MotoGP: Webb explains decision to penalize Rossi after Malaysian GP

Movistar Yamaha's Valentino Rossi battles with Repsol Honda's Marc Marques during the Malaysian GP at Sepang International Circuit.

Linden Adams Photography/Getty Images

After the on-track clash at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez that saw the latter crash, MotoGP Race Director Mike Webb explained Race Direction’s decision.

"The decision is that Race Direction has imposed three penalty points on Valentino Rossi for irresponsible riding, that is, deliberately causing contact," Webb said. "Deliberately running wide in a corner in order to try and force another rider off line. The result was a crash and so it’s irresponsible riding causing a crash and for that we have imposed three penalty points on Rossi.

"It looked like we were going to have a great race, but unfortunately it ended in an incident that’s controversial. I have to say that the Movistar Yamaha team have appealed against Race Direction’s decision, so now that appeal will be heard by FIM stewards."

Webb did not go into detail as to what was said by Rossi and Marquez during the meeting.

"I can give you a general feeling rather than a quote from our hearing, because obviously it’s a closed door hearing," Webb said. "Marc explained that he was riding his normal race waiting for the tires to feel good and going fast when he could and slowing down when he had to.

"Valentino was of the opinion that Marc was deliberately slowing the pace of the race down and doing so unfairly. We listened to both riders; our opinion was that there was some fault on both sides, but as far as the rulebook goes Marquez did not make any contact, did not break any rules as such, but we feel that his behavior was causing problems to Rossi who reacted. Unfortunately he reacted in a way that is against the rules."

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