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MotoGP Argentina: Lorenzo, Marquez respond to Qatar boos

“We are trying to be professional, trying to be the best on track and risking our lives in the process”
Some of the toxic atmosphere from last year's MotoGP finale spilled over to the Qatar season opener, with fans booing certain riders on race day.

Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez were jeered on both the grid and podium. Reigning champion Lorenzo produced a 'zip your mouth' gesture several times after claiming victory.

“Well I think we didn't do anything wrong during the last months. We just concentrated on going very fast,” Lorenzo said in Argentina on Thursday.

“I won the championship. Marc tried to do his best in the 2015 season and is starting this season like me: Trying to be professional, trying to be the best on the track and we are risking our lives in the process. So I don't know what we did wrong. Just be very fast and beat some riders, no?”

The boos were clearly related to last year's title controversy, with Valentino Rossi adamant that Marquez was trying to assist Lorenzo in the closing rounds.

Marquez - who denies Rossi's claims - said the boos are just something he will have to get used to.

“For me, it is something that for example in soccer I don't like, so of course I don't like it in MotoGP and also if it is against me. But in the end it is something that - I'm not stupid, and I know that it will be usual. So we must adapt,” he said.

“And for me the most important, doesn't matter the colour of the fans - if it's yellow, black or red - I think everybody enjoyed the race in Qatar. I enjoyed it on the track, so I'm happy with the final result and we will try to repeat it here.”

Rossi declined to give an opinion on the booing: “I don't know,” he shrugged.

Meanwhile, Lorenzo and Marquez rejected rumours that they would not be leaving their hotels this weekend due to safety concerns.

"No, no, no," Lorenzo said. "I'm not afraid and if I didn't go out of the hotel it is because I was training or relaxing for the race."

"I was afraid yesterday on the plane because one engine stopped!" smiled Marquez. "But I'm not afraid here."

Argentina was the first of three clashes between Marquez and Rossi last season - the pair colliding moments after Rossi snatched the lead on the penultimate lap, leaving Marquez on the ground.

Marquez said on Thursday that it was a 'racing incident' and, given the state of his rear tyre, he should have accepted the 20 points for second place.

"I already say after the race last year that I did a mistake because I chose the soft rear tyre, that for me was the best option," Marquez said. "But I had some blisters, I was losing a lot of time and when he arrived maybe was better to take 20 points.

"But it was just two laps from the end and I tried to fight against him, but he was much faster. I know I did a mistake and was a racing incident. It was better to stay in second place with the tyre and everything."

Rossi recalled: "The race was very good because I started with the extra hard rear tyre and I was on the third row. On the first corner I touched with Iannone, lost some time, but after I had a good pace and step-by-step I can overtake the guys in front and arrive in second.

"But at that moment Marc was quite far. So was difficult to try to catch him. But I felt good and my bike worked very well with the hard rear so I can arrive and start the battle [for the lead] two laps from the end. Unfortunately we touched two times and the second time Marc crashed.

"It was a shame because it could be a very good battle until the end. About if it changed something [in their relationship]? I don't know, sincerely."

The pair later tangled again at Assen and, most significantly for Rossi's title hopes, the penultimate Sepang round.

By Peter McLaren




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