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Yes, this is that stupid. A battle between MotoGP gladiators Valentino Rossi & Marc Marquez incited two Italian TV presenter to force their way into Marquez’s house in Spain only to nurse their wounds in hospital following a ludicrous display.
Valentino, Marquez tensions have been brewing all season but things went down hard when MotoGP leader Valentino Rossi allegedly kicked defending champion Marc Marquez, off his bike, at the Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit on October 25th. Honda's Dani Pedrosa won the race, with Jorge Lorenzo second.
The incident happened on lap 13 of 20 after Rossi gestured at Marquez following an overtaking move.
Photo via EL PAIS
“I didn't expect that he would take off the leg and push my handlebars and my front brake," Marquez said.
Rossi denied kicking Marquez, saying his foot came off the footpeg after they made contact and when Marquez was already falling. TV images were inconclusive and Race Direction only punished Rossi for forcing Marquez off line, "resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash". Rossi finished third in Sepang and was not disqualified. After an investigation, officials decided to punish Rossi with a three-point penalty and a start at the back of the grid for the final MotoGP race this Sunday.
This is not the first time Rossi has been touchy-feely with Marquez. The pair made light contact going into the chicane at the end of the Dutch TT, with Marquez trying to pass Rossi for the lead