12 September 2016
MotoGP San Marino: Rossi/Lorenzo in post-race verbal spat
'He didn't need to do this overtaking, he was better than me today and he would pass me sooner or later, but he didn't need to be so aggressive on me' - Jorge Lorenzo.
Movistar Yamaha team-mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo became involved in an awkward verbal clash at Misano, with reigning world champion Lorenzo accusing the Italian of riding too aggressively.
Rossi made a strong pass on Lorenzo on the brakes to take the lead on lap two in San Marino, causing the Spaniard to sit up. A clearly irked Lorenzo, who was loudly booed on the podium by Rossi's fervent fans after finishing third behind race winner Dani Pedrosa and runner-up Rossi, said the move almost caused him to crash.
Repsol Honda rider Pedrosa made a similar hard overtake on Rossi later in the race to take the lead and The Doctor said he had no issues with the manoeuvre, stating: 'This is racing when you try for the victory at the end'.
Asked for his view on his overtake on Lorenzo, Rossi said: “Like I said before on the other side with Pedrosa, overtaking here at Misano is always a bit difficult, but I want to try from the beginning because I want to try to modify something because in Mugello, I was behind Lorenzo and it bring me unlucky with the broken engine, so this time I want to try to stay in front.”
Lorenzo was also asked for his opinion on the pass and the conversation between the pair unfolded as follows:
Lorenzo: “Well if you ask this question maybe it is because the move is aggressive because if not, then you don't ask this question. You can have different opinions: my opinion was that the overtaking was maybe too aggressive; he didn't need to make this overtaking, but you know this is his style. Other riders overtake more clean… [Rossi laughs].
Lorenzo: “It is true – you don't know?”
Rossi: “No, no, no. Try to look another time at the overtake on the television.”
Lorenzo: “If I don't pull up straight the bike, we crash – I crash. Maybe you don't crash, but I crash for sure.”
Rossi: “This is not true. I don't know what I have to say – Marquez overtake ten times like this at Silverstone. What you say like this is not true.”
Lorenzo: “It is my opinion, my opinion.”
Rossi: “Also you overtake always aggressive, also to me.”
Lorenzo: “When? This is my opinion, also Race Direction will have another opinion. For me, if I don't pull up the bike straight I crash. Anyway he didn't need to do this overtaking, he was better than me today and he would pass me sooner or later, but he didn't need to be so aggressive on me. He will have another opinion.”
Rossi: “Anyway, I do not agree.”
Rossi's runner-up finish saw him close the gap at the top of the championship to 43 points on Marquez, with Lorenzo in third, now 61 points behind the Honda rider and 18 back on Rossi.
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