Dani Pedrosa took a commanding second win of the season at the Malaysia GP, although the result was completely overshadowed by a spiky clash between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez. Prior to the race, Rossi had accused Marquez of obstructing him during the previous round at Philip Island. Marquez’s alleged crime – deliberately getting in the way in order to help fellow Spaniard, Rossi’s teammate and main rival for the championship, Jorge Lorenzo.
During the opening laps of the race at Sepang, Rossi and Marquez were locked in an intense battle for third position. Both riders traded places with a string of hostile passes as Pedrosa and Lorenzo broke clear. The contest was intense and physical. Clearly, neither rider was prepared to concede an inch.
Rossi’s frustrations were obvious. After a series of attempted passes by Marquez, Rossi gesticulated wildly, clearly riven with anger. Neither man backed down and the rivalry boiled over on lap seven. Marquez passed Rossi on the outside of turn 13, but ran wide. As the Honda swept towards the outside of the track,
Rossi slowed down, looked over towards Marquez and ran his Yamaha alongside the Honda. Contact was made.
Then, incredulously, Rossi seemed stab his leg towards the brake levers of Marquez’s machine. The Spaniard’s front wheel folded and rider and bike were on the tarmac. From the replays, it looked like the Italian kicked the Honda rider off his bike.
Rossi eventually finished third, with championship leader Lorenzo taking second. Following an investigation by race control, Rossi was deducted three points. The multiple world champion will also have to start the Valencia Grand Prix from the back of the grid. Expect this saga to rumble on, as the protests continue.
To see the remarkable Rossi and Marquez clash, watch the video below: