Bitterness abounded in the aftermath of the much-anticipated MotoGP finale race in Valencia, Spain this Sunday. Team Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo won the race and champion title. Honda racers and fellow Spaniards Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa took the second and third positions.
Behind the Spanish riders in fourth place was Italian superstar Valentino Rossi. Rossi had to start the race from the back of the grid, as per the penalty ruling that was issued following the race in Sepang, Malaysia. In that race, Rossi kicked Marquez, causing Marquez to fall off his bike.
The incident that got Rossi the penalty has received a ton of media attention, and the decision to have Rossi start from the back was very controversial. Rossi tried, to no avail, to overturn the penalty. The fallout from the Sepang clash (#SepangClash) colored the buildup to the final race in Valencia.
After Sunday’s race, Rossi expressed his dissatisfaction with the results and called out Marquez for allowing Lorenzo to win (had either of the other riders on the podium won the Valencia race, Rossi would have still been crowned champion) by acting as his “bodyguard.”
“Hopefully the sport’s authorities will be able to sort it out. It is an ugly end to what has been an attractive championship. It has not been a true championship and this should not happen in sport,” Rossi told reporters.
For his part, Marquez denied any conspiracy to keep Rossi from winning the championship.
Of his win, Lorenzo said, “With my bike it was not easy to stay in this pace all the race, but I did so and I think my speed and my determination demonstrates that we deserve the championship, so I hope everyone respects the final result of the championship.”
Lorenzo held the lead for the entire race. He finished 0.2 seconds ahead of Marquez and 19.7 seconds ahead of Rossi.
1. Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 45:59.364
2. Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 45:59.627
3. Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 46:00.018
4. Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 46:19.153
5. Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 46:25.368
6. Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 46:28.199
7. Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 46:28.250
8. Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Suzuki 46:33.586
9. Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Honda 46:35.288
10. Danilo Petrucci (Italy) Ducati 46:38.943