I leave the internet world for three whole days to learn how to drive some formula race cars, and the entire MotoGP world turns into a bunch of catfighting pre-teens. Come on, guys!
First, Valentino Rossi threatened not to ride at Valencia after the three penalty point he earned from the crash with Marc Marquez in Malaysia meant he’d be starting at the back of the pack. While I don’t think he handled Marquez’s annoying tactics at Sepang well, as a fan it’s frustrating to have the season end in a way that pretty much ensures a Lorenzo win instead of the epic battle we expected.
Rossi’s frustration has to be multiplied exponentially and it’s hard to really fault him for not wanting to be a part of the whole thing, but it still felt a bit childish and like somewhat of an attention grab.
If things were at a five on the drama scale, Repsol kicked them up to a full 11 by threatening to leave MotoGP altogether after the “unsportsmanlike” and “premeditated” actions of the dastardly Rossi. Some excerpts from their statement:
On the seventh lap of the race, with Marquez and Rossi immersed in a battle for third place that involved several overtaking moves between the two, the Italian - in an absolutely intentional action - dealt an unsportsmanlike kick to the Repsol Honda rider that knocked him to the ground.
Although Marquez was fortunately able to escape unharmed from the attack, for Repsol the conduct of Rossi is absolutely unacceptable because it endangered - in a premeditated and unsportsmanlike manner - the safety of the Repsol Honda team rider.
Repsol consider this an unsportsmanlike act incompatible with the values of sport and competition.
Repsol are deeply saddened that situations like that which occurred today in Sepang exist, especially as the company feel proud of sporting values: Companionship, competitive spirit and commitment from riders.
Without these values, it would not make sense for Repsol to participate in the sport as a sponsor.
Repsol also call for a clear and strong regulation in the interest of the safety and physical integrity of the riders, which punishes behaviour like that seen today clearly and decisively.
I’m gonna take my ball and go home if you don’t do what I want! (okay, I may have added this one in myself)
This statement not only places all of the blame on Rossi, but also calls for a more severe punishment for the altercation for Rossi while also threatening to leave the racing series altogether. It’s also complete and utter bullshit, and there is no way they’re going to ditch Marquez and MotoGP.
The fun doesn’t stop here, however, with Autoevolution reporting that Yamaha is so upset with Lorenzo for his siding with Marquez that they might drop him.
Lorenzo, who left the podium as soon as the awards were handed out and who refused to participate in the champagne bottle poppin’ went on record as supporting Marc and HRC, saying that the blame for the crash at Sepang rests solely with Vale. He went on to say that he felt Rossi’s three point penalty was too small.
I have to admit that I’m surprised by Lorenzo’s comments, especially since Rossi’s three point penalty already basically ensures Lorenzo the championship. But, given that he will probably win the championship, it’s also weird that Yamaha would threaten his contract with them - like they’re really going to drop him right after he wins.
Reuters is reporting that Rossi will be racing Valencia (no duh) despite having to start from the back of the grid. The final race is next Sunday, airing at 5am PST. Let’s hope for a miracle.