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Open letter from FIM President Vito Ippolito on the Rossi/Marquez incident

MI ES, 29 October - Open letter from FIM President Vito Ippolito:


The recent events arising in connection with the competition for the 2015 FIM MotoGP world title have had a damaging effect on the staging of our competitions and poisoned the atmosphere around the sport. We are moving away from the tradition of pride in sportsmanship that is part of the heritage of motorcycling.

Everyone has the right to express his or her own ideas. But words and actions always have consequences. Every individual has to take responsibility for those consequences. The riders, first of all, must be aware of this. Each one of them has thousands of fans who follow their exploits on the track and listen to what they say off the track. For that reason, we look to them, not just in this Championship but in all our disciplines, to set the best example of what our sport should and aspires to be.

This responsibility is also shared by the people who form their entourage, beginning with their teams and sponsors. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, if some of those people unnecessarily fuel polemics about events or decisions in a wrongheaded way, they are doing a great disservice to the sport, to the detriment of our entire community and all the good things it offers to everyone.

Riders, teams, manufacturers and sponsors should not only respect the rules but they should accept the decisions of the officials, whatever they may be. Otherwise, they are contributing to anarchy and undermining the future development of our sport.

On behalf of the FIM and all those who are doing their best to bring about a happy conclusion to this Championship, I express the hope that at the next and final round in Valencia the riders will fight it out on the track and in a way that fully respects the spirit of fair play.

Vito Ippolito

FIM President

Thursday, 29 October 2015 13:40 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Rossi, Marquez and Pedrosa Talk Malaysia

A controversial bumping incident during lap seven of the Malaysian Grand Prix on October 25 caused Repsol Honda’s World Champ Marc Marquez to fall from third, while Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi continued on to net that spot at the finish, holding his points lead in the MotoGP World Championship.

Dani Pedrosa won the race for Honda, while Rossi’s arch-rival and teammate Jorge Lorenzo netted second.

Following the event, race control reviewed multiple-camera video footage of the incident and spoke to both racers, and then Race Director Mike Webb gave Rossi three penalty points against his licence due to his actions. 

This decision gave 36-year-old Rossi a total of four of a possible seven per-season penalty points against his status, and means he will start the final event of the season at Valencia from the back of the MotoGP feature race grid.  His initial point was awarded due to a qualifying incident earlier in the season at Misano involving Jorge Lorenzo.

This decision means that Rossi, although seven points ahead of teammate Lorenzo in the 2015 championship standings, is unlikely to hang on to his championship lead.  Rossi has 312 points while Lorenzo trails at 305, Marquez out of contention with a total of 222 points in third spot.

“I don’t know if I have lost the championship,” stated Rossi after the race direction ruling.  “This will be very difficult now.  I am very disappointed in the three points.  He (Marquez) won.  He decided the championship and he made me lose the championship.  I think that he will be very happy.”

“I don’t want to make Marquez crash and I didn’t kick him,” continued Rossi, still very aggressive while on defence.  “From the helicopter shot, you see, in slow motion, it is quite clear that I go wide. I don’t want to say I do the normal corner – I want to go to him, slow down and make him loose time.”

“When I go to slow down, slow down, slow down, and I go to cut his line, and we touch.  He touched me with his handlebar on my left leg and it is for that reason he crash.  If you kick a MotoGP rider he don’t crash, because the bike is heavy, it has a lot of grip.”

Following the post-race review and penalty, 22-year-old double MotoGP Champ Marquez spoke out regarding his crash, saying:  “I didn’t expect that he (Rossi) would take off the leg and push my handlebars and my front brake.  Then I lost my front and when I was on the floor I saw him (Rossi) look behind again.

“For me, it does not matter if you are Valentino or another racer, in this type of incident you are out of control.  When you are a rider you know what is going on – to take a leg off and push another rider out, it is difficult to see how you can think this on your bike.”

Meanwhile, forgotten victor Dani Pedrosa, age 30, spoke about the incident at the delayed post-race press conference, an event Rossi opted not to attend.

