Valentino Rossi claimed a sensational pole at Mugello yesterday, using a tow off next year’s team-mate Maveric Viñales to devastating effect.
The move reignited the bad blood between the Doctor and current team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, with the Spaniard accusing Rossi and Viñales of working together to improve the veteran’s starting position.
The reigning world champion, who struggled to match his pre-qualifying form, said: “Was it a coincidence that Rossi and Viñales just happened to find each other on track? Well if it’s a coincidence, it’s a coincidence which has been repeated five or six times. So to have so many repeated coincidences… But it could be. Who knows?”
Marc Marquez, the two-time world champion who had a spectacular falling out with Rossi last season, was less cryptic. He said: “I was watching the practice and I saw that Viñales did the time behind Valentino and then the opposite. It looks like they speak and they organize.”
Rossi responded with his trademark humour, dismissing the accusations by saying that he was very scared they would send a note home to his mother for copying from another student.
However, he was clearly irked at the suggestions, and told the Italian media that Lorenzo should have the decency not to talk about riders conspiring together, once again fanning the fire of his own conspiracy that Lorenzo and Márquez had worked together to prevent Rossi from winning the 2015 championship.
Sunday’s race just got a whole load more interesting…