Belfast Telegraph

Angry Valentino Rossi in MotoGP title kickback

By Paul Lindsay

Furious Valentino Rossi accused rival Marc Marquez of losing him the MotoGP championship after an extraordinary race incident in the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

Rossi will start the final race of the MotoGP season from the back of the grid and with a narrow championship lead after being penalised for appearing to kick out at Marquez as the pair battled for third place on lap seven.

Marquez crashed as a result and was forced to retire, with Rossi subsequently hit with a three-point penalty after the incident was reviewed by race officials who also banished him to back of the grid in Valencia next month.

Rossi, who has previously accused Marquez of trying to help his fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo win the title later rapped: "Marquez wins his fight, he made me to lose the championship. His handlebar touched my foot and my foot slipped off, a bike can't crash only with a touch.

"In turn 14 I tried to go wide to get a better line to make him slow because he just rides to cause me some problems. Unfortunately he came to me and I think he crashed in that moment. It's a shame because I think that in a normal race we can stay and fight with Jorge and we lost some more points. In Valencia will be more difficult."

The 36-year-old Italian will start the Valencia GP on November 8 from the back of the grid as he seeks a 10th world title.

Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) led from start to finish at Sepang to finish 3.6 seconds ahead of Lorenzo, who closed to within seven points of championship rival Rossi, who was third.

Ulster's Eugene Laverty could only manage 19th on his Team Aspar Honda, saying: "To be honest I thought I could run in the 2m 03secs bracket today, but there was no grip, we were on ice out there. I am disappointed. Unfortunately the track conditions were completely different to the two practice days and I didn't have the same feeling with the bike at all. I could see Jack Millar and Nicky Hayden in front of me, but there was no way I could close the gap."

Belfast Telegraph


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