Marc Marquez says he ‘didn’t see’ Andrea Iannone after the MotoGP world champion lost his pole position at Sepang as a result of an incident involving the Suzuki rider.

Marquez has been hit with a six-place grid penalty following an FIM Stewards investigation following Q2 in Malaysia, demoting the Spaniard to seventh position on row three.

The 25-year-old was found guilty of riding ‘in an irresponsible manner, being slow on the racing line and disturbing another rider’ following the incident at Turn 9. An irate Iannone remonstrated with Marquez on the track following the episode.

However, Marquez – speaking before he learned of his punishment – said the incident was unintentional.

“I was going out of the box and I let (Andrea) Dovizioso overtake, and then I looked behind and I saw only one Suzuki, which was (Alex) Rins; but because Iannone was maybe on the other side, I didn’t see him,” he said.

“So then on the entry I was very tight on the inside but he overtook me from inside. Of course, maybe I disturbed him, but if I get a penalty I don’t know – Race Direction will decide. But I tried to avoid and this is only what I can say – I didn’t see. But it doesn’t matter, I did the fastest lap and so this is the most important for me.”

Italian rider Iannone said Marquez had apologised, which he accepted, adding that he was not a rider who would ‘go to Race Direction and push (for a penalty’.

He said: “I arrived from Turn 8 really fast, and Marc was riding slow. When I arrived at Turn 9, I braked much before, and also turned with low speed, and I didn’t accelerate well, I lost three, four tenths, minimum. But OK, sometimes this is possible to happen. It’s like this.

“If I look at the rules, yes (it is a penalty). When you ride slow, it's not possible to stay on the good line. You stay on the outside line. He stayed on the line. But no problem. Marc said ‘sorry Andrea’, so no problem. For sure, I'm not a type of rider who goes to Race Direction and push: penalty, penalty, penalty. Everybody is like this, I'm not. I'm different.”

The incident marks the second time this season Marquez has lost pole position in a post-qualifying review. He received a three-place grid demotion at the United States MotoGP when he was found guilty of the same offence, obstructing Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales on that occasion.

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