MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi continued his war of words with Marc Marquez after losing the world title to his Movistar Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo at Valencia in Spain on Sunday.
Rossi was forced to start from the back of the grid after accumulating four penalty points, three of which the Italian star received after clashing with Marquez in the penultimate race at Sepang in Malaysia, when the 22-year-old crashed out after contact was made between the pair.
Rossi entered the race with an advantage of seven points over Lorenzo and powered his way through the field to finish fourth, missing out on a tenth world crown by five points.
The 36-year-old accused Marquez, who shadowed Lorenzo for much of the race without attempting a pass, of acting as the Majorcan’s ‘bodyguard’ to ensure he sealed the championship – a claim Marquez denies.
It was an extension of Rossi’s accusations that Marquez had interfered with his race at Phillip Island in Australia and again at Sepang with the intention of hampering his title challenge.
In a post-race press conference following a tense season finale in Spain, ‘The Doctor’ said: “I think that this championship had the potential to become one of the best of the last years because the battle with Jorge can arrive at the last point at the last race.
“But unfortunately at the last three races something changed and something happened that nobody expected. First of all me, but also a lot of people. That is Marc Marquez decided to protect Lorenzo to help him win the championship,” he added.
“I knew already my championship was finished because I was sure Marquez wanted to finish his work and try to protect Lorenzo also in the last race.
“I said this already Thursday and it happened exactly as I expected. The last lap I think was quite bad for all the sport, because something happened that never happen before.
“I was ready to lose the championship to Jorge, who is always very fast, but this way for me is not fair.”
Lorenzo led from start to finish with Marquez giving chase, but it was Dani Pedrosa on the second of the factory Hondas who looked set to pose the biggest threat at the end as he bridged a gap of two seconds to close in on the leaders.
Pedrosa briefly took second place from Marquez on the penultimate lap but the outgoing world champion reclaimed the position, with Lorenzo gaining a decisive few tenths of a second as a result, effectively sealing the outcome of the race.
Rossi finished almost 20 seconds back in fourth followed by Monster Tech 3 Yamaha riders Pol Espargaro and British contender Bradley Smith.