MotoGP Argentina: Rossi says Marquez has 'destroyed our sport'
|By Valentin Khorounzhiy||Sunday, April 8th 2018, 21:53 GMT|
Valentino Rossi has lashed out at his MotoGP rival Marc Marquez in the aftermath of their clash in Argentina, saying the reigning champion has "destroyed our sport".
Rossi and Marquez have a fractious relationship as a result of a series of on-track controversies over recent years and they came to blows again in Sunday's race at the Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo.
A late lunge from Marquez at the Turn 13 right-hander in the closing stages caused Rossi to crash out of the race.
Marquez was given a 30-second penalty for the move, and Rossi did not hold back in the aftermath, saying his actions were detrimental to MotoGP.
"This is a very bad situation, because he destroyed our sport, because he [doesn't] have any respect for his rivals, never," Rossi said.
"When you go 300km per hour on the track, you have to have a respect for your rival, you have to be strong, you have to make the maximum, but [doing it] like this is over."
Rossi said Marquez - who prior to their collision was forced by race direction to cede position after a clash with Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro - had been riding aggressively all throughout the Argentina weekend.
He went on to accuse the Honda rider of deliberately trying to get his rivals to crash.
"If you take what's happened this weekend - one by one, can happen to everybody.
"You can make a mistake in braking, you can touch the other guy - [this] happens - this is racing," he said.
"But from Friday morning, he [did] this with [Maverick] Vinales, [Andrea] Dovizioso.
"He [did] this with me in Saturday morning - and today in the race he [went] straight to four riders, because he [does this] purposely.
"It is not a mistake, because he points [to] the leg - between the leg and the bike - because he knows he [doesn't] crash but you crash - he hopes that you crash.
"So if you start to play like this, you raise the level to a very dangerous point.
"Because if all the riders race like this, without any respect for rivals, this is a very dangerous sport and [it will] finish in a bad way."
Rossi and his Yamaha team went to race direction immediately following the race - and the Italian said he the officials had "a big responsibility" to prevent Marquez from continuing to "behave like this".
He added: "I'm scared - I'm scared on the track when I am with Marquez.
"I'm scared today when I see his name on the board, because I know that he comes to me [and] I know already. You have to think, to hope that you don't crash."
When commenting on the situation, Marquez said: "About this of course I am completely disappointed.
"In my career I never go straight to one rider thinking that he will crash - always I try to avoid, of course.
"Sometimes [when] you overtake, it is closer, sometimes it is clear.
"Today what happened to Valentino was a mistake, [a] consequence of the track conditions because I [locked] the front.
"But to my career, what he [says], I think he is wrong."