MotoGP: Rossi launches war of words with rookie Zarco

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Movistar Yamaha racer Valentino Rossi’s race wasn’t completely without drama despite securing the championship lead on Sunday, after an incident between him and fellow Yamaha rider Johann Zarco left the pair in a war of words after the race.

Making an admittedly aggressive overtaking attempt on the factory rider at turn three in the early stages of the race, rookie Zarco forced Rossi into sitting up and running across the asphalt runoff area – a move that the Italian was quick to hit out at after the race.


“He is always very fast and he rides the bike very well – he has a great potential. But this is not Moto2, and if you want to overtake then you need to do it in another way. He always arrives too much in delay, and for me he has to stay a little more quiet!”

However, never one to be cowed by his rivals, Zarco hit out himself after the race himself, believing that he was well within his rights to make the sort of move that Rossi has been quick enough to dish out in the past.

“It might not be Moto2 but it is MotoGP, and that’s why I did the move! It was necessary to take the opportunity to pass him, because if I had doubted myself maybe I would have crashed. He wasn’t so fast in corner two, so I took the decision to pass him and he was faster than me so it was on the limit – but the worst problem is that we lost the contact with the Honda guys in front.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer