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Heat rises between Rossi and Gibernau

Heat rises between Rossi and Gibernau

Heat rises between Rossi and Gibernau

Ambient temperatures were lower at the Sepang International Circuit than they had been in Qatar last weekend but the heat continued to rise in the MotoGP World Championship paddock today as Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau came face to face at the pre-event press conference for the Marlboro Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Gibernau took victory in a dramatic inaugural race at Losail, where Rossi was forced to start from the back of the grid and then crashed out as he made his way through the field, and the pair are now separated by just fourteen points at the top of the championship. With three races remaining, tension is running high between the Italian and the Spaniard but both riders were ready to wipe the slate clean after a brief rest at their respective homes in Europe.

"I said some things after the race in Qatar about the people involved in this situation and now it is finished," said Rossi, who was reported to have made disparaging remarks about Gibernau and his team in the Italian media.

"Unfortunately we lost twenty-five points and I have a hole in my finger but I think it is not a big problem to ride. It is important for me to concentrate on these next races and think about the championship so now we start again from zero."

Gibernau was also keen to look forward to the weekend and even expressed sympathy at his rival's penalty in the last round. "I have spent my time at home listening to music because I don't want to know what has been said, but whatever Valentino did say was in the heat of the moment and I am not interested," he said.

"I have been in that situation before, when your blood is boiling and you say what you think, but everybody knows he is a good guy. To be honest I thought his penalty was unfair, but that is racing."

Despite their diplomatic answers, both riders were clearly ruffled by extra pressure from the journalists at the end of the press conference, when Gibernau was asked his opinion on reports claiming Rossi had said he ‘had always wanted an excuse not to talk to Sete'.

To watch the enthralling press conference in full, simply click on the link at the top of the page.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, MARLBORO MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, Valentino Rossi

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