MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez has said he doesn’t know what Valentino Rossi’s intentions were, after the pair almost came together in the closing stages of qualifying at Misano.
Sitting behind the Italian in the final stages of qualifying, Marquez decided to move past Rossi at the ultra-fast Curvone corner on his flying lap, believing he could go faster. As Marquez made the move, he struggled to keep his bike steady, and as a result, he ran wide onto the green paint on the exit, invalidating his lap.
Rossi, who believed he was on a perfectly valid flying lap of his own, was slowed by Marquez’ move. As the pair went down to turn fourteen, Rossi ran wide, whilst Marquez cut back inside, with the pair somehow avoiding contact, leaving Marquez questioning Rossi’s intention.
“At the moment even, I didn’t understand what happened,” said the 26-year-old.
“That kind of overtake in qualifying practice is a little bit strange. I don’t know which was the intention, you must ask him.
“I will explain from the beginning, to be clear, because people will say ‘ah, because he was following Valentino again’, but it was not like this.
“I go out from the box, you can check that I go out and I was completely alone, with the last tyre, then when I arrive on the back straight, Valentino was waiting, was riding very slow, and then just I stopped behind him, because I was in front of him in the standings.
“We start the last lap, I just put some gap between us, and then when we go out from turn six, already he touched the green, so his lap was already cancelled then.
“Then I saw that he was riding fast but not super-fast. I had the chance to overtake him in the back straight. Then when we arrive in turn fourteen, I just go in, I saw one bike black and yellow arriving very, very fast inside with a speed that is impossible to do that corner.”
When looking at the bigger picture, Marquez said that starting from the second row is not the end of the world, with his race pace strong.
“We start from the second-row tomorrow, so it is not a terrible day and we are aiming to fight for victory,” he said.
“Our goal is the championship and that is what we are focused on. I felt really good in FP4 aside from the small crash, so I am quite confident in our race pace.”