Rossi: Marquez's Argentina MotoGP clash apology attempt a PR 'joke'
|By Oriol Puigdemont and Valentin Khorounzhiy||Tuesday, April 10th 2018, 09:55 GMT|
Valentino Rossi says Marc Marquez's attempts to apologise in the aftermath of their MotoGP clash in Argentina were "a joke" and only made for the sake of PR.
Marquez speared Rossi off the track at the Turn 13 right-hander while battling for sixth place late in the race - with Rossi crashing on the wet grass and Marquez subsequently handed a 30-second penalty.
The reigning champion slowed and gestured to Rossi immediately following the crash, and world feed pictures showed him walking down the pitlane to Yamaha's garage to talk to the Italian - although he was turned away by Rossi's right-hand man Uccio Salucci.
Asked about Marquez's visit, Rossi said: "It is a joke, it is PR.
"First of all, he doesn't have the balls to come to my office alone but he comes like always with his manager [Emilio Alzamora], with Honda, in front of all the cameras.
"Because what is important for him is this, he doesn't care about you.
"I don't want to speak with him, because I know that what he says to me is is not true."
Pressed on whether he would accept Marquez's apology if the Spaniard were to approach him, Rossi said: "No, he doesn't come.
"I hope that he is clever enough that he doesn't come."
HRC team boss Alberto Puig, who was among the three Honda employees to follow Marquez and Alzamora to Rossi's garage, said it was the rider's idea to try to apologise.
"After the race, when Marc came to the pit, the first thing he said was that he wanted to apologise, just to explain," Puig said.
"It was Marc's decision to go there. It says a lot about the rider.
"We went there, of course, and they were not happy, and they asked us to leave - which I can understand, believe me, because if this happens to your rider, you are not happy.
"But once again, this is racing, and what more can we do?
"We went to apologise, we feel sorry - but if they don't want to [talk], there's nothing more we can do.
"And I think there's no more meaning to keep talking about it."
Puig stressed he trusted Marquez's explanation and felt the collision was a "racing incident", and said he hoped Rossi and Yamaha would eventually "understand" Honda's point of view.
"We just hope that they can understand and accept our apology - for something that we believe was not a real mistake of the rider, but of course the consequence was that Valentino crashed, this we understand," he said.