19 March 2016
MotoGP Qatar: Rossi, Lorenzo: ‘What you f**king want?’
“The problem is that I say 'why?', and I expect 'sorry', but he [look] to me like say 'what you f**king want?'" - Valentino Rossi.
UPDATE: The obvious friction between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo continued when asked about 2017 contracts.
Lorenzo commented that Rossi's decision to re-sign was easier since he had no other options. Rossi responded to rumours that Lorenzo may leave Yamaha for Ducati by saying 'changing bikes takes balls, so he will remain'.
Just hours after re-signing for Movistar Yamaha, Valentino Rossi found himself tangling with team-mate and reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo.
The pair crossed paths during final practice for this weekend's Qatar season-opener, Rossi immediately gesturing his frustration to Lorenzo at being held up. The arm-waving then continued at the end of the session, as they lined-up to do a practice start.
“He exited from the pit without looking at the track and when he arrived at the first corner he tried to slow down, but he was on the line,” Rossi explained. “The problem is that I say 'why?' and I expect 'sorry', but he [look] to me like 'what you f**king want?'
“Then when we try the practice start I go to him again, but anyway...”
Speaking in the earlier press conference, Lorenzo - who is yet to accept his new Yamaha contract offer - said he was confused as to why Rossi appeared so agitated by the incident:
"In my opinion he had no reason to complain. Everyone knows when you exit the pits you cannot stop [completely] to let them past. The only thing you can do is stay on the white line. I cannot be in the gravel. What can I do? If he is still angry with me I don't know the reason, you have to ask him."
But Rossi still clearly remembers when the roles were reversed at Misano last season.
“The problem is that this situation happened exactly the same in Misano qualifying, where I did the same mistake. He was very angry with me after and in the end they gave me one [penalty] point. But they don't give to him one point.
“I don't go to Race Direction to say 'one point', but I saw [race director] Mike Webb here [in the paddock] so I said, 'why one point to me and not to him!' I don't know why, but it is not a big problem.”
That penalty point went on to have major implications for Rossi's 2015 title hopes since, when he later received three penalty points for the incident with Marc Marquez at Sepang, it triggered a back of the grid start for the Valencia finale.
“Anyway, I am already f**ked [about] last year! Unfortunately, it won't change the situation,” Rossi laughed.
While Lorenzo went on to claim pole position for Sunday's race, Rossi qualified in fifth place, albeit just 0.272s slower.
“Top five is not so bad. I can do better because it is slow close, but anyway I'm happy because from the second row if you have good pace you can have a good race,” Rossi said.
“But like during practice a lot of riders have a good pace, so will be hard. But I think today Marquez demonstrated that he is a little bit faster. He has a better pace. So if I look just at FP4 he is the faster, but also Lorenzo for sure and I hope me, Vinales, the Ducatis so it will be interesting.”
Reflecting on the surprise early announcement of his new two-year Yamaha deal, the Italian star added: “I spoke with Yamaha after the test. They said they are very happy if I continue. In my mind I want to continue. The contract was more-or-less ready and so we said 'why wait!'”
Rossi, who won last year's Qatar race and went on to lead the points until the final round in Valencia, said he is 90% certain it will be his last MotoGP contract.
While Rossi - who believes Marquez assisted Lorenzo last year - says his relationship with the Honda rider will never be the same, The Doctor had claimed there would be no problem continuing to work with Lorenzo to improve the Yamaha.
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