Reigning world champion Marc Marquez met the MotoGP media in COTA on Thursday (pictured), where he faced renewed questions about the drama in Argentina and rock-bottom relationship with Valentino Rossi.

But, wisely perhaps, Marquez avoided all mention of the Italian as he side-stepped a question about the 'angry words after the race', his relationship with Rossi and what he expects from the Italian this weekend.

"I mean, the race weekend in Argentina and especially on Sunday was really difficult. Really tricky for the conditions. And yeah many, many things during the race weekend," Marquez replied.

"But anyway I'm a rider, a person, who likes to improve and especially I like to learn from everything. And I think from that Sunday everybody can learn many, many, many things and we will try to improve for the future."

The Spaniard had already given his version of events on Sunday evening at Termas de Rio Hondo, where he sought to explain three penalties in the space of an hour, two of which were for colliding with other riders.

The start-line penalty was due to confusion about what the officials wanted him to do, Marquez had said, adding that the contact with Aleix Espargaro had been his biggest mistake, while the subsequent clash with Rossi was an error on a damp track but 'nothing crazy'.

Marquez was more forthcoming when quizzed further on the start-line incident: Why it had happened and why he chose to try and (successfully) restart the bike himself.

"Honda analysed very deeply why the engine stopped on the grid," he explained. "It was like something on the gearbox with the dashboard, something electronic, and they will try to fix for the future.

"For example, it happened to Cal in practice but, they thought it was just a mistake. So it was not only me, but unluckily it happened to me on the grid before the race. It was a shame."

It was Marquez's actions following the stall that resulted in the ride-through penalty. The Spaniard briefly raised his hand, as the rules state, but then jumped from the bike and was miraculously able to restart it himself.

The #93 turned his Honda around and - after a brief interaction with an official - returned to his grid slot and started the race.

"Obviously I realised that when I stopped the engine I was going to the pits, because normally a MotoGP bike, with one rider, is impossible to start alone," he said.

"I was going on the pits because there we have the [starter] machine, with the mechanic, but I tried [to start it] and the engine ran. And then was a big confusion with Race Direction, with IRTA, because also in the past it was possible to start the engine again and come to back to your grid position.

"The problem was a misunderstanding there and a big confusion for everybody. But we learn, everybody learn about that situation."

Pressed further on why he only waited for a short time with his hand in the air before jumping from the bike, Marquez replied:

"It's true and I know that you have to raise your hand. But when you are there on the grid and raise your hand for two-seconds, more-or-less, for a rider it feels like four-seconds. And I didn’t see anybody [officials] coming.

"So then I started to run to be as quick as possible to the pits.

"But unluckily-luckily I tried to start the engine and the engine started and then there was the biggest confusion for everybody. But now I know for the future, but I don't want to repeat that situation of course."

Marquez, who is seeking to extend a perfect COTA pole and win record to six-in-a-row this weekend, has dropped to fifth in the world championship, 18 points behind LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow.

Rossi will speak to the media later this afternoon…

UPDATE: Rossi's press meeting is now over: 'I think exactly what I said in Argentina...'

 

 

 

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