“I had the chance to watch this incident just now, and this is not good,” said the Repsol Honda rider.  “It is not good for the championship, it is not good for Rossi, and for Marc, Jorge and me – even though I was not involved.”

“This is not a good thing, happening so late in the fight for our championship.  The manoeuvres were okay, for sure Valentino wanted to have a more calm race, to try and catch Jorge for second. But in their last manoeuvre, yes you can go as wide as you want if you are on the inside (Rossi), you have the line for that corner.  The guy on the inside has the preference always, so normally the guy on the outside would shut the throttle.

“But the speed was very, very slow, and Marquez understood this and close the throttle completely, waiting for Valentino to turn. Then there is the moment when I can see Valentino’s leg moving and we see Marquez crash.  Unfortunately, not a good thing, and I am really disappointed about this.  I started out front from the beginning and stayed in front, and I am really happy to escape out front and be unaware of all the problems behind,” stated the Malaysian victor.                

Sunday, 25 October 2015 14:39 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Pedrosa Wins; Rossi in Trouble in Malaysia

The penultimate round of the 2015 MotoGP Championship might not have had a dramatic last lap in the fashion of the previous event in Australia, but it was an equally big deal.  Unfortunately, the 17th Grand Prix of the season on October 25th at in Kuala Lumpur will not be remembered as a feel-good story, unlike Philip Island down under last weekend.

Polesitter Dani Pedrosa was in near-perfect form on the second works Repsol Honda RC213V, leading from the start to take his third career MotoGP win at Sepang international in hot, humid and overcast conditions. 

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo, doing his best to make up points in the battle for the 2015 MotoGP title against his Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi, was second, just over three seconds back.  Rossi netted a distant third, and is now under real pressure from Lorenzo with the final round slated for Valencia, Spain in two weeks’ time.

Huge controversy erupted on lap seven of 22, after Rossi and Honda team leader Marc Marquez had traded third spot often, in increasingly aggressive and risky fashion.  After an incredible number of overtaking maneuvers, including a bump or two, sideways moments and some Rossi gestures, the two interacted in turn 14 with Marquez crashing out of contention.

Video reviews did not make the circumstances of the incident clear, although Rossi certainly ran way wide in the tightening right hander and looked over at Marquez on his outside, away from the line, as the two were inches apart.  Rossi seemed to bobble and then Marquez tucked the front end, seemingly on the brakes, and fell.

Earlier in the weekend, Rossi had lashed out at Marquez through the media, claiming that the reigning and two-time World Champ was trying to help fellow Spaniard Lorenzo in the title battle.  Formerly friendly, Rossi and Marquez have been on the outs since incidents while battling for first in Argentina and Holland earlier in the season.  Malaysia was apparently strike three.

A beyond-angry Marquez refused to comment, although his team was outspoken in their criticism, waiting for race control to review the incident, post-race, and make an official ruling.

The stewards decided to penalize Rossi at the upcoming final event, where he will be required to start from the back of the grid regardless of his qualifying performance.  Rossi was allowed to keep his third place on the day, but this F1 style judgement will put Rossi in a tough spot in terms of the title battle.

With 25 points available in Valencia, Rossi heads the standings with 312 points, Lorenzo second with a total of 305.  Lorenzo seems to have the best chance given recent performances and the Rossi grid penalty.  Marquez keeps third overall, but is not in contention for the title after two straight World crowns.

Rossi did not directly comment on the Marquez crash, saying post-race that “I lost a lot of time with Marc, then in turn 14 I tried to go a bit wide to get a better line and make him slow, because he was riding to cause me problems.  Unfortunately, I don’t know, he come up to me and crash at that moment.”

Some Rossi supporters claimed that Marquez tried to head but Rossi’s left knee as they leaned into the turn, side by side.

Amazingly, Lorenzo opted not to take the high road concerning events involving his teammate, even though he was in front of the action and didn’t know about the accident until after the race.

