Jorge Lorenzo has issued a statement denying he has made a 'pact' with Marc Marquez as the fevered hype surrounding the climax to this year's MotoGP World Championship continues to rage.
In the pre-race press conference at Sepang, championship leader Valentino Rossi accused Repsol Honda's Marquez of favouring Lorenzo for the premier class title, claiming the outgoing world champion had 'helped' his Movistar Yamaha team-mate at Phillip Island in Australia.
With tensions running high, Rossi became embroiled in a fierce duel with Marquez during the penultimate race in Malaysia, which culminated with the young Spaniard crashing out after contact was made between the warring pair on lap eleven, when Rossi deliberately ran the Honda star out to the edge of the track.
Rossi received three Penalty Points for 'irresponsible riding' and will start the final race at Valencia in Spain from the back of the grid after accumulating four in total following an infringement at Misano, where the Italian was deemed to have impeded Lorenzo on a flying qualifying lap.
Reports suggested a fuming Lorenzo was present in Race Direction with Marquez and Rossi following the race at Sepang 'shouting and screaming', although it later transpired the claims had been unfounded.
In the latest incredible twist to the saga, reports in Italian newspaper La Repubblica claim Lorenzo has made a pact with Marquez ahead of the final race at Valencia to help deliver the world title at Rossi's expense, prompting the 28-year-old to flatly deny the allegations in a statement issued in Spanish.
“From the staff team Jorge Lorenzo, we officially deny categorically everything that has been published in the last hours of a possible meeting or Jorge Lorenzo pact with Marc Marquez – a ridiculous and unfounded information published yesterday [Wednesday] by La Repubblica and subsequently chimed other Italian media,” said the statement.
“Not wanting to feed more this unpleasant situation for the pilot, [we] just want to express unease about such rumours, which have not been verified before going public. We reiterate once again that all this information is absolutely false.
“On the other hand, we also want to deny that Jorge Lorenzo was in the office of career direction after the Malaysian Grand Prix as some media commented, as Jorge himself also explained at a press conference.”
Rossi starts next weekend's final round with a seven-point advantage over Lorenzo.