MotoGP: Marquez: 'Track conditions' cause of Rossi clash

Posted April 11, 2018

The largely dormant but always potentially volcanic feud between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez erupted violently on Sunday, at an incendiary Argentine MotoGP.

Marquez passed Vinales in the closing stage to finish fifth - but as the flag fell he was given another ride-through penalty for bumping Rossi.

During round two of 19 of the MotoGP World Championnship Series, Repsol Honda's Marquez collided with Rossi on the penultimate corner of the South American circuit - the right-handed Turn 13 - sending the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pilot to the ground. He remounted only to limp home in 19th place and out of the points. However, as a penalty, all the riders were made to start from the back of the grid, while Miller would start from pole. "The situation is very unsafe now, the race management must do something", said Rossi, seven of whose titles have been in the premier class. "If you take what happened this weekend as an example, one incident can happen to anybody, you can make a mistake in braking, you can touch the other guy". It can happen, it's racing.

He also gave Honda their 750th Grand Prix victory.

Rossi was in sixth-place with just four laps remaining of the second race of 2018. The race start was also delayed, leading to some incredible scenes.

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The world champion blamed the track for his clash with Rossi. The line was dry but I hit a wet patch and locked the front, released the brake and there was contact.

Even without the drama of the Rossi-Marquez clash, the race was memorable enough.

The move though promoted Miller back in the lead making for a four-rider pack in the top spots followed by Rins, Zarco and Crutchlow.

Crutchlow looks to have found his ideal ride this season. As weird as it was, Marquez did manage to get crank his bike again but made a crucial mistake soon after - instead of starting from the pit-lane, he ignored the rules and started from the grid.

His frustration was understandable, but the story was undeniably elsewhere.

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"I took no risks; I stayed out of the slipstream".

The Spanish rider insisted Monday: "never in my career have I deliberately hit another eider".

But Marquez's team are sticking by their rider. If you start to race like this, you raise the level to a very unsafe point. "He plays dirty", he railed. In total, Marquez receives an incredible three penalties throughout the race, so despite being the fastest man on the track, has an extreme battle on his hands to win this one. "I was scared today when I saw his name on the board".

"When you go 300 kilometres 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 like this [it] is over".

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