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Let the Head Games Begin – Rossi Accuses Marquez of Helping Lorenzo


With 2 races remaining and 11 points separating Yamaha’s star riders, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, things started to get tense yesterday in Sepang.

At the opening press conference, while sitting between Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez (Honda), Valentino Rossi accused Marquez of “playing” with his opposition at Phillip Island (a race Marquez won on the last lap) with erratic lap times that showed Marquez could have left the fight at the front whenever he chose.

Essentially, Rossi contends Marquez held up himself and Andrea Iannone (Ducati) to help Lorenzo at the front. Of course, it didn’t help Lorenzo when Marquez passed him on the final lap relegating Lorenzo to second place.

At first, Marquez appeared to think Rossi was joking during the press conference, but Rossi doubled-down after the press conference while being interviewed by Italian reporters … making it clear that he was serious.

The simple math says Rossi will win this World championship if he finishes immediately behind Lorenzo in each of the 2 remaining races. If, however, another rider splits Lorenzo and Rossi, Lorenzo can garner enough points to win.

As a footnote, Friday practice at Sepang saw Lorenzo post the fastest lap time with Rossi eighth quickest in the second of the 2 Free Practice sessions. Stay tuned for weekend MotoGP coverage here on MD.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. notarollingroadblock says:

    “Listen to my big mouth, and race the way I want you to race, or I knock you down” V. Rossi.
    What a douche. Looks like we’re down to rooting for Pedrosa.

  2. Mark from Toronto says:

    Rossis face is priceless in that pic. Gotta love the guy, I don’t even mind the head games. All part of the entertainment

  3. mickey says:

    Race is on here at 2:30 am, anpther late night for mickey.. And if you haven’t read, I wont spoil it for you, but the line up after qualifying is very exciting

    • Hot Dog says:

      I tried to rest this afternoon but I’m too fired up for this race. I’ll need to get more beer and turn off the phone. This is going to be good.

  4. Artem_T says:

    I wish another WC for Vale and for Jorge too

  5. achrider says:

    I re-watched the race again when seeing that press conference. In one or two laps, it seems like it was a game by MM but overall I would say the race was fair. Three of them all had a chance to beat one another to get to the leader Lorenzo. MM himself also was vulnerable and beatable by both VLR and Iannone. I think VLR just throws a mind game out there to get the younger guys crazy and made mistake (hopefully). Can’t wait till Sunday race.

  6. Provologna says:

    It really does not get much better than this.

    If Rossi bags #10: how many of you think he’ll hang up his leathers, and how many think he just can not walk away from it?

    I say yes, he’ll hang ’em up, but I won’t be surprised if I’m wrong.

  7. hh says:

    Rossi says he is angry. The “proof” looks kinda convincing; possibly artful composition or possibly very perceptive, but not good #46 PR for sure, so why do it? There is a lot at stake. For sure everyone will be watching the next two races like never before and then we will see who says what.

  8. The Spaceman says:

    If I have to watch Lorenzo perform yet another idiotic victory routine I’m going to puke. Doesn’t he have friends to tell him what dipstick move that is?

    Go Valli!

  9. Juan says:

    Que gane el mejor!!!

  10. Kevin Schwantz says:

    Rossi is the KING of mind games. It’s what he has done since the beginning of time. Sometimes people can dish it out alot easier than they can take it. Don’t believe the happy go lucky goofy little VR46. He knows what hes doing. He will either grab the championship or not. Boo Hoo

  11. Jschmutz says:

    Ahh Valentino… “These are the races”. And sometimes, the races don’t always take place on the track. Genius!!!

