Monster Energy Factory Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi said that he believes that MotoGP World Championship leader Marc Marquez knew he would ruin Rossi’s final flying lap in qualifying, after the pair almost clashed at the end of qualifying in Misano.
The Spaniard was sat behind the Italian in the final stages of qualifying, when Marquez decided to move past Rossi at the ultra-fast Curvone corner, struggling to keep his bike steady, Marquez then ran wide, onto the green paint and therefore invalidating his lap.
Rossi was, as far as he was aware, on a flying lap of his own, before being 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.
When asked for his explanation of what happened, Rossi said: “I was on my hot lap; I was pushing one hundred percent and he overtook me in the fast corner in turn eleven and he already made me lose a lot of time.
“When he was overtaking me, he go on the green, so I try to stay more inside, and try to re-overtake in the hairpin but I arrive wide. At the end we lose all the chance to do the laptime.
“He tried to pass me in the Curvone knowing that he was ruining my lap and to overtake me he also went on the green. I then tried to overtake him, but I went a bit long.
“I’m sorry because, apart from this thing that can happen, I was hoping to be faster in qualifying and to start further ahead, because the pace is not bad. I’m seventh anyway, but it’s going to be tough because there are so many of them who are strong.”
Marquez had said in his media debrief that Rossi had ran wide at turn six, meaning his lap was already invalid, something Rossi claimed he didn’t know.
“I didn’t know that I touched the green,” said Rossi.
“I was pushing, and I thought that I was not on the green, I was on my hot lap because it was my last chance. I see later on the paper that I touched the green.”
Rossi said that traffic held him up on his first run and that his race will be a tough one, starting off the front two rows.
“It’s a shame for us, because I was strong in FP4. I had a good pace, so I expected to be stronger in qualifying,” he said.
“But unfortunately, during Q2, on the softer tyres, I had more problems. The first lap was not so bad, but I got stuck in traffic.
“Starting from seventh is challenging, because it’s not on the second row. Starting from the third row is more difficult, but the pace is good so we will try the maximum.”