MotoGP: Lorenzo responds to Rossi’s comments about Marquez
Jorge Lorenzo has raised the stakes in the winner-take-all Yamaha Fight Club that is otherwise known as the MotoGP world championship.
Lorenzo has bluntly pointed out that Rossi would not have made his astonishing verbal attack on Honda star Marc Marquez if he was "the fastest rider."
Lorenzo remains mystified as to the motive behind Rossi’s claim that Marquez employed tactics in last Sunday’s Australian GP to help boost Lorenzo’s championship points.
Rossi claimed to the Italian media on Thursday that Marquez is "thinking like a child" and that "the lesser evil for him is for him is for Lorenzo to win the title."
Rossi reckons Marquez played games with the front-running pace at Phillip Island — slowing and then speeding up — to assist Lorenzo.
The escalation in the verbal warfare has come in advance of Sunday’s crucial Malaysian GP and then the final race at Valencia in two weeks.
Lorenzo feels that perhaps Rossi is "afraid" of how the championship could unfold with just 11 points, in favor of Rossi, separating the pair.
It is no surprise Lorenzo is irked by Rossi’s suggestion that he needs the assistance of Marquez to win the title.
“If Valentino was fast enough to win these two races (Malaysia and Valencia) he would not say these kind of things because he would win the championship by more than 11 points," Lorenzo said.
"Maybe he is afraid for the championship to get more complicated because his speed is not enough to fight with Marc, or me or even Dani Pedrosa.
"It is much (more) difficult to win the race than finish in third place. But if this happens Valentino will be the champion because he has been the most constant rider.
"I don’t think it was a good strategy from Valentino (to attack Marquez) because the accusation is exactly the same as he did in the past when he was winning the world titles against his rivals like (Max) Biaggi and (Sete) Gibernau.
"Back then he would play around and then push in the final laps and win the race, so it is a little bit strange that he speaks like that after what is in his past."
Lorenzo has again pointed out that if Marquez really wanted to help at Phillip Island he would not had made a daring braking move of the final lap and stayed behind and gifted Lorenzo an extra five points.
Marquez said that he was "very surprised" by Rossi’s claims and remind the seven time MotoGP champion that to win again this year "he needs to beat Jorge on the racetrack."
Marquez reckons it is normal for a rider, even Rossi, to "feel the pressure" with just two races remaining with just an 11-point margin, and says he is perplexed as to why Rossi has dragged him into the spotlight.
“I don’t know, it is a new strategy," Marquez said. “I was really surprised because at Phillip Island I won the race. I did an incredible last lap, taking a risk to overtake Lorenzo in the downhill after a hot lap, that always is difficult.
"We don’t know, only Valentino knows why he is doing this. I understand and respect him, but he needs to beat Jorge on the track and I think Valentino is strong enough to beat Jorge on the track.
“Valentino is leading the championship by 11 points. He knows that if he finishes just behind or in front of Jorge he will win the championship, so he doesn’t need to be worried.”