Movistar Yamaha Press Release: Official Statement On The Sepang Incident

In response to Honda's press release issued on Monday, Yamaha today issued the following press release on the incidents at Sepang:

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Official Statement

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 3rd November 2015

We refer to the press release issued by Repsol Media Service on Sunday 25th October 2015, titled “Pedrosa wins and Marquez crashes after unsportsmanlike kick from Rossi”, as well as the press release issued by Honda Racing Corporation on Monday 2nd November, titled “Q&A with Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Executive Vice President”.

Yamaha would like to express its disagreement with the words that have been used to report on the incident between riders Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez.

Both press releases included words that accuse Valentino Rossi of kicking Marc Marquez‘s bike that is something not proven by the investigation of the Race Direction.

We therefore reject the wording used in the said published statements that do not correspond with the findings of the Race Direction.

Yamaha has no wish to enter into further discussion regarding this unfortunate affair and our desire is to conclude the 2015 MotoGP season in the best possible way.

We go to Valencia with the clear intention of trying our best to win what we hope will be a memorable final race with all riders and teams competing in an exemplary sportsmanlike manner befitting the top category of motorcycle racing.


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I must say this is a very decent press release, just making sure things are kept to the facts - which Shuhei Nakamoto was insisting on so much.

Let's just watch racing and forget all the other, as mentioned by David before, there are things more important then bike racing, after Sunday the world wil still be turning. At least I hope so ;-)

When I started watching the live feed of Thursday's Sepang practice, all the announcers could talk about was how Rossi had blasted Marquez in the press conference. It was as though Rossi insulted Marquez's mother, then said something worse about his grandmother. After listening to two solid days of everybody yammering on about how Rossi'd gone off the deep end, I watched a replay of the press conference.

Maybe I got the wrong one, but I saw a podium where the best motorcycle racers in the world were sitting at a press conference, knowing they were at the absolute top of their games. They were sitting back, they were relaxed, they were smiling and laughing. There was no anger in Rossi's voice as he spoke; their was no look of hurt or surprise on Marquez's face as he listened. Lorenzo looked a bit surprised at first, then he, too, started to laugh a bit.

So, to me, that whole thing was the definition of a tempest in a teapot. Had the TV announcers not seen the press conference as their ticket to a weekend's worth of hollow talking points made to sound like the world had undergone an epic shakeup, I'm sure the riders would have been down to business as usual Friday morning.

But the announcers took the easy way out. Egged on, I'm sure, by their fellow journalists. Because, let's face it, professional sport is all about entertainment. And entertainment, by definition, is all about distraction. Say what you will about the purity of racing as an activity. Go ahead and watch solely for the thrill of seeing the best riders on the best machines defying the laws of gravity. Pretend that that, in itself, is what professional world championship grand prix motorcycle racing is all about. But what a bleak world yours will be, imbued with none of the color of human activity.

So a match was struck, a fuse was lit, and a stick of dynamite was thrown onto the track during the race on Sunday. Again, I'm a bit puzzled by what others seem to have seen. I saw Rossi get past Marquez at one point, then wave at him to follow so they could work together and catch Lorenzo and Pedrosa. Marquez either didn't see that or didn't agree with the strategy, and lunged past Rossi a few more times. After a particularly brutal move by Marquez, Rossi sat up in the next corner and looked back. Inside his helmet, I'm quite certain he was saying something like "what the fack are you doing?"

Does Rossi deserve to start from the back of the grid for holding his position, albeit while drifting wide on purpose, while yelling at another racer? Do fans deserve to have a championship effectively decided through jurisprudence? Entertainment seems to be a multi-edged sword.

But, before we declare the end of professional grand prix motorcycle racing, let's all take a breath. Okay, now say Rossi starts from the back of the grid. Say the two Repsol Hondas finish one-two. Lorenzo finishes with 16 points for third. In what place does Rossi have to finish to win the championship? He needs nine or more points, right? So that's seventh or better; by no means impossible. Say a Brit on a satellite bike finishes ahead of Lorenzo, too. Then Rossi just needs to finish eleventh or better. What if we throw a Ducati into the mix? And who's won more races this year, Lorenzo or Rossi?

Valencia could be one of the most interesting races of our time on the planet so far.

Tempest in a teapot, sure. But make no mistake, Rossi was not kidding. He was absolutely serious, which is exactly why people laughed. And then looked puzzled. He meant what he said. He even repeated himself multiple times to the international media. It absolutely baffles me anyone could misinterpret that.

This whole mantra of trying to spread the blame around and moaning about how the sport's been damaged is getting rather annoying and sorely missing the point. The one culprit in everything is surely Rossi himself. He started it, he went on with it and he finished it by knocking Marquez off.

Same as all this talk about the championship being decided by lawyers. Bull! The championship will be decided on the track as it should be. If Rossi does not win it, the only one to blame is himself. Not Race Direction, not the FIM and certainly not Marquez.

Once again, the penalty is not what could have lost Rossi the championship. It's the action which led to the penalty and, again, for that Rossi has only himself to blame.

Given the rather drastic difference between what I heard in the opening press conference at Sepang and what I saw/heard/read about what was said during that press conference, I'm going to reserve judgement regarding Rossi repeating himself "multiple times to the international media" until I see or hear actual statements made to reporters.

Because, I'm with ya. Pretty baffled as to how people could have misinterpreted the opening press conference the way they did.