High drama here in Malaysia as MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi makes contact with Marc Marquez, sending the Honda rider down.

Rossi's Thursday accusations against Marquez came back to haunt him as the pair become embroiled in a relentless on-track battle for third.

Rossi and Marquez swapped places on countless occasions, Rossi at one point waving his hand at Marquez in frustration. But it all turned nasty when the Italian appeared to lose his cool, sitting up and looking over at Marquez twice as he forced the Spaniard wide on the entry to Turn 14.

In danger of running off track, Marquez eventually leaned in, resulting in the contact that sent him to the ground. The #93 rejoined only to ride his damaged RCV back to the pits.

The incident will now be examined by Race Direction, especially due to a possible kick from Rossi, who faces the very real risk of a penalty.

"Unfortunately I lose a lot of time with Marc and at Turn 14 I try to go a bit wide to take a better line and make him slow, because he just ride to cause me problem," Rossi said in parc ferme.

"But unfortunately, I don't know, he [Marquez] come to me and I think he crashed at that moment.

"Anyway it is a shame because I think in a normal race we can stay and fight with Jorge. So we lose some more points and Valencia will be more difficult."

Dani Pedrosa won the race from Rossi's title rival Jorge Lorenzo meaning Rossi's championship lead is set to be cut from 11 to 7 points heading into the Valencia season finale - even before any penalty is applied.

"For me it's clear Valentino deliberately kicked the bike of Marc and that is why Marc crashed," declared Honda team manager Livio Suppo.