“It was huge, I don’t know what to say,” commented new championship favorite Lorenzo.  “It is clear that he (Rossi) took Marquez off and the regulation is fair.

“This time they need to give him a big penalty,” continued the two-time MotoGP champ. “For example with Danny Kent in (support class) qualifying, they demote him many positions on the grid.  So for this action the penalty should be much harsher.”

Behind the controversy, Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha) had a strong run, earning his best dry track result while out-duelling Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) for fourth and best satellite team result.  Crutchlow was fifth, but might be in trouble with the stewards after an early race incident that caused Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso to fall.

Top Ducati was the Pramac entry of Danilo Petrucci, earning sixth after pulling away from the battling works Ecstar Suzukis of Aleix Espargaro (seventh) and Maverick Vinales (eighth).  Pol Espargaro netted ninth on the second Tech 3 Yamaha, while Gresini Aprilia finally had a solid result, Stefan Bradl placing a close tenth, right behind the GSX-RRs.

Top privateer was the Forward Yamaha of Toni Elias in 14th, while American Nicky Hayden, in his penultimate career GP, wound up just out of the points in 16th aboard the Aspar Honda RC213V-RS.     

- By Colin Fraser

Sunday, 25 October 2015 06:15 Published in Reports, Results & Points


MotoGP at Phillip Island: One for the ages

Repsol Honda’s current MotoGP World Champ Marc Marquez came out on top of a wild four-bike fight for first to win the MotoGP round at Phillip Island, Australia on Sunday, October 18. With one lap of the 28 left to run at the daunting down under venue, Jorge Lorenzo held a miniscule edge with the works Movistar Yamaha from a wheel-to-wheel trio: early leader Andrea Iannone’s factory Ducati, Marquez and the other “A” Yamaha of World Championship series points leader Valentino Rossi.

Monday, 19 October 2015 12:08 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Lorenzo wins, Yamaha goes 1-2 in France

The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France was host to another dominating Lorenzo victory while an intense battle for fourth burned.

Fortunately rain was nowhere to be seen in Le Mans, setting the stage for an exciting and eventful MotoGP™ race. The French GP comes after a post race test in Jerez and many riders arrived in France with new confidence, direction and parts. Bradley Smith was one such rider, running new front forks this weekend and leading FP2 on Friday. Marquez and Crutchlow both also had new swing arms.

Round five of the MotoGP™ World Championship also saw Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa return to the grid, the Spaniard having missed three rounds after having surgery to cure arm pump issues. Returning for Jerez had been a possibility, but a test on a Supermoto bike had Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda crew air on the side of caution and wait till Le Mans.

Lorenzo had appeared strong again this weekend, as he had done in Jerez, despite feeling his third on the grid was one of the worst results of his career. A lightning start allowed the Spaniard to break away early, quickly able to pass Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati and focus on riding his own race. One of Lorenzo’s strongest areas is his ability to run at the front and set incredibly consistent lap times when not having to battle with other riders. As in Jerez, Lorenzo demonstrated this incredible skill and was nearly untouchable. “I could overtake Dovizioso early and stay in the lead. I had to manage the one second gap and I had to push really hard even though the front feeling wasn’t great,” he said.

This makes it back-to-back wins for Lorenzo and reignites his championship hopes after many had begun to doubt the Spaniard. The MotoGP™ paddock heads next to Mugello, a favourite track of Lorenzo and one that has seen several outstanding rides from the Movistar Yamaha rider. On his current form he will be difficult to match.

While Lorenzo was surging ahead, Marc Marquez had a difficult start to the race, dropping as low as sixth before finding his form in the closing stages.

The Spaniard quickly caught Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith ahead, leading to a fiery battle between Marquez and Iannone. The duo swapped positions at nearly every corner, giving spectators flashbacks of their Moto2™ days.  The performance of Iannone was particularly impressive as he dislocated his left shoulder less than a week ago at a private Ducati test at Mugello. Marquez eventually came out on top as Iannone’s lap times dropped off significantly in the final three laps, no doubt feeling the pain in his shoulder.

