Yamaha Motor Racing has explained why it decided to appeal the decision to hand Valentino Rossi three Penalty Points following his collision with Marc Marquez at Sepang.
While Rossi's team-mate Jorge Lorenzo stated that he believed the penalty should have been more severe, the team appears to be backing the Italian.
Rossi will now start the season-finale at Valencia from the back of the grid as a result of having amassed four Penalty Points over the course of the year – a development that looks set to have a massive say in the title race.
“Our job as a team is to protect the interests of our riders, so while we cannot deny that Valentino's move is not the sort of move that we want to see in MotoGP, at the same time we feel the penalty is quite harsh, especially when Valentino is not normally a dirty rider. He's not a rider that creates issues or problems for other people," said Yamaha Motor Racing Managing director Lin Jarvis.
“As a team, we appealed to the FIM and the first decision of the race control. They heard him, also consulted race direction, consulted Marc Marquez and Honda, and finally after a period of 45 minutes we have the results of the appeal, which was rejected.
“The original penalty of three points against Valentino stands, and in the process of appealing, if the FIM steward rejects your appeal and agrees with the original decision, it is no longer appealable – it becomes final. It's case closed. That means now that Valentino Rossi will go to Valencia with this penalty.”
Jarvis was quick to point out that Yamaha respected Lorenzo's opinion that Rossi should have been disqualified, however.
Jarvis agreed with Rossi that Marquez' appears to have been motivated by revenge for comments Rossi made in the week, accusing him of helping Lorenzo in the battle for the world title.
“What happened today was the result of at least a couple of races of fierce competition between Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi. From the first race in Phillip Island that led to the accusation that Valentino made the other day, and what we saw today was the revenge of Marc Marquez towards Valentino's statements in the media.
“If you analyse the race in detail and study every move of Marc's, none of them were illegal in any way – but I think you have to see the bigger picture and question the motivation of the style of his race and the attempt to clearly disturb Valentino to the maximum.
“That finally resulted in an overflow of frustration from Valentino, that resulted in a boiling over. He made a move, an incorrect move, that took Marc out towards the side of the track. Unfortunately Marc tried to turn in, hit the leg, and that caused him to fall off.”
Jarvis also feels the footage backs up Rossi's claim that the initial contact between his and Marquez' bikes may have caused Rossi's foot to slip from his foot-peg – rather than the Italian deliberately kicking out at his rival.
"I think the images back it up," he said.
“A kick is an aggressive forwards motion, but in this case his foot went backwards. Valentino said he was touched, his leg went off the foot rest and flicked out. I don't think it's very wise to try and kick a 157kg RCV! I'm not defending the actions – and that's why he received the penalty. It was judged that it was a move not in the spirit of the rules of racing.”