26 October 2015
MotoGP Malaysia: Rossi: 'I did not kick Marquez off'
“I don't want to make Marquez crash and I don't kick him" - Valentino Rossi.
Valentino Rossi has denied kicking out at Marc Marquez, causing the Spaniard to fall during their intense Sepang MotoGP battle.
The Malaysian weekend began with Rossi accusing Marquez of helping title rival Jorge Lorenzo at Phillip Island - and ended with the Honda rider sprawled on the ground after the pair clashed while fighting furiously over third place, on lap 7 of 20.
Rossi claimed that Marquez had been deliberately holding him up - mirroring his Phillip Island accusations - but this time Rossi responded by trying to block pass the Spaniard.
The Doctor declared that he wanted to deliberately force Marquez wide, in order to try and breakaway from the #93 after countless passes between the pair. But instead Rossi's leg made contact with Marquez's handlebar, dumping the double world champion on the ground.
“I don't want to make Marquez crash and I don't kick him," Rossi declared. "If you look at the images, as I did in Race Direction, frame-by-frame and you see from the helicopter. The helicopter is where you see it more because from the side it looks like I gave him a kick.
“From the helicopter if you see, in slow motion, it is quite clear that I go wide. I don't want to say I do the normal corner - I wanted to go to him, slow down and make him lose time. Because it is the only thing that I can do, because in every braking he overtake me, slow down a lot in the corners and for me he didn't open the throttle on the straights.
“When I slow down, slow down, slow down and I go to cut his line, we touch. He touched me with the handlebar on my left leg and it is for that reason he crashed, because he opened the handlebar on my leg and he crashed.
“But if you go slow, you see frame-by-frame that when I lose the foot on the footpeg Marquez is already down, he has already crashed. First of all, if I want to kick him, I can kick him also 20-30 metres before because we were already close. But especially if you give a kick to a MotoGP rider he don't crash, because the bike is heavy, has a lot of grip.
“He just touched my leg with the handlebar and he crashed. So I'm very disappointed for the three penalty points.”
Quizzed on why he looked across twice at Marquez just before the contact, Rossi replied:
“I looked at Marquez five or six times on the first laps. I look at him to say 'what you f**king doing? Why you do this another time?'”
Rossi was handed three Penalty Points for the contact, Race Direction accepting he deliberately pushed Marquez wide but did not want him to fall. Some 'provocation' by Marquez was also taken into account, although Race Direction made clear the Spaniard did not break any rules.
Because Rossi already has one Penalty Point from Misano, it means he will start the Valencia title showdown with Lorenzo from last place on the grid.
Lorenzo finished second in the race, cutting Rossi's championship lead to seven points.
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