Rossi's standing not a factor in penalty for Marquez MotoGP clash

MotoGP safety director Franco Uncini insists Valentino Rossi's status had no influence on the officials' handling of his clash with Marc Marquez at Sepang last weekend

Rossi's standing not a factor in penalty for Marquez MotoGP clash

Rossi received three penalty points on his licence for taking Marquez out of the Malaysian Grand Prix amid a bitter battle over third place, which means he will start last on the grid for the title-deciding Valencia GP.

No chance of winning title after penalty - Rossi

Amid suggestions that riders without Rossi's fame would have received a stronger sanction, or been penalised immediately rather than a post-race investigation being called, Uncini said the severity of the incident meant it was better to analyse it retrospectively rather than making a snap judgement.

"As soon as we saw the contact, we would have penalised Valentino immediately," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"To us it seemed obvious that he was pushing Marquez off line.

"But we decided to keep following the race, speak to the riders, and look again at the clash."

"The decision was too important, and not because it concerned Rossi, but because it would have influenced the outcome of the championship.

Lorenzo: Rossi penalty inadequate

"Race direction could not afford to make mistakes.

"The delay for the decision was only due to the need to evaluate well every aspect.

"Once responsibilities were established, we did not make any discount."

Yamaha has questioned whether Marquez should also have been penalised for trying to interfere with Rossi's race, but Uncini said even if the Honda rider had been deliberately slowing Rossi, he had not committed any offence.

"It was extreme, but within the limits," said Uncini.

"It's not written anywhere that one must go 100 per cent on every lap.

"You can decide your pace considering tyre degradation, fuel, engine. Even with the suspicion, we have no proof that Marc was impeding him on purpose.

"Why should we penalise overtaking manoeuvres equal to a thousand others? As long as they are within the rules, they're welcome. They are great and a spectacle.

"You can suspect that Marquez was looking for a fight, but Rossi could have reacted differently.

"And the tension in the previous days was one-directional: Valentino had accused Marc of favouring [Jorge] Lorenzo, but the Spaniard had always denied that."

He acknowledged that a 'gentleman's agreement' existed between riders not to race title contenders too aggressively once out of the hunt themselves, but said in the case of Marquez and Rossi there was "a grudge between them since Argentina."

Though Uncini described Rossi as "terribly upset" in the race direction hearing, he added that both riders were "polite" in the discussions with officials.

He said the evidence was inconclusive over whether Rossi had kicked out at Marquez in their clash.

"With a lack of certain proof, we abstained from judging the leg movement," he said.

"It could have slipped due to the contact."

Translation by Michele Lostia

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