Valentino Rossi penalized for causing Marc Marquez crash
To steal a quote from Samuel L. Jackson, “Hold on to your butts.” Or rather, if you’re in the middle of a hotly contested motorcycle race that will go a long way toward deciding the series champion, try to keep your butts on the saddle of your MotoGP race bike. Sadly, neither Valentino Rossi nor Marc Marquez were quite capable of that seemingly sensible result during the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix.
To set the stage, during Thursday’s pre-race press conference, Rossi made a few statements calling out Marquez for helping fellow Spanish MotoGP rider – and Rossi’s own teammate – Jorge Lorenzo win races. In Rossi’s version of the 2015 season, the majority of which he has led in points, Marquez has purposely slowed Rossi down in recent races and kept him from a fair shot at healthy competition with Lorenzo. Marquez and Lorenzo counter that they are focused on their own races and not Rossi. Naturally, reactions from fans are split.
Once the race in Malaysia got underway, all eyes were on Rossi, Marquez and Lorenzo. The on-track action did not disappoint. After battling it out over the course of several laps, the confrontation came to a head. About a third of the way through the race, with Dani Pedrosa leading, Lorenzo in second, and Rossi and Marquez in a heated fight for third place, contact between the Italian and Spanish riders sent one man to the ground and earned penalty points for the other. You can see the moment that will live in infamy in the video above.
As you would expect, each rider has a different take on what actually transpired, and on the subsequent penalty that will see Rossi start in the very last position on the grid at the final race in Valencia. Suffice it to say that Rossi’s chances of winning a tenth title now seem minimal at best. Oh, and don’t expect tensions to ease up in the garages and paddock anytime soon.