Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez have been offered bodyguards for this weekend's Italian MotoGP at Mugello.
The usual move is the result of fan uproar following the conclusion of last year's world championship, when Italian hero Valentino Rossi accused Marquez of conspiring against him during the title battle with Lorenzo.
“Well in the paddock I don't know if it's necessary. Maybe outside the paddock?” commented reigning world champion Lorenzo, winner at Mugello in four of the past five seasons. “There are a lot of fans in Italy, and you never know how a fan can react. So the bodyguards are there and if we don't need them, it's okay. If we do need them, they are ready to work.”
However Repsol Honda's Marquez is firmly against the move.
“Honestly since I arrived here yesterday I feel ready good. The fans are just asking for pictures and autographs. This morning when I go out of the motorhome I see a bodyguard, and honestly I already said to Dorna that I don't need a bodyguard,” Marquez said.
“I don't want a bodyguard. I want to feel normal. This is [just] another circuit and I think we are in a sport where this will not happen. So I already told them that I don't need. Just I feel great and this is most important.”
Lorenzo and Marquez have frequently been booed by 'fans' in the five rounds so far this season. In Lorenzo's case he is likely to get a far warmer reception at Mugello next year, as a factory Ducati rider.
Lorenzo (Yamaha) leads this years championship by five points over Marquez, with Rossi (Yamaha twelve points from the top in third.