Race Director’s explanation on Rossi

MotoGP Race Director Mike Webb clarified the decision to penalise Valentino Rossi after Sunday's crash with Marc Marquez at the Malaysian Grand Prix. 

This is what Webb told Crash.net as to how they came to the decision to penalise the Italian by making him start at the back of the grid in the last race of the season in Valencia, basically ruling out his chances of winning the MotoGP championship.

In the MotoGP standings, Rossi is on top, seven points ahead of second-placed Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.

"So from what we saw it would appear to be a deliberate move on Rossi's part to push Marquez off the track, or push him wide. 

"We heard from both riders. Marquez told us that he was just riding his normal race and minding his own business, making passes on Valentino without contact. Which is true. And that he had no intention of disturbing Valentino. 

"Valentino on the other side said it was clear to him that Marc was deliberately slowing down the pace and making it difficult for Valentino to race. That he deliberately ran wide in the turn in order to give himself an advantage in order to get away from Marquez. 

"Finally, we actually believe there is fault on both sides. 

"Despite what Marquez said we think he was deliberately trying to affect the pace of Valentino. However, he didn't actually break any rules. Whatever we think about the spirit of the championship, according to the rule book he didn't make contact. His passes were clean. He rode within the rules. 

"Valentino reacted to what he saw as provocation from Marquez and, unfortunately, his reaction was a manoeuvre that was against the rules. It's irresponsible riding, causing a crash. So he's been penalised for that. We believe the contact was deliberate. He says he did not want Marquez to crash, but he did want to run him wide."