Sepang Clash Video: Should Rossi Be Penalized For Marquez’ Crash At Sepang?

Do YOU want to see Race Direction’s decision to sanction Valentino Rossi overturned?

The #SepangClash in Malaysia yesterday between MotoGP title contender Valentino Rossi and the reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez will likely go down as one of the most controversial events in roadracing history. The video clip above shows what every race fan saw who was near Sepang International Circuit's turn 14 or tuned into the race on TV. The following is the Notification of Sanction that was announced shortly after the end of the race for Valentino Rossi for irresponsible riding causing a crash to another rider during the race:

Valentino Rossi has been sanctioned with 3 Penalty Points. Since he already had 1 previous penalty point, the sanction for accumulating 4 penalty points is to start the race from the back of the grid.

Thus Valentino Rossi will start the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana from the last position of the grid. An appeal to the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) was rejected.

If you feel that Rossi should not have been penalized for this incident, and/or would like to see the final MotoGP race for the World Championship take place on a level field without Rossi having to start from the back of the grid, sign this petition .

The following statements published on include those of Race Director Mike Webb who explains Race Direction’s controversial decision after the clash between Rossi and Marquez at the Malaysian GP along with those of Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. Let us know in the comments below who you think ran the fair race, Rossi or Marquez.

What was Race Direction's decision and view on the incident?
Mike Webb: "The decision is that Race Direction has imposed three penalty points on Valentino Rossi for irresponsible riding, that is, deliberately causing contact. 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.”

What were the views that the riders expressed to race direction?
Mike Webb: "I can give you a general feeling rather than a quote from our hearing, because obviously it a closed door hearing. 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.”

Movistar Yamaha are now appealing, what are the next steps if the appeal is accepted or rejected?
Mike Webb: "The FIM stewards here at the race will hear the appeal. There is a time limit of 30 minutes to lodge an appeal, that's been done. The appeal is underway and they will hear it as soon as possible within the next 30 minutes.

Valentino Rossi©Motorcyclist

Marc Marquez said you took your leg off and kicked him, was it a case of red mist?
Valentino Rossi: "No Marquez knows that is not true, because it is very clear from the image, especially from the helicopter that I don't want to make him crash. I just want to make him lose time and go out of the line and slow down because also this time, a lot worse than in Australia, he make his dirty game no? When I go wide, wide, wide, I slow down, we almost stop and I look at him to say, "F--K, what the f--k are you doing?"

"After we touch and he touched with his handlebar on the right on my leg, and I lose the foot from the foot peg, but if you look at the image from the helicopter it is clear that when I lose the foot from the footrest Marquez had already crashed.  So I don’t want to kick him. Also if you give a kick to a MotoGP bike, it don’t crash. It is not that you kick the bike; it is very heavy, like this, and he crash. But unfortunately we touched; he wanted to turn because I go very wide and I fell his handlebar on my leg her, on my thigh and I lose the leg on the foot peg. It is like this.”

What is your opinion on the sanction you have been handed?
Rossi: "For me is not fair, also because like this, Marquez win his fight! His program is okay because he made me lose the championship. Especially for me the sanction is not good because I don't want to make him crash purposefully, I just reacted to his behavior. I didn't kick him and I didn't want to make him crash.

"But you know, you don’t say nothing in the press Conference, maybe change something. But for me this is unfair; as I just want to fight for the championship with Jorge and the better man win. Like this it doesn’t happen.”

Is there anything that you regret?
Rossi: "I don't know, I don't want to make him crash, but I had to try to do something. At that moment Jorge was already gone, but I've said everything."

Do you think the Championship is over?
Rossi: "It is not over, but this sanction cut my leg and make Marquez win."

Marc Marquez©Motorcyclist

Can you explain what happened with Valentino Rossi?
Marc Marquez: "Yeah of course you know for me it is easy to explain what happened because on the TV you can see clear. You can see in the video from many points, the helicopter, from in front. I was inside and of course we were overtaking for some laps but I felt I was able to be faster and to catch the front guys. But yeah, on that corner, corner 14, Valentino passed me. I heard the bike then I pick it up, but then I saw that he was completely straight and looking at me and stopping a lot. I was just waiting because there was nothing to do in that point and then I saw that with his leg he pushed my arm and my front brake and then I lock the front wheel and I crash.

"Luckily I am good, in good physical condition, this is the most important but you know during my career I have many moments you know, I mean many battles and everything, but never have I felt this. That another rider give me a big push and push me out with the leg. But in the end, my result in the race was zero points. This was of course not my target, my target was to finish these two races on the podium, but it is like this.”

Did you pay attention to what Valentino Rossi said?
Marquez: "You know I don't want to be inside more on the Championship and on the season. For me it's a race decision just I explain what I feel. I explained what I feel. I know that I finish on the gravel, I crash and I have zero points and Valentino will start last in Valencia. But you know, what I feel is that is race incident is not a race incident."

How is it possible for a rider to intentionally knock another rider off and still receive points? Marquez: "For that reason I am like this, because of course we can fight, we can overtake, we can have small contact, but in this race until that moment we never had contact.  I overtake him but always in a good place, but I don't know how inside the helmet you can think to push out with the leg another rider so…Yeah I never see that, okay I am very young but for that reason I am very disappointed."

This all seemed to start at the Press Conference on Thursday and has just continued…
Marquez: "Yes of course on Thursday Valentino surprised everybody after my victory in Phillip Island, but you know I didn't consider that because I just did my weekend. I was struggling during all weekend to set up the bike well, as you saw in the video it was moving a lot. I know that I was struggling a lot in the first part of the race with the full tank because the geometry we use I was struggling a little bit, but I know that the second part of the race was my strongest point and my target was to fight with Jorge, Valentino and Dani. We tried but in the end another rider pushed me out. So in the end it is zero points, okay, still I was fighting for third place in the championship but now that's it."