9 July 2015
MotoGP Flashback: Rossi, Marquez at Laguna Seca 2013
Look back at a previous track-cutting MotoGP incident between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi...
In the aftermath of the Assen MotoGP controversy, in which Marc Marquez felt Valentino Ross unfairly cut the track to keep the lead after the pair clashed at the final turn, the Italian made reference to Laguna Seca.
At the 2013 US GP Marquez was not punished for running off-track while overtaking Rossi at the Corkscrew, just as Rossi went unpunished for doing the same thing to Casey Stoner in 2008.
At Assen, Marquez didn't feel it was an accurate comparison, saying the Laguna incident was not on the last lap or for the race lead. But it's interesting to look back at their respective comments about gaining an advantage while cutting the track.
Here is the full story from July 22, 2013:
During the post-race press conference for the US MotoGP, Valentino Rossi light-heartedly put Honda team manager Livio Suppo on the spot over Marc Marquez's Corkscrew pass.
Rookie Marquez braved it out around the outside of second place Rossi as they arrived at the downhill plunge through the legendary 'S' turn, running over the kerb and across the gravel before re-joining the track (pictured).
It was the stand-out moment of the race and almost an exact copy of the pass Rossi had made on Casey Stoner during their epic 2008 battle - when Suppo was running Stoner's Ducati team.
“I want to speak a little bit about the overtake, especially with Livio Suppo,” said a smiling Rossi.
“So, you and Stoner broke my balls for two or three years about that overtake because I cut the corner. So what do you say today, he has to be disqualified eh?”
Suppo, sitting in the audience, replied: “Thank you for the question and thank you to Marc - because after a few years we pay you back!”
“Ahh okay, okay!” laughed Rossi.
After the overtake, championship leader Marquez went on to catch and pass Stefan Bradl and claim his third win of the season.
Rossi held on to third place, then jokingly attacked Marquez in parc ferme, before giving the 20-year-old a big hug and a handshake.
“I already said to him [Rossi] that I will pay the copyright!” commented Marquez of the overtake. “When I saw the video of 2008 I thought 'that is impossible'. But when I was there I let off the brakes a little because there was no space and I passed in the same place.
“The overtake that he did in 2008 was better because [then] it was different and the pictures, but okay I enjoyed it too!”
Rossi laughed off a question about Yamaha team management being seen heading for Race Direction.
“He cut the track, so he has to be disqualified!” smiled Rossi. “No, I think in 2008 I made one of the best overtakes - I want to say in history, maybe - and today Marc did the same. You know, when you do a move like this you have to take a risk and maybe not everything is perfect for the rules.
“I think it is right to do this kind of overtake... We have to be able to do this without any problem with Race Direction.”
Marquez unsurprisingly agreed: “You cannot do it every lap, but one time in one race why not? We need to be a bit free because in the end people want to see a show. I thought I was on the correct line, then I saw I was outside the track. It's a difficult place!”
“When you arrive at the Corkscrew it is hard to see and understand if you are on the line, even when you are alone,” said Rossi. “It is the trick of that corner. So you can imagine how hard it is to overtake there."
Comparing his reaction to that of an angry Stoner in 2008, Rossi said:
“For me we have a very different character and approach to racing, than Stoner. For me it was a great overtake. When I was on the bike I said 'f**k' because I heard him behind me but expected him on the other side. He did something different.
“Need style, different character to lose an overtake like this. From one side I'm not happy, because Marc overtook me in a great way, on the other side I know I have a credit with him. If I do it to him he cannot say nothing!”
The seven time champion also warned:
“I think today was not the right day to fight with Marc, because he was too fast for me. But for sure before the end of the season we will have another chance to fight, where I will be faster!”
Marquez now leads the standings by 16 points heading into the summer break. Rossi is fourth in the championship.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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