Valentino Rossi’s status had no impact on the sanctions he received for his clash with Marc Marquez according to MotoGP safety director Franco Uncini.
The championship leader was issued with three penalty points on his licence which will see the nine-time world champion forced to start from the back of the grid at next month’s Valencia finale.
Rossi was however allowed to keep his third place finish in Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix ensuring he maintained a championship lead albeit reduced to seven points.
The severity of the penalty has divided opinion in the motorsport community.
Title rival Jorge Lorenzo felt the sanctions were not severe enough accusing officials of showing too much leniency to Rossi because of his stature.
MotoGP’s Uncini has responded to the claims insisting that officials made the correct call to investigate the incident after the race, while the outcome was not influenced by any other factors.
“As soon as we saw the contact, we would have penalised Valentino immediately,” he told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
“To us it seemed obvious that he was pushing Marquez off line.
“But we decided to keep following the race, speak to the riders, and look again at the clash.
“The decision was too important, and not because it concerned Rossi, but because it would have influenced the outcome of the championship.
“Race direction could not afford to make mistakes.
“The delay for the decision was only due to the need to evaluate well every aspect.
“Once responsibilities were established, we did not make any discount.”
Uncini also confirmed that Marquez had not committed an offence during the clash after Yamaha alleged the reigning world champion was riding overly aggressive.
“It (Marquez’s riding) was extreme, but within the limits,” added Uncini.
“You can suspect that Marquez was looking for a fight, but Rossi could have reacted differently.”