VALENTINO Rossi didn’t mince his words. Not in the slightest.
It’s not just that he believes that Marc Marquez acted dangerously when he tried an overtaking move that forced the MotoGP legend to crash out of sixth place during the Grand Prix of Argentina.
He believes that Marc Marquez is dangerous. Period.
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“He doesn’t race clean, he races dirty,” Rossi frankly told media after the race. “I’m scared on the track when I am with Marquez.
“This is a very bad situation, because he destroyed our sport, because he don’t have any respect for his rivals, never.”
Watch a full replay of the race Monday night at 6pm AEST on FOX SPORTS 506.
Rossi urged MotoGP race officials to do something to rein in Marquez’s aggressive riding style, citing a series of incidents from 2018 alone.
“If you take for example what’s happened this weekend — one by one, can happen, can happen to everybody, you can make a mistake in braking, you can touch the other guy, happens, this is racing,” he said.
“But from Friday morning, he make like this with (Maverick) Vinales, (Andrea) Dovizioso, he make like this with me in Saturday morning, and today in the race he go straight to four riders.
“Because he do (it) purposely. It is not a mistake. Because he points the leg, between the leg and the bike, because he knows he don’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 the rivals … this is a very dangerous sport and (it) will finish in a bad way.
“(MotoGP race direction) have a big responsibility. They have to do something (so) that Marquez doesn’t behave more like this.
“This year at the first corner in Qatar he touch the leg of (Johann) Zarco and go to Dovizioso (ED: Watch that incident in the player above). Here with Vinales, today with me.
“He enter in the corner 20km/h faster, no way to do the corner. Just because he come to me, purposely, between the bike and the leg, because he want to try that I crash.
“He go into Aleix Espargaro at 200km/h. If you touch the handlebar, you crash, you go in the wall.
“Why we have to race like this? We are MotoGP and we are the top of motorcycle racing.
“If everybody start to behave like this, it’s like a destruction derby.”
MARQUEZ’ ATTEMPTED APOLOGY WAS ‘A JOKE’
Rossi was also direct in his thoughts about Marquez’s attempt to apologise to him after the race.
The Honda rider made a beeline for the Yamaha garage after the race, flanked by manager Emilio Alzamora and another Honda staffer.
Rossi was not in his ‘office’ by the time Marquez arrived, but the Italian’s entourage and Yamaha team officials made it clear to him that he was not welcome.
“It was a joke. It was PR,” Rossi said.
“First of all, he doesn’t have the balls to come to my office alone.
“He come, like always, with his manager, with Honda, in front of all the cameras because what is important for him is this; he don’t care about you, he don’t care.
“I don’t want to speak with him. I don’t want to see him close to me because I know it’s not true what he say to me.”
When asked whether he’d accept an apology from Marquez should he try again, Rossi flatly replied: “No, he (won’t) come.
“I hope he’s clever enough not to come.”