During an interview at Autosport International on Sunday, former double 500cc world champion Phil Read commented on the controversy that surrounded the end of the 2015 world championship. In a clash which famously ended in Marquez crashing out of the race, Rossi was found guilty of ‘kicking’ Marquez off his bike, leading to him being punished with penalty points. Read believes that Marquez was just as at fault by leaning on Rossi’s leg.
The 3 point penalty that Rossi received added to the 1 he received earlier in the season, totalling 4 penalty points, meaning a back of the grid start in the following race, the title decider at Valencia. Rossi believes that he would have won his tenth title had it not have been for the harsh penalty. “We arrived in Malaysia where unfortunately we touch and Marquez crash. Then I learn on Thursday that I had to start last here – I knew already my championship was finished” Rossi said after the Valencia race.
Lorenzo went on to win the title. With Marquez shadowing him.
“It was totally unfair at the Malaysian Grand Prix for Valentino to be penalised, and to have to start at the back of the grid [at Valencia],” Read said at the Autosport International Show on Sunday.
“To my mind it was Marquez’s fault, he leaned on Valentino.”
“MotoGP is run by a Spanish group [Dorna], and I feel it’s getting like the Spanish mafia. They are favouring Spanish riders, and not supporting fairly the foreign [non-Spanish] riders.”
Wayne Gardner agreed with Read, stating that Marquez had only himself to blame for crashing.
“I think it was the wrong call by the race stewards to penalise Rossi to put him at the back of the grid,” said the 1987 500cc champion.
“The whole situation was aggravated by Marquez trying to hold Rossi up, so he could let Lorenzo get away, and then he fell off of his own accord.
“Rossi didn’t push him off with his knee, he was pushed off because he was leaning on [Rossi].
“And then to make Rossi start from the back of the grid for the last race of the championship when he’d fought all year for it, it was a little bit unfair.”