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In sport, eras can be defined by rules, machinery or even fashion. But sometimes, they are defined by rivalries.
Rossi reels in Marquez to take victory in Argentina
One such rivalry has so far lit up the MotoGP™ paddock since 2015, with the first big Rossi-Marquez clash coming at the very same Termas de Rio Hondo circuit that has hosted the most recent. What happened? Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was on the softer tyre pushing to make a gap, with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) pushing from behind - and the two came together.
#RossiVsMarquez: Full analysis & rider opinions
Then came the Dutch GP at Assen in which Marquez made a lunge at the final corner and Rossi evaded over the gravel but held onto it to take the win…
Rossi & Marquez clash in Sepang
The Sepang clash at the Malaysian GP that year was when the rivalry really hit boiling point, after the two came together on track once again - and Rossi was awarded a penalty for his part. With repercussions in the Championship fight well felt by the number 46, it was a season and rivalry defining moment.
#RossiVsMarquez: The calm after the storm
Since, however, the two shook hands at the Catalan GP in 2016, and it went back from boiling point to a simmer. So what happened in Argentina?
Marquez barges Aleix in his frantic chase from the back!
Marquez had a dramatic race from the off, stalling on the grid before getting going but failing to start from pitlane as advised. That gave the number 93 a ride through penalty, and when pushing to move through the order with scintillating pace, another incident saw Marquez make contact with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and get told to drop a position.
That done, he was back on the offensive and picking his way through the pack up to Rossi - lunging up the inside on arrival and both riders then forced to sit up. The number 93 was able to continue, but the number 46 took a low speed tumble on the grass.
New angles of the Termas Clash between Rossi and Marquez!
Here's what the two said after their clash of the titans at Termas de Rio Hondo.
In the blue corner: Valentino Rossi
Termas Clash: Rossi's point-of-view
“He is destroying our sport.” Harsh words from the ‘Doctor’ in the aftermath, with Rossi citing Marquez’ weekend as further evidence of the reigning Champion’s mistakes, beginning on Friday morning as the number 93 got too close to his teammate Maverick Viñales. “Why?” Was the simple response – saying it wasn’t necessary in a practice session. Likewise, Rossi says Marquez had such superior pace that there was no need to pounce immediately.
“He purposefully entered to hit me, on my leg…I laughed, because it’s too much. I’ve not had any relationship with Marquez since 2015 so it doesn’t change anything. If he doesn’t respect me, I don’t respect him. But respect is another story. This is dangerous. He hit Aleix…we are MotoGP and we are the top of motorcycling. If everyone starts to ride like this, it would be a destruction derby. Maybe it would just be Marquez at the end. For me they have a big responsibility to do something, because if not, the game doesn’t work. He raised the level, he doesn’t play aggressive, he plays dirty. In the next race if nothing is done, he will do it again. I’m upset because I suffered a lot, but I took points for the Championship.”
Termas Clash: Movistar Yamaha's Lin Jarvis's point-of-view
In the red corner: Marc Marquez
Termas Clash: Marquez's point-of-view
“I apologised to Aleix because that was my mistake. I was coming much faster and I didn’t expect him to brake where he did. Luckily, nothing too bad happened. I saw to give back a position, which I understood, so I did that…then I was just trying to come back through the pack and the track was difficult to overtake on.“
“I tried to pass Valentino, then I lost the front a bit and hit a patch of water – so I had to release the brake. Then what happened, happened…we touched. He fell. When the race was over I went to the box to apologise and they wouldn’t let me in. But I respect that.“
“I made a mistake, involuntarily. I hit a patch of water. I was pushing 100%, the track was difficult and that made overtaking hard. I didn’t do anything on purpose and certainly didn’t try to make contact with anyone.”
The two meet again in Texas, which is just a couple of weeks away. Watch all the action unfold in this breath-taking MotoGP™ season with the VideoPass.
Termas Clash: Repsol Honda's Alberto Puig's point-of-view
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