Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez says Valentino Rossi 'lost control' in the heat of the MotoGP world title race after tension between the pair appeared to boil over at Sepang.
Rossi was unable to shake off Marquez in his efforts to chase after key title rival Jorge Lorenzo as he disputed third place with the outgoing world champion.
Following after a series of frantic overtakes between laps four and seven, the Italian forced Marquez wide before appearing to lash out at the Spaniard's Honda with his left leg, causing him to crash out of the race.
The unsavoury incident came after Rossi had accused Marquez of favouring Lorenzo for the title in Thursday's pre-race press conference in Malaysia, claiming he 'helped' Lorenzo at Phillip Island.
Race Direction imposed three penalty points on Rossi and the Movistar Yamaha rider will start the final race at Valencia in Spain on November 8 from the back of the grid after accumulating a total of four penalty points [one point incurred at Misano].
Rossi did not have any championship points deducted and still holds an advantage of seven points at the top over Lorenzo.
“I don't know the reality, the vision, of Valentino's team. On Thursday [in the press conference] he pushed me really hard [about Phillip Island] and in Australia I won the race, so I don't know what they want,” said Marquez, who passed Lorenzo at Phillip Island on the final lap to win the race.
“Here, I tried to push in the beginning. I did [2m] '0.8s. Then on the second lap I made a mistake at Turn 4, where I'd been struggling all weekend. And then even though we [Marquez and Rossi] overtake many times were riding fast, in 2m 1.9s.
“When he [Rossi] overtake me the first time, I tried to follow him, but then I saw I can be faster and then I tried to do my race.
“Of course, I tried to overtake him to try to push and open some gap between me and him. But he was overtaking really - normally when I overtake always I was inside of the corner, when he overtake he would go wide, come back.
“Of course Valentino was disturbing me and I was disturbing Valentino, because we couldn't find the best pace,” Marquez added.
“When Valentino was in front he was not very fast and after this incident, his lap time was 2m 1s-high, 2m 2s-low and I thought that I was able to ride even faster.”
Analysing the lap seven drama that brought Marquez's race to a shocking end, he added: “You can see easily on the TV that I go in, I heard that the Yamaha was coming, I shut [the throttle] a little bit and he stayed completely straight [on] the bike and he looked at me two times and I was [thinking] 'what's happening, what do I need to do', and I stayed there.
“I didn't expect that he would take off the leg and push my handlebars and my front brake. Then I lost the front and when I was in the floor I saw him look behind again.
“For me, it doesn't matter if you are Valentino or another rider, [in] this type of incident you are out of control. When you are a rider you know what is going on – to take off a leg and push another rider out, it is difficult how you can think this on the bike.”
Marquez, giving a press briefing in the Repsol Honda hospitality on Sunday evening, said the seemingly personal battle between himself and Rossi 'cannot go any further'.
“I don't want to be involved in the middle of this but what I know is that I was out of the race and he was still riding; I get zero points, he gets 16. For me, the penalty is there and strange decision,” said Marquez.
“Of course, what happened on Thursday was surprising for everybody, but I forget and I did my weekend. All the eyes were looking at me and Valentino and I got out in the race to try to do my race and I was pushing, trying to follow Jorge, but then we started to battle and I say, 'I will follow him to see how is the rhythm', and I saw that I was pushing him.
“When Jorge passed me I was not able to follow and also I was not able to follow Dani [Pedrosa]. I saw that Jorge had opened a little bit of a gap and I said, 'I will try to overtake him [Rossi] to try to push', but then when I overtake him we start many overtakes since we arrive in the moment [of the crash],” the 22-year-old added.
“I think this battle can not go more far because to arrive at the point when another rider kicks with the leg, we cannot arrive more far. I will try for next year and in Valencia to make a good set-up, a good bike and try to do a different type of race.”
Repsol Honda team principal Livio Suppo added: “What happened today is something we never want to see in racing, as it is unacceptable that a rider would intentionally create a dangerous situation causing the crash of another rider.
“We love motorsport and we like to see riders competing for victory, but there must be a limit and mutual respect of each other.”
Rossi denied that he kicked out at Marquez, saying his leg came off the footpeg after they made contact. Race Direction accepted that explanation since the available TV images did not prove otherwise.