Marc Marquez has laid the blame for the incident between him and Valentino Rossi in today’s Malaysian MotoGP race firmly in the hands of his Italian rival, saying that despite the investigation by race control, he believes that the nine-time world champion deliberately kicked out at him, causing him to crash.
“At Turn 14 he passed me on the inside, I sat the bike up, he kept going straight ahead and I saw him looking at me. I didn’t know what to do. Then he kicked out at me, knocking my brake lever, and I crashed. I will leave the sanction in the hands of Race Direction. All I know is that I scored zero points and ended up in the gravel, but thankfully I'm fine.
Making a mistake on the second lap of the race, Marquez was dropped from second to the battle for third, scrapping with Rossi when the duo made contact. Rossi hit back after the race, accusing Marquez of deliberately slowing in order to interfere with his race – a claim the Spaniard dismissed.
"We were having a good race up until the incident. At the beginning I made a mistake, but then I regained confidence. Valentino overtook me, I followed him for half a lap, and I saw that I could go faster than him, so I tried overtake him back. We started a fight between us and I always passed without making any contact with him.
“Both what Valentino said to Race Direction and what he did on the track has made me disappointed. I’ve never seen anything like it: a rider kicking another rider. It might be down to nerves, but I want to try to forget about all this and the important thing is that I'm fine physically. I hope, for the sake of the sport that this ends here."