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MotoGP: Honda, FIM won’t release Rossi-Marquez clash data

“Honda and the FIM have decided together not to release [the data] so as not to fuel further polemics.”
FIM President Vito Ippolito has announced that data from Marc Marquez's Honda during the infamous Sepang MotoGP clash with Valentino Rossi will not be released.

The data relates to claims that Rossi kicked Marquez, causing the Spaniard to fall.

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

“To arrive at the point when another rider kicks with the leg, this battle cannot go more far.”

Rossi denied such a 'kick', saying his foot came off the footpeg after the pair made contact and when Marquez was already falling.

“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.

“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. But if you look frame-by-frame you see that when I lose the foot on the footpeg Marquez has already crashed."

The kick was not part of Rossi's punishment from Race Direction, which handed the Italian three penalty points (meaning a back of the grid start at Valencia) for deliberately slowing down and forcing Marquez wide, "resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash".

But a few days later, a statement from HRC vice president Shuhei Nakamoto declared: “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.”

Following that announcement, Honda was inundated with requests to see the data and planned an official presentation on the eve of the final round in Valencia.

However this was cancelled at the last minute by Honda, who said they did not want to influence Rossi's appeal to the CAS, over starting last in the Valencia showdown with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

A few days after the final race, where Lorenzo snatched the crown from Rossi by five points and the Italian again accused Marquez of trying to help the #99, Honda halted a second planned display of the data.

This time, the decision was made by the FIM and Dorna.

“This time it is not our choice [not to show the data], it is FIM and Dorna asking us to not put more fuel on the fire. We respect their ruling in this sport and so we accept their request,” said HRC team principal Livio Suppo.

“As we have said, sooner or later we would like to show this data. We said when we think it is appropriate. Since last time we spoke something even more happened [between Rossi and Marquez], which is very sad for us because I personally cannot believe how people do not believe that Marc was desperately trying to win that race.”

Now it seems a final decision has been made and that the data will never be seen.

“In MotoGP, the dispute was brought before the CAS and the case is now closed. It is true that at the end of the season the polemics around the Rossi-Marquez case swelled to unprecedented levels,” Ippolito said.

“For that reason, we asked all the people involved, including the teams, to refrain from engaging in controversy about what happened in Sepang.

“During the last competition in Valencia, team Honda informed us that they had all the telemetry relating to the incident. Now the data are in our hands, and Honda and the FIM have decided together not to release them so as not to fuel further polemics.”

The data would only prove what happened to Marquez's bike, but not why it happened.


Tagged as: Honda , Valentino Rossi , Marquez

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