Honda has issued a detailed response to the events and accusations surrounding its star rider Marc Marquez, following the Spaniard's battle with MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi at Sepang.

Rossi, frustrated at Marquez's constant attacks for third place early in the Malaysian race, looked across and deliberately forced the Honda rider wide on lap 7 of 20.

With the edge of the track approaching, contact was made between the pair - including some leg movement from Rossi - which ended with Marquez on the ground.

Related Articles

"I didn't expect that he would take off the leg and push my handlebars and my front brake," Marquez said.

Rossi denied kicking Marquez, saying his foot came off the footpeg after they made contact and when Marquez was already falling. TV images were inconclusive and Race Direction only punished Rossi for forcing Marquez off line, "resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash".

The nine time world champion received three penalty points, a decision he is now appealing to avoid starting this Sunday's Valencia title decider - against team-mate Jorge Lorenzo - from the back of the grid.

The Sepang battle between Rossi and outgoing double champion Marquez had been brewing since Thursday, when Rossi sensationally accused Marquez of helping Lorenzo at the previous Australian race. The Doctor added that Marquez held a grudge over their earlier clashes in Argentina and Assen, describing him as 'angry and thinking like a child'.

Rossi's claim that Marquez was again trying to slow him down at Sepang was taken into account as 'provocation', although Race Direction made clear Marquez did not break any rules.

The controversy over the incident shows no sign of abating, prompting Honda to release the following Q&A with HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto.

Nakamoto insists there was nothing unusual in the way Marquez was racing Rossi, compares it to Rossi's battle with Lorenzo at Motegi 2010, claims the result of a 'kick' from Rossi can be seen on Marquez's data and is disappointed Rossi was not punished during the race...

"First of all, we would like to state that we believe it is very important to speak about the facts, not about assumptions. A fact is a fact and there is only one interpretation. Assumptions can be translated in different ways, depending on which side you are. For the good of our sport, we would like everybody to just consider the facts that occurred and these are clearly the following:

- Marc Marquez won the Australian GP, overtaking Jorge Lorenzo on the last lap, and therefore taking away 5 points from him in the Championship.

- On Thursday prior to the Malaysian GP in the Pre-Event Press Conference, Valentino Rossi accused Marc of racing against him in Phillip Island to help Jorge Lorenzo.

- In the Malaysian GP, Rossi intentionally pushed Marc out of the racing line which caused him to crash. Race Direction gave him a penalty for this action, confirmed by FIM.

As a matter of fact, the aforementioned topics are the only facts we can consider and comment upon, any other discussion would be based on assumptions. To speak about assumptions would only increase the negative atmosphere we are facing in this moment, but will not change the reality of what happened."

What is your opinion regarding the current situation after the Malaysian GP?

"We as HRC are very regretful this situation has been created. First of all, we would like to underline that Marc has been subject to an accusation with no evidence, after the Phillip Island race. Clearly there are no grounds to support that he wanted to help any rider in the Championship battle, considering he pushed to win the race and did so. After reviewing the images further, you can clearly see Valentino and Marc shaking hands after the chequered flag in Australia, acknowledging a great and fair battle."

Do you believe the battle in the Malaysian GP between Marc and Valentino is a result of Valentino's accusation?

"We honestly don't think this is the case. We all know Marc races at 100% all the time, it's one of the reasons we all love him and he has so many fans around the world. Marc always pushes to the maximum to achieve the best result possible. He had a great battle in his career with many riders, and nobody complained about that. In Malaysia, we know that Marc was struggling at the beginning of the race with the full tank, as has happened several times this season. Also in Sepang he made a mistake at the beginning of the race and this allowed Jorge to pass him. Then Valentino arrived and they began to fight for third place. The passes were extreme, but safe, from both riders. Two of the greatest champions we've seen battling together on track"
Is it possible that Marc slowed down Valentino in those laps?

"The lap times they were doing were quite fast, clearly showing that there was no intention from Marc to slow down Valentino. In addition, after Marc crashed and Valentino had an open track in front of him, his lap times were no faster then during the battle with Marc. We believe, they were both pushing to the maximum. Both wanted third place and to try and catch up with Dani and Jorge, but of course this battle opened up a gap to the front two. This is racing and when you have two talents such as Marc and Valentino you can see a wonderful battle as we saw."

Do you believe Valentino kicked Marc's bike?

"It is clear that Valentino intentionally pushed Marc towards the outside of the track, which is out of the rules, therefore Marc had no other option other than to run wide. The data from Marc's bike shows that even though he was picking up the bike trying to avoid contact with Valentino, his front brake lever suddenly received an impact that locked the front tyre, which is the reason for his crash. We believe that this pressure was a result of Rossi's kick. The data acquisition from Marc's bike is available if anybody from Dorna, the FIM or media want to check."

Do you believe Marc is telling the truth when he says he wasn't trying to slow down Valentino in Sepang?

"I know Marc well. He is a good guy, with strong and honest values. Marc was just trying to defend his position, as any rider would do, and we believe him 100%."

What is your position on how Race Direction acted?

"We respect the decision of Race Direction and don't want to pass judgement if the penalty they administered was right or wrong. However, we do believe there was enough evidence to allow them to take a decision during the race, it was not necessary to wait until the end."

What do you think of Valentino's appeal to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) against Race Direction and FIM's decision?

"This is in his rights. We will respect the CAS decision."

People say that it's unfair that Marc battled with Valentino, as Marc is not fighting for the Championship, while Valentino is.

