Valentino Rossi has been given three penalty points for the “Sepang Clash” with Marc Marquez during the MotoGP race at Sepang. The pair tussled after Jorge Lorenzo passed Marquez for second place early in the race, but Marquez put up a much stiffer battle against Rossi.
The pair swapped places starting on lap three, the battle getting tougher as the race went on. Marquez did everything in his power to stay ahead of Rossi and slow him up – well outside the spirit of the rules, but still inside the letter of the rules – treating the spectators to fifteen passes in just a couple of laps, culminating in nine passes in just a single lap.
Rossi grew increasingly frustrated, and in his frustration, tried to push Marquez out wide, slowing all the time. As Marquez turned in, the two made contact, and Marquez crashed.
After the race, Race Direction held a meeting with both Rossi and Marquez, which lasted nearly an hour. Video of the incident was reviewed and shown to the riders, and they were asked for their side of the story.
After reviewing the evidence, Race Direction concluded that Rossi had deliberately pushed Marquez wide, and that this action had caused the contact, and therefore caused Marquez to crash.