Not again! An out of control Marc Márquez took out Valentino Rossi again and in doing so reopened the turmoil from the 2015 season that affected our sport so negatively. After the race, a passionate Valentino Rossi Fan Club member burst into the Termas press room and to me exclaimed “Let’s see if you can defend Marc Márquez now! What can you say now!” I became the target of his anger for the simple fact that I am not Italian, or rather, that I hold the same passport as Márquez. I asked this man if he was really castigating me because I am Spanish, and that if he was, he was very much in the wrong. Reason and lack of reason have no nationality or country.
My analysis of what happened at the Argentina GP last Sunday doesn’t depend on if someone is Spanish, Italian, Greek or Moroccan. What is wrong is wrong, and I say that Marc Márquez was wrong at Termas, he was very wrong. He raced out of control, without considering the line that separates the aggressiveness of an ultra-competitive sport such as MotoGP with over-aggressiveness that leads to endangering other riders.
I say that Marc Márquez was wrong at Termas, he was very wrong
I accept Marc’s explanations that cause of running into Valentino was a patch of moisture on the track that caused him to release the brakes when he closed the corner. Why would he lie? But after hearing his explanation the obvious question is: Being aware of the state of the asphalt, why did he insist in riding too aggressively for the conditions? Before taking Valentino off the track on lap 20 he had a similar incident with Aleix Espargaró on lap 9, and two very fair passes on Morbidelli and Lüthi. Marc knew his chaotic riding was generating havoc, and he did not stop, or to put it more orthodoxly, he did nothing to prevent repetitions of the same mistakes. Are we in agreement on this?
Not taking into consideration, after two warnings, the consequences that his riding last Sunday was generating, sounds a lot like lack of respect for his rivals
And that failure to pull back comes very close to lack of respect for his rivals. Because not taking into consideration, after two warnings, the consequences that his riding last Sunday was generating, sounds a lot like lack of respect. Motorcycling is not like basketball, where a charge is penalized with a personal foul. You don’t have to go too far: what was the result of Johann Zarco’s move on Pedrosa, whom he took out in a maneuver very similar to Marquez’s over Rossi? Well, a possible broken wrist.
One is just as blamable as the other, but the difference is that Zarco didn’t attempt such a maneuver again, and chance had a hand in the battles with Crutchlow, Rins and Miller. So I say, regardless of Marc’s passport, last Sunday he didn’t professionally respect his colleagues. I suppose that in my country I’ll get to hear the Marc Márquez fan club side of the Valentino fan club members, who will surely have something to say. But hey, it’s part of the job.
That said, I will say that nothing of this unfortunate controversy would have been started if Race Direction had acted according to the rules following Marc Márquez’s incident on the grid. Marc stalled the bike on the starting grid and instead of returning to the box, started his bike and claims he was given the OK to start with the rest. If the commissioner didn’t know how to manage the situation, if Marc was given permission to go…How should that have been handled? Ignorance of the law does not exempt compliance. If Márquez was allowed to start due to a marshall’s error, Race Direction should have shown him a black flag, it’s as simple as that. In his situation, he was penalized with a ride through that ended up generating even more distress in Márquez.
This new clash has reopened the chasm between the two biggest stars in our sport – to frightening proportions
And what happens now? Well! This new clash has reopened the chasm between the two biggest stars in our sport – to frightening proportions. Valentino was extremely critical of Marquez, and with the repercussion that his words always have, problems are going arise. Very serious problems if no remedies are applied. Argentina there was an alliance of aggression against Márquez after the race, and the fan club insinuated that they will not be able to control the wrath from Rossi’s world… This is very serious.
Let’s be sensible, we hope that those who have to manage this will use wisdom and good judgment. Independently of names or commercial interests, if someone has to be pay for his mistakes, he shall pay and that’s it. In Spain we say: better a red day than a hundred pink nights… And please, let’s leave the flags in the closet, which have always divided rather than united people.