Marc Marquez feels insulted by Valentino Rossi’s claim that he deliberately held back and did not pass Jorge Lorenzo for the lead of Sunday’s MotoGP championship decider in Valencia.
Marquez spent all 30 laps of the race closely tailing Lorenzo, with the gap at the front rarely exceeding 1.5 seconds.
In the closing stages, Marquez closed onto the back of the Yamaha rider, but did not attempt a pass, leaving him second at the end of the race.
The result ensured that race winner Lorenzo clinched his third MotoGP championship, denying Rossi – who had charged from last on the grid to fourth at the flag – a tenth title.
After the race, Rossi once again accused Marquez of helping Lorenzo to win the championship, saying that his actions were “embarrassing” for MotoGP.
Marquez responded by claiming his only opportunity to pass Lorenzo came with four laps to go, but that he could never draw close enough.
“We lost a lot under acceleration and braking and it was too far,” Marquez said. “The only place where we could close on Lorenzo was in turn five or six. With four laps to go I tried to pass, but I was cautious.
“With two laps to go on the back straight I knew it would be tough, we lost time and Jorge was able to open up a half second gap. I tried to recover it in the last lap, but it wasn’t enough.”
Marquez was booed on the podium by a large pro-Rossi crowd, and although he understood their frustration, the Spaniard said that he felt insulted by the Italian’s claims.
“On the podium I felt strange – what can I say, there were some boos,” Marquez said. “It’s complicated for a rider, of course, but I have a clear conscience and so do my team too.
“We tried the maximum; we have given one hundred percent in every race. We have struggled to get the maximum points possible and wanted to end the year with a victory. It was not to be, but hey, in the end I didn’t want to see a world champion booed.
“It is clear that the words of Valentino to his fans will weigh a lot. Valentino has won with charisma throughout his career and he is the benchmark for any rider.
“For me, for a rider with a winning mentality, telling people I did not want to win a race is an insult because whenever I go out I go to win and do the best job possible.”