  12. Jess says:

    At first I didn’t believe Valentino and thought he might be being a cry baby…but then I re-watched the race. it was clock work the way Marquez could catch Lorenzo in 3 laps time. And how every time, like clock work, he would fall back by a second. I like both riders and yes I want Val to get one more championship but I have to call it when it is so obvious. I didn’t notice it the first time but the second time it is so clear, especially if you track Lorenzo and Marquez lap time. I think once Marquez caught Lorenzo the first time he and the second, he knew if he kept a 3 lap cycle he could then pass him for the win. I think the goal was to never let Rossi get first. There was an added bonus of having him tripped up by a ducati. But if you watch when Marquez takes the lead with 10 laps remaining, Lorenzo starts to get attacked from behind. With Rossi in the slip stream of the ducati he could have passed…but once Marquez fell back and let a gap form again (again and again) it couldn’t happen. Marquez is a genius on a bike…he was able to get first and keep Val from getting ahead…he ran the pace of the race. With Val hitched to the Ducati he had a chance and Lorenzo slowed down by 2 10th of second at the end of the race, for the last 10 laps. While Marquez was able to be quicker than everyone by at least 4 10th of a second whenever he wanted throughout the race. He had no bike issues and no tire issues…The proof is in the numbers. He is sly little bike genius.

    • TimC says:

      Interesting – if this is indeed the case, “he ran the pace of the race” is the money comment here. In other words, doesn’t really change my previous reply (though implied in such was I wouldn’t think MM was really doing this consciously) – VR needs to run the pace of the race….

      • TimC says:

        I.e, either way it does Rossi no good to whine about it. If MM strategically played his games for whatever reason, VR should just step it up!

      • Jess says:

        Definitely intentional! He had 4 10th of a second easy on all of them….but refused to leave the group.

  13. TimC says:

    I – big VR fan – am def rolling eyes on this one. Mind games yes, but really? Kind of a “twit” (ahem change a letter I don’t feel like ‘awaiting moderation’ on this one) move if you ask me. I really want VR to get this championship, but I’d also really like to see him put his stamp on it by stepping up at the end, rather than barely avoiding having it whittled away….

    Hilarious image choice by the way, perfect.

    Big girl panties, Rossi. It’s past time.

  14. Curly says:

    Oh Vale, master of the head game, only you could throw that out and make their heads spin like tops.

  15. stinkywheels says:

    I wouldn’t doubt that Marquez would rather a Spaniard than an Italian win the title. I’m sure Rossi will let it go, but he thought it, said it, and it remains to be seen if Marquez was saving his tires or pressuring Lorenzo into a mistake. Lorenzo is at his best with a clear track and a big lead as we all know.

  16. VLJ says:

    Jorge needs to beat Valentino while hoping someone else will also finish ahead of #46. Rossi can all-but-mathematically secure the title by finishing ahead of his teammate. In the meantime, Marquez will likely win the race. The question is, will it be Dani or Crazy Joe that plays the wildcard role this week?

    My prediction…

    While I am strongly tempted to go with a repeat of last year’s results from Sepang (Marquez first, Rossi second, Lorenzo third), I have a stronger feeling about this prediction: 1. Marquez 2. Pedrosa 3. Rossi. 4. Iannone 5. Lorenzo.

    This is assuming a dry race. If it’s a wet or mixed wet/dry race, which is often the case at steamy Sepang, hmmm…

    1. Pedrosa 2. Rossi 3. Lorenzo

  17. xLaYN says:

    no one else would speak a greatest thing of Marquez than Rossi in this comment:
    “accused Marquez of “playing” with his opposition”

    and yeah, it was brutally efficient and scalpel executed how he said… ummm yeah, let’s win and suddenly disappeared from the “behind Lorenzo fight” to later won.


  18. mickey says:

    It’s on from 2:30 – 4 am here Jeremy. Going to be another long night.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It’s on anytime I want it to be with my MotoGP video package. 🙂

      I’ll still probably wait up for it though!

  19. Jeremy in TX says:

    Good stuff. I’m dying for the next race, and I hope the championship comes down to the last lap of the last race.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “Good stuff. I’m dying for the next race”

      you just keep it on the rails, then settle in with beer and pizza pal…!!!

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