HRC executive vice president Shuhei Nakamoto has said Honda “cannot accept the strong accusations” made by Valentino Rossi after the final round of the 2015 MotoGP season in Valencia.
Just hours after missing out on his tenth world title, Rossi claimed Marc Marquez deliberately protected Jorge Lorenzo in first position to ensure he overhauled the Italian and claim the championship.
However in a statement released by HRC, Nakamoto said that while understanding Rossi was clearly emotional after ultimately coming up short in a long, draining season, there is no evidence to support his accusations, which Honda believe are unacceptable.
"This is not the atmosphere we wanted to experience at the end of an unforgettable championship,” said Nakamoto. “We understand that it's been a very difficult day for Valentino, after leading the championship for 17 races and losing by just five points in the final race must be very disappointing.
“However, on the other side we cannot accept the strong accusations he has directed against our rider and Honda in the past weeks and in today's post race press conference. Together with the allegation he made after Phillip Island, there is no evidence to support these accusations, only the fact that Marc took five points away from Valentino's competitor in the championship, Jorge.
“Today Valentino has alleged that Marc never attempted to pass Jorge, who has clearly had a very good pace all weekend, which he demonstrated by taking a strong pole position in qualifying. Marc was struggling to stay behind him during the race and both him and Dani have done a great job to not lose too much distance to Jorge.
“Marc's plan was to attack in the last lap, as we have seen many times in the past if the opportunity presents itself, he will try. Dani's pace increased at the end of the race and he overtook Marc but ran wide and Marc was able to immediately pass him back, but this is racing.”
Going on to state the accusations were solely the perception of one man, Nakamoto is hopeful Rossi will revaluate the situation after some time away from the track, and that his claims will not detract from what has been an ultimately thrilling season.
“We are sorry that Valentino doesn't believe this is the case, but we are certain both Marc and Dani were pushing 100% to achieve the best result for the Repsol Honda Team and all our partners as always. We cannot accept that these accusations continue to surface time after time, as this is the perception of one person – which we respect – but it is not the reality.
“Valentino is a great champion and clearly an intelligent individual so we truly hope that in time, once the dust settles, he can reevaluate what has happened and accept this was another great race from a wonderful season, and it's a shame to spoil it. Marc and Dani have taken points away from both Valentino and Jorge this year, this is the nature of racing."