Rossi refuses to be drawn further on Marquez

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Valentino Rossi refused to be drawn into the main talking point that has captivated the Sepang paddock this weekend; his swipe at Marc Marquez during yesterday's press conference.

When asked about the comments Rossi simply said, " I said everything yesterday and I don't have anything else to say."

He said plenty yesterday that it left Marquez "surprised" by the comments. Rossi's comments centred on Marquez "playing" with him and not racing to his maximum throughout the race at Phillip Island.

“Marquez did not play with both of us, he only played with me! It is important that he knows that I know! Now let's see what happens, but I am quite concerned because to have to fight with Lorenzo is one thing, but if you have to beat Marquez as well, everything becomes much more difficult, to be honest - the case is that he isn’t playing fair (something that a professional rider has to do in these situations). Especially because Marquez could be very competitive in the last two races.”

When asked why he thought Marquez was motivated to disrupt Rossi's race the Italian said:

"Because he would prefer Lorenzo to win. He is angry at me for a personal matter. Although he never said it, he thinks that in Argentina I made him crash; and then at Assen he is still thinking about the last chicane, in his head he feels he should have won that race. Since then he has been angry and thinking like a child: I do not win, but you do not win either. At this point, the lesser evil is for him is for Lorenzo to win.”

It was harsh words from Rossi and his anger was clear to see when he made the statements in the press conference. Now, however, he's keen to move on and not discuss the matter further. When asked about the championship fight with Lorenzo Rossi commented that:

"This year is very hard because it's been very tight from the beginning of the season and the championship has gone one way or the other with each race. It's never been to either one of us and after 16 races there's just 11 points so it's one of the closest battles that I've had. Usually our performances are very similar, especially on Sunday."

The title fight is an epic battle. In his comments aimed at Marquez Rossi was clearly keen to destabilise a rider that he sees as the threat to his goal of winning the title. The Spaniard is riding well and can easily win races or at the very least be another rider between Rossi and Lorenzo. The standings are on such a knifeedge that nothing can be taken for granted and every box needs to be ticked. For Rossi the key box is clearly to try and distract people's attentions when they aren't on the bike.

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Steve English

By Steve English