Jorge Lorenzo’s reaction to Marc Marquez’s latest punishment might have been delivered with more than a hint of sarcasm, but the reigning world champion’s frustration about his fellow Spaniard’s aggressive riding strategy was clear for all to see in Sepang today.
Repsol Honda rider Marquez was hit with a one penalty point sanction for his involvement in an incident which led to teammate Dani Pedrosa spectacularly crashing out of the previous race at the Motorland Aragon.
Slight contact from Marquez inadvertently cut through Pedrosa’s rear wheel speed sensor cable, which then rendered his traction control system useless and the 28-year-old crashed out moments later.
Marquez was penalised at the end of a special summit with Race Direction in Malaysia today, which inevitably drew more attention to his famed aggressive tactics.
Lorenzo has been critical of his compatriot’s hard riding style in the past and was particularly infuriated after he lost second place at the final corner to Marquez on a controversial last lap in Jerez back in May.
Lorenzo was asked for his opinion on the Marquez penalty in Malaysia during and after a tense pre-event press conference earlier today.
And it was then he rolled out his ironic response, claiming Marquez’s aggressive riding style is what the fans crave to watch and that rather than being penalised with a penalty point, he should have been given an additional world championship point as an incentive to make MotoGP more exciting for the viewing public.
The double MotoGP world champion said: "The penalty was too much. I think Marc should have one point more in the championship because what the people like is these fights. The fans say Marc is unbelievable and this is what we want. Some fans say we don't want riders like Dani, Jorge or Casey (Stoner) who can go away at the front and don't have a good fight. So maybe to give an incentive for the young Moto2 and Moto3 riders we should give them one point to ride to make the show for the spectators. This time they took the wrong action and the penalty was too much.
Plus one point more in the championship is the right thing for the show and for the spectators. But maybe not for the health of the riders because I could have been damaged in Jerez, Dani could have been damaged very badly in Aragon and in the past also some Moto2 riders. But for the show it is a great option for the future.”
Asked whether he preferred racing with no contact or to elaborate on what he thought was acceptable aggression in racing, Lorenzo added: “The show and the contact is together, the people like to see these kinds of things. Not all fans are like this, some like to see the smoothness of riders or manage races to win but a big number of fans want to see some contest or crashes. Nobody likes to see some dead riders, this is for sure, but for the show maybe it is the best option for the future to give incentive to riders for more points in the championship."