MotoGP – HRC boss hits back at Rossi claims

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HRC Executive Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto has defended Honda Factory rider Marc Marquez following Valentino Rossi’s sensational post race interview yesterday following the season finale at Valencia. 
The Italian launched a scathing  attack on the former double world champion, accusing him of acting as Lorenzo’s bodyguard and questioning why the young Spaniard hadn’t attacked Lorenzo, yet fought hard to prevent team-mate Pedrosa from overtaking.
But HRC’s boss has hit back, defending his rider and rubbishing Rossi’s claims. He said: “This is not the atmosphere we wanted to experience at the end of an unforgettable championship. We understand that it’s been a very difficult day for Valentino, after leading the championship for 17 races and losing by just five points in the final race must be very disappointing. However, on the other side we cannot accept the strong accusations he has directed against our rider and Honda in the past weeks and in today’s post race press conference. Together with the allegation he made after Phillip Island, there is no evidence to support these accusations, only the fact that Marc took five points away from Valentino’s competitor in the championship, Jorge.

“Today Valentino has alleged that Marc never attempted to pass Jorge, who has clearly had a very good pace all weekend which he demonstrated by taking a strong pole position in qualifying. Marc was struggling to stay behind him during the race and both him and Dani have done a great job to not lose too much distance to Jorge. Marc’s plan was to attack in the last lap, as we have seen many times in the past if the opportunity presents itself, he will try. Dani’s pace increased at the end of the race and he overtook Marc but ran wide and Marc was able to immediately pass him back, but this is racing.

“We are sorry that Valentino doesn’t believe this is the case, but we are certain both Marc and Dani were pushing 100% to achieve the best result for the Repsol Honda Team and all our partners as always. We cannot accept that these accusations continue to surface time after time, as this is the perception of one person – which we respect – but it is not the reality.

“Valentino is a great champion and clearly an intelligent individual so we truly hope that in time, once the dust settles, he can reevaluate what has happened and accept this was another great race from a wonderful season, and it’s a shame to spoil it. Marc and Dani have taken points away from both Valentino and Jorge this year, this is the nature of racing.”

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