“In racing it is possible to touch another rider, but when you hit another rider - make him do another line - it is a different story.
“It is difficult because there is always a difference of opinion, but - as I say - when you make a hit you should at least get some sort of penalty. One point, two points.
“I repeat I have nothing personally against Marc, I just think when you get penalised you can become a more logical rider. As happened with me in 2005. I made many mistakes but I only changed after I was penalised.”
Lorenzo was handed a one race ban after clashing with Alex de Angelis at the 2005 Japanese 250cc Grand Prix.
Marquez, for his part, responded: “If you do [a move like that] on the first lap or in the middle of the race I can understand a penalty. But on the last lap, this is racing. Many times we have seen things like that in motorcycle racing... I think fans like it.
“Last lap, last corner if I see some space I will try.”
Despite their opposing views, Lorenzo revealed that the pair had already shaken hands after being placed in the same row on the flight back from Jerez!
“There were almost 300 people on the plane and we were next to each other! It was funny,” smiled Lorenzo. “We didn't speak about the incident, just normal things. Then we shook hands. Like I say, I have no problem with Marc, I just want to improve the safety of my sport. This must be the top priority.”
Lorenzo and Marquez also shook hands again in the press conference (pictured).
When Lorenzo was asked if he had left the riders' briefing early - following reports he had 'stormed out' - Lorenzo replied that he thought the meeting was over and "someone has to leave first".
Marquez starts round four with a three point lead over team-mate and Jerez winner Dani Pedrosa. Lorenzo is one point further back. Each of the trio have taken one win so far this year.
Lorenzo won last year's wet French GP by almost ten seconds from Valentino Rossi (Ducati).