Valentino Rossi labelled the MotoGP season finale as ‘embarrassing’ after claiming Marc Marquez intentionally assisted Jorge Lorenzo to a third world title with victory in Valencia.
The factory Yamaha rider missed out on securing a 10th world title by five points despite a heroic ride from the back of the grid to fourth, following his grid penalty for the Sepang clash with Marquez.
However, a lights to flag victory from Lorenzo ultimately decided the title in the Spaniard’s favour having been pursued by Marquez and Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa for the 30 lap contest.
Rossi believes the result is yet further proof that Marquez was riding to help Lorenzo win the title, after the Honda rider appeared to shy away from attempting an overtake on his fellow countryman during the race.
Despite the claims, the nine-time world champion would have required a podium finish to claim the title if Marquez had passed Lorenzo.
“I think this championship had the potential to become one of the best of the last years because the battle with Jorge could go to the last point of the last race,” said Rossi.
“But unfortunately in the last three races something changed, something happened that nobody expected.
“That is that Marc Marquez decided to protect Lorenzo and help him win the championship. The problem started at Phillip Island and the situation became worse and worse.
“When I knew on Thursday that I had to start last, I knew already that my championship was finished because I knew Marquez would want to finish his work and protect Lorenzo in the last race.
“It happened exactly as I expected.
“The race was quite embarrassing. The last lap was, I think, quite bad for all the sport.
“If you check the races of Marc Marquez in the last two years, you’ll know that he always tries to overtake and at the minimum he’d try to overtake on the last lap,
“So the first question is why Marc Marquez never tried to overtake Jorge Lorenzo and never tried to make one attempt on the last lap.”
Marquez has strongly denied Rossi’s claims insisting he was pushing to the limit for the whole race, but was simply unable to launch an attack on Lorenzo.
“Today if I was trying to be the bodyguard to Lorenzo, I would be five or six seconds behind him and I would not take risks to follow him,” said Marquez.
“I took a lot of risks to follow him.
“My target was, like always, to try to give 100 per cent and fight for the victory.”