Valentino Rossi’s aspirations of lifting a tenth world title may have been dashed after the three penalty points he was issued for his Malaysian Grand Prix collision with Marc Marquez means he will be demoted to the back of the grid in two weeks time.
Rossi and Marquez came together in the early stages of the race with the Italian claiming afterwards that Marquez was once again trying to assist fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo by holding him up – a charge he also levelled with him after the last race in Philip Island a week ago.
Attempting to run Marquez wide in an attempt to slow him down, the duo made contact, with Marquez’s handlebar coming into contact with Rossi’s leg and causing him to tumble.
The grid penalty comes after the three points for the incident were added to another point issued to Rossi for getting in the way of Lorenzo’s qualifying lap earlier in the year at Misano.
He now goes into the final race of the year holding a slender seven point lead over Lorenzo, but unless the appeal currently being heard by Yamaha is successful he faces a herculean task if he is to maintain that gap to the flag.
Update 1213: Rossi's appeal has been dismissed, meaning that the penalty stands.