Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi and Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez shook hands for the first time since 2015 after the two finished first and second respectively at the Catalunya MotoGP on Sunday.
The two had a fallout in the 2015 MotoGP season when Rossi accused Marquez of helping his Spanish countryman and Rossi’s team-mate Jorge Lorenzo win the title last year.
At Sepang things escalated when the two clashed on the track while Marquez was trying to overtake the Italian which meant that after a ruling Rossi started the last grand prix of the season at Valencia from the back of the grid which cost him winning the MotoGP championship for 2015.
At an emotional Catalunya race this weekend with Luis Salom’s tragic death, the two shook hands moments after Rossi’s victory.
— Mein MotoGP-Tagebuch (@PalBecker) June 5, 2016
In an interview with media, Rossi said he felt the handshake between the two rivals was the right thing to do.
“When these things [Salom’s accident] happen, all the rest becomes not very important. Very small,” Rossi said. “So I think [the handshake] was the right thing to do.
“This is a great sport. Our passion. But is also dangerous. So I think that a normal behaviour, a normal feeling, with the other riders is helpful.”
Marquez said that after a very difficult weekend it was important to shake hands.
“It was a really difficult and sad weekend for MotoGP. But in the end, on Sunday, I like that it was the atmosphere of a MotoGP family again,” said Marquez. When we were together on the grid [for the minute’s silence] and the way all the riders dedicated their race to Luis.
“In the grandstands, everybody was supporting all the riders. Full of respect, because we are taking a lot of risks. Another thing that for me was important was to shake hands again with Valentino. I’m happy about this.”