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|11-09-2015, 07:01 AM||#1|
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Rossi continues accusations, Marquez, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Jarvis respond
After losing the chance at his 10th world title by just five points, Valentino Rossi continued his accusations of race-fixing by Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez during the Italian's post-race press conference.
Just when you thought the dust had settled from the Sepang drama, Valentino Rossi stirred it up again right after the season finale in Valencia, Spain. After coming short of the championship to Jorge Lorenzo by five points, Rossi once again made accusations in his post-race press conference that Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez was aiding the Italian’s Movistar Yamaha teammate, referring to Marquez as “Lorenzo’s bodyguard.”
“This is the final of the championship that me personally, but I think also a lot of people, don’t want to see,” Rossi said. “Because it was a great season and with a great, great battle with Marquez, especially with Lorenzo, and I think that this championship has the potential to become one of the best of the last years.
“The battle with Jorge could have arrived at the last point at the last race, but unfortunately in the last three races something changed and something happened that nobody expect, for me first, but also a lot of people, that is that Marc Marquez decided to protect Lorenzo (to) help him…win the championship. So the problem started at Philip Island and after all the rest the situation became worse and worse. We arrive to Malaysia where unfortunately we touch and Marquez crashed. I know on Thursday that I have to start last, I know already that my championship was finished because I’m sure that Marquez want to finish his work and try to protect Lorenzo also in the last race. I said this already Thursday and happen exactly what I expected.
“Today the race was quite embarrassing. The last lap I think it was quite bad for the sport because happen something that never happened before. I’m not desperate because I think that I played my cards in the best way but I am very sad to this finish because I was ready to lose the championship to Jorge. He’s always very fast on the track, but in this way for me it’s no fun."
"If I tried to be the 'bodyguard of Lorenzo,' I would be five seconds or six behind. So I take a lot of risk this race for try to follow him (so close), and (not) take the risk and it (would be) easy," Marquez said in response to Rossi's allegations of letting Lorenzo win the race.
“He already said that in Philip Island,” Marquez retorted. “So it’s something that I didn’t understand because in Philip Island I give to him five points and Iannone take four points (from him). After finish line he come to me, say sorry because we overtake sometimes shaking the hands and everything. And then we arrive in Malaysia, happened what happened on Thursday. Then on the race we fight but we fight not on the correct position because I tried to fight in the first position but it was not possible.
“And today if I tried to be the 'bodyguard of Lorenzo,' I would be five seconds or six behind. And I didn’t think the race for follow him. So I take a lot of risk this race (to) try to follow him (so close) but if the target was this, I (would) stay five seconds or ten seconds behind and (not) take the risk and it (would be) easy. But my target was like always try to give my 100 percent and try to fight for the victory.”
“I want to add something,” Lorenzo interjected. “You can see the classification and the seconds that Valentino finished in the race. He didn’t have anything to lose, just to push at the limit to try to risk. But he finished 20 seconds behind us. So with my bike it was not easy to stay in this pace during all the race but I did. So I think my speed and my determination demonstrate clearly that we deserve the championship. I hope everyone respects the final result of the championship.”
Lorenzo made an off-hand remark in the beginning of the post-race press conference suggesting that maybe Marquez and Pedrosa didn't pass him because they wanted to keep the MotoGP World Championship in Spain, which infuriated some of the Italian press. This was before Marquez and Pedrosa gave explanations for their not being able to pass Lorenzo.
Lorenzo was consistently throwing down 1:31.5’s, so the pace at the front was hot. Both Marquez and Pedrosa explained why they were unable to beat Lorenzo.
“Me and Dani (Pedrosa), we push at 100 percent,” Marquez said. “We know that with hot temperature both (of us) have front problems with the tire. We expect today that the temperature would be lower but it was 5 degrees higher than yesterday. I don’t know Dani, but I was struggling with the front, especially in the beginning. Then what I say in the end the last six laps I see that it was possible the victory but when Dani overtake me we lose this half second, it was impossible to catch again Jorge.”
“Like I said, I struggled all the weekend,” Pedrosa said. “I was on the pace just on Saturday but I wasn’t comfortable. You can see in the race I was so much struggling. At the end I could recover doing the perfect riding. But I don’t think Valentino can tell how I was feeling on the bike.”
Besides Rossi’s accusations, part of the Italian fury was a comment Lorenzo made in the beginning of the post-race press conference that maybe Marquez and Pedrosa didn’t pass him to keep the World Championship in Spain.
Dani Pedrosa began to lose touch with Marquez and Lorenzo halfway through the race, but clawed his way back up to the leading pair and actually briefly passed Marquez for second late in the race before settling for a close third at the finish.
“It’s true that I say that at the beginning of the interviews, but I couldn’t see the race from outside,” Lorenzo admitted. “Just knowing my (difficulties) to keep on the bike with my rear tire, I didn’t expect to see. I could get this conclusion. But to be honest Dani and Marc explain very well, everybody see the race from the outside so I cannot have (a clear) opinion of that and I just have to trust what they say.
“I believe that the world title is not only deserved to stay in Spain, but I think I clearly deserve this world title,” Lorenzo said. “If you see the statistics compared to our rival we beat him in everything, in victories, in pole positions, in fast laps, in laps leading the race, in practice leading the practice, and everything.
“It is clear every people who know our bikes and who saw me on the track, who saw me on the television, anyone not clearly supporting one rider can see this thing. With high pressure I demonstrate that I can deal to get my best of me, like I did yesterday. And today with the two Hondas that were very fast, especially at the end of the race, I could stay strong and finish winning the race."
Yamaha MotoGP race boss Lin Jarvis refused to be drawn into the off-track drama after being told of Rossi's comments. "I think enough is enough about talking about the polemics," Jarvis said, "I’d like to state that I think that Valentino did a fabulous season as well. I think to lose the championship finally by only five points on this day must be very tough for him."
Yamaha MotoGP race boss Lin Jarvis refused to be drawn into the drama any longer, and wanted to discuss the positives of the season. “I didn’t hear that when Jorge said that, you (the press) stated that,” Jarvis replied, clearly annoyed at the question. “I was here in the press conference waiting for everybody to arrive. So really I think enough is enough about talking about the polemics, about what happened or who did what. I think today is a moment where we’re here to talk about his championship, to talk about Yamaha’s championship. So I’d rather that we avoid the ongoing polemics that we’ve had over the weeks and just focus on the sport.”
“I’d like to state that I think that Valentino did a fabulous season as well. I think to lose the championship finally by only five points on this day must be very tough for him. It must be very difficult because he’s been leading it since the beginning. So we are very, very satisfied, happy, and I want to give our congratulations to both our riders, to Jorge and Valentino. Unfortunately we knew at the end of the day only one of them is going to win. So this is another problem of when you have two great riders in the team. Even when you win everything, somebody’s unhappy. It was going to go one way or the other and it went the way that it did for all of the reasons. But you can’t turn back the clock. You have to focus only on the future, and that’s it really.”
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