"This is racing! There were no comments or concerns after Dani fought with Valentino in Aragon and beat him, and also in Phillip Island with Iannone - nobody accused Andrea of trying to help one competitor more than the other. It's been a difficult season and in Sepang Marc simply wanted to take the best result possible for him and his team, it's not in his nature to settle for fourth place when there is a chance to fight for third. We should also look back to Motegi 2010 when Valentino was out of the race for the title but had a great battle with his teammate Jorge. After the race, when Jorge complained about Valentino being too aggressive and with no meaning as he was out of the Championship, Valentino commented: "I said to Yamaha, what do you expect from me, to arrive behind? If I know this I will stay at home." We totally agree with Valentino's approach and will always support our riders to achieve the best results possible."

What is your opinion of Valentino in this moment?

"Valentino is the greatest ever champion of our sport. We believe he has done a great job this year, and if he wins the Championship he truly deserves it, as he has been consistent and very fast all year. The fact that he is 36 years old increases the respect for such a great champion. Having said that, we don't understand his accusation related to the Phillip Island race and his manoeuvre in Sepang. We hope that Valentino will think it over and understand his mistake."

What is your target for Valencia?

"As always, our target is to win! Our hope is that Marc and Dani can fight for the win. If they can finish first and second - it doesn't matter for us which order - then we will be very happy. First of all, because we want to finish this season with the 4th win in a row, second because if they both are in front of Jorge and Valentino, their result will have no influence in the battle for the title and - finally - we hope everybody will understand that Honda riders race for the win and the pure competition, for nothing else."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

the Irony about all of this is that Honda is not even talking about little Dani's outstanding win and his resurgence as an alien ! that's what their PR people should be cooking about !~

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Rossi has over stepped the mark acting like a spoiled child against Marc because he frustrated him ,running him wide and kicking out at him like a child's tantrum i think Rossi needs a enemy to use for mind games as in the past Gibernau Biaggi and Stoner his new one is Marc to get into the riders heads and the media who lap it up

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

all you blind Rossi fans just can not see it what he did was illegal you can not run some one off the track deliberately it dangerous and illegal even Yamaha agreed he was in the wrong you can not defend such a action weather he kicked him or not is hard to see depending on you bias view of it however the FIM couldnt say yes or no so he gets the benefit of doubt , you cannot justify Rossi actions on Marc,s past the penalty was for this dangerous illegal maneuver it has no defence

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Irresponsible of Honda to say the data shows a kick

The data shows a bump!

This is what we saw, not a kick

Inflammatory words from a team that knows better

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

And MM leaning in to the curve is standard bike racing stuff from the turn in at 4 sec through to 7 sec "we should be turning in , we should be turning in, we should be turning in!" You think they should be polite and let the rider ahead make their move fully and conclusively before they make a counter move? It ain't chess.

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

geoffrey.spears.52:
uberdrive:
FACT is, Rossi has every right to go wide. Which rule book says he cannot do so?? [\blockquote]

So, why did RD and FIM give and confirm Rossi's penalty for irresponsible riding that endangered MM and caused a crash?[\blockquote]

Because uberdrive wasn't picking up his phone at the time so they had to wing it with their own best guess :)

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Painless:
GeoffD:
Painless: Have a look at the helicopter view.
youtube.com/watch?v=VDsosN6vtJk
Running out of track? There is at least 1.5 metres of track to the left when Marquez falls off.
[\blockquote]
lol, 1.5 metres, that is exactly my point, deliberatly pushed off the track. I have looked at the helicopter video many times too and it confirms the action of Val, he took Marquez out, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT..So sad a thing to happen, fix it Valentino, say sorry for this whole episode and regain the pride you deserve,,,[\blockquote]

Pushed off line not off track. The big black thing is called the track[\blockquote]

Where have HRC or MM said he was pushed off track? Looking at the heli vid you are ignoring two big aspects - trajectory and speed (I find it hard to believe I had to say that tho!)

Also youtube.com "#SepangClash: Rossi and Marquez get physical!" MM is turning in naturally at 4 sec and goes down at 7 secs - that is some detour at MotoGP

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Rossi wanted to cool the overheated #93 down and "restart". Then this happened.

You can argue a lot. One thing is sure. #93 was NOT racing only, he was trying to interfere and give #46 a really hard time. I'm pretty sure, knowing "Mr. Hothead #93" that that is the most likely mindset he had switched his attitude to. The brains were taken out before the race.

#46 surely screwed up. The PI-press conference was unnecessary and the slow down...maybe. I mean, #93 was on the brink to cause an accident and was not going to be reasonable. To avoid the worst he needed a "reset". The fall was surely not part of the "plan"...

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

phil321: Surely the rear camera on Rossi or MM's bike would show a potential kick more clearly. I've not see one yet, to me it just looked like Rossi's leg was caught on something as the knee is pulled away from the bike.[\blockquote]

well, I guess that is a little far fetched. Rossi deliberately moved the knee, but only after he was hit by MM's bike. He was not even watching, he was just protecting himself... there was a helmet and bike ramming his knee...Every normally functioning human would do that.

The problem is that MM raced not to win, but to block and prove an arrogant point. He had absolutely nothing to loose, Rossi everything. It was extremely dangerous, they never were going to keep this upright. Something bad could have happened The least would be that 38 and 35 would catch them.

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Garcia: Everyone posting links... ok I'll post too...

Look at Rossi's left leg, and tell me that he didn't deliberately kick!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=pH1UAjVpQ3A

[\blockquote]

repeating partial onesided information that looks like it being the cause of "something invisible" does not make it more factual.

Where is #93's camera?

Well, try this and for once watch the sequence in time...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wTwy0zunxo

#46 is slowing, #93 runs into his leg, the leg is pushing away the hurting bike. probably touching the handlebar or arm from #93. #93 goes down.

0 votes
+
Vote up!
-
Vote down!

Pages