Valentino Rossi believes that his Movistar Yamaha team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, should have received a penalty for what he interpreted to be blocking during qualifying.
Rossi saw his final bid for pole position in Sunday’s season-opening race in Qatar stymied when Lorenzo exited the pits and held him up at Turn 1 as the Italian began his flying lap.
The seven-time premier class champion remonstrated with his team-mate on track, and the pair appeared to exchange words before returning to the pits.
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The incident carried many similarities to an incident in qualifying for last year’s event at Misano in which Rossi was handed a penalty point on his license after being found to have impeded Lorenzo.
That penalty point was a contributing factor to Rossi beginning the season finale from the back of the grid after he clashed with Marc Marquez in Sepang. As a result, Rossi was fuming after Saturday’s qualifying.
“He exited from the pit without looking at the track and when he arrived at the first corner, he tried to slow down but he was on the line,” Rossi said.
“The problem is that I say, ‘why?’, and I expect, ‘sorry’, but he says to me like this [with hand motion], ‘what the f**k do you want?’
“The problem is that this situation happened exactly the same in Misano qualifying when I did the same mistake.
“He was very angry with me after the practice and at the end, they gave me one [penalty] point.
“They don’t give him one point. I don’t know why.”
Not surprisingly, Lorenzo saw the situation differently.
“In my opinion, he has no reason to complain,” said the Spaniard.
He added: “Everybody knows that when you exit the pits, you cannot stop to let them past because there was some riders entering the first corner and you are already in the corner.
“All you can do is try to stay in the white line. This is what I did, I could not be in the air, or in the gravel.”