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|10-25-2015, 06:50 PM||#1|
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MotoGP: Championship Shake Up In Sepang
The drama continued at Sepang circuit as the battle between rivals Marc Marquez (93) and Valentino Rossi (46) reached a boiling point. Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa (26) went on to win his second race of the season. Photo Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha.
The conflict between Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez came to a head at the Malaysian Grand Prix and with it major championship implications. In their battle for third the pair clashed – Marquez crashed, Rossi penalized.
It was rather bizarre, with Rossi on the inside and running wide in turn 14, slowing down and pushing Marquez off line before contact was made (to see the video, click here). After the race, Rossi offered his explanation.
“Unfortunately I lose a lot of time with Marc and on the turn 14 I try to go a bit wide to take the better line and make him slow because he just tried for cause me some problem,” Rossi said. “But unfortunately, I don't know, he come to me and I think he crash in that moment. But anyway it's a shame I think that in a normal race we can stay and fight with Jorge [Lorenzo] so we lose some other points. And in Valencia will be more difficult.”
The end result of that clash, Rossi’s teammate Jorge Lorenzo gained more than just valuable points in the championship. After meeting with both riders in the incident and reviewing the evidence, race direction deemed Rossi’s riding as irresponsible and causing danger to the other competitors. As such, the nine-time World Champion was penalized three points and will start at the back of the grid at the final round in Valencia.
It was fireworks from the start as Marquez (93) gave Rossi (46) fits while Jorge Lorenzo (99) got away. Photo Courtesy of MotoGP
Lorenzo’s second place finish has him seven points behind his rival and the championship within reach, especially with his rival starting from the back of the grid in two weeks time. But Lorenzo was not happy.
“To be honest I just hear the decision,” Lorenzo said. “I don't think it's a good decision because he take out Marc and Marc crash and get zero points but Valentino he win 16 points. I think its unfair, maybe because of his name he can get no point penalization this time.”
The Spaniard was also asked if he saw the incident and his opinion of it.
“I saw once,” Lorenzo said. “It’s unbelievable. I saw and I didn't believe. It doesn’t enter in my head to do these kind of things, never in my life. In this kind of corner that you are completely in the angle of braking, to put straight the bike so that the other rider, and make like this the leg, it’s unbelievable that this happen. But it happened and race direction made the decision; we have to respect it. But I don't share it to be honest.”
Lorenzo went on to share what he thought was the just punishment for the crime.
“Minimum Valentino should have the same points as Marc because without this accident Marc wouldn't have and crashed and he probably would finished third or fourth position,” Lorenzo said. “With much less aggressive actions by other riders they get much higher penalization. Maybe as I tell you before, his name is very important for the championship and maybe because of that he doesn't get any penalization of points. Yeah he will start last, but I think is not fair. We have to respect it. I’m not race direction.”
After a rough season battling nagging arm pump issues, Dani Pedrosa was happy to take home the win at Sepang in the dry. Photo Courtesy of MotoGP
In the background, Dani Pedrosa went on quietly winning. It was an absolute dominant performance to take his second race of the season and Pedrosa’s third win at the Sepang Circuit.
“First of all, very weird press conference,” Pedrosa said, noting an unprecedented absence of third-place finisher Rossi. “But I’m really happy just to talk about the race because in the week I’ve been very strong. I had a good feeling on the bike with the track and I could today perform very well – start from the beginning and stay in front. I’m really happy to escape and be unaware of all the problems behind.
“And happy to bring this victory to my team. It’s been a very hard season. Lately we’ve been recovering very well and doing very good races. So this is super good for me and for all the people that stayed with me during the hard times. Really special to win one race in the wet and one race in the dry.”
Pedrosa was also asked to weigh in on the incident.
“It’s not good. I don’t think it's a good thing,” Pedrosa said. “It’s not good for the championship. It’s not good for any of us. It’s not a good thing to be happening in this late part of the championship.”
2015 MotoGP Sepang Results
DNF Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda
DNF Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati
DNF Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing Yamaha
DNS Damian Cudlin (AUS) E-Motion IodaRacing Team Aprilia