While the battle tore on behind, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi had a brief battle, the Yamaha rider coming out on top. Issues in Jerez saw Dovizioso finish off the podium for the first time this year, this third at Le Mans is important for the Ducati rider’s championship as he sits in third with 83 points. “The grip after ten laps was not great, I struggled a bit. I couldn’t gain much in the braking. I didn’t have Lorenzo’s pace though. To return to the podium is important for the championship and us,” reflected Dovizioso after the race.

Charging through the field, Rossi seemed as though he may be able to catch his teammate but the gap never dropped below one and a half seconds. It had been a less than ideal start to the weekend for the Italian as he and his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team struggled with finding a good setting. Big risks in changes to the set up of Rossi’s M1 paid off come the race as he once again extended his championship lead, now 15 points ahead of teammate Lorenzo. “We suffered a lot during practice because I couldn’t ride to the limit. We risked more with the set up for the race and I felt very good. It took a couple of laps to understand it fully,” said Rossi.

Le Mans was a difficult race for many of the British riders, both Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding fell from the race in what was an overall disappointing weekend for many of the Honda bikes. The higher track temperatures on race day having a negative impact for the Honda riders who struggled for front end feel. Bradley Smith did well to finish in sixth behind the dueling pair of Iannone and Marquez after a strong showing earlier in the week. There were also reasons to celebrate for rookie Eugene Laverty, the Irishman scoring his first MotoGP™ points as he finished in 14th and as the second Open Honda bike.

The Open category was led by Nicky Hayden, the American also qualifying as the highest Open rider. He and Jack Miller had battled during the early stages of the race, but the Australian fell as he exited Turn 4. Local rider Loris Baz also finished in the points in 12th, taking his best ever MotoGP™ finish in front of a cheering crowd.

Miller was not the only rider to fall as he exited Turn 4, returning Dani Pedrosa also took a tumble there. The Spaniard was unhurt and remounted to finish in 16th, some 15 seconds out of the points. Stefan Bradl was another early faller as he continues to adapt to the Yamaha Forward machine. Both Aleix Espargaro and Karel Abraham were forced into the pits with technical issues, ending their races early.

- From MotoGP.com

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10:47 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Trevitt's Blog: Rossi Redoubled!

After four rounds of the 2015 MotoGP season, Valentino Rossi sits atop the standings, with two victories and four podium finishes to his credit. While the Movistar Yamaha rider has definitely taken advantage of his competitors' various misfortunes in the opening rounds, he has just as definitely shown he is capable of winning in a straight-up battle - as he did in convincing fashion by outfoxing Marc Marquez in Argentina.

Friday, 15 May 2015 12:20 Published in Andrew Trevitt


Rossi takes 82nd premier class victory in incident packed race

The MotoGP race at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix saw Valentino Rossi take his second win of 2014, with Jorge Lorenzo and Bradley Smith also on the podium. Marc Marquez crashed out of an incident packed race whilst leading and Dani Pedrosa was forced to retire after being clipped by Andrea Iannone.

Monday, 20 October 2014 13:53 Published in Reports, Results & Points


MotoGP: Lorenzo Dominates, Rossi Surges, Rookie Márquez Flashes Huge Potential

While Jorge Lorenzo took an early lead and walked away with a convincing victory, it was the late-race charge of Valentino Rossi to take second place from MotoGP rookie Marc Márquez and then the ensuing battle of veteran vs. newbie that highlighted the MotoGP season opener at Losail in Qatar.

Sunday, 07 April 2013 23:40 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Lorenzo, Rossi and Yamaha Happy with First Test

The long winter wait was finally over this morning as the 2013 MotoGP field took to the track in Sepang for the first official test of 2013. Reunited Yamaha Factory Racing teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were quick to blow off any cobwebs from the winter rest. Rossi was initially the fastest rider during the majority of the morning session, clearly taking little time to re-bond with the YZR-M1 that has brought him so much previous success.

Tuesday, 05 February 2013 14:51 Published in Reports, Results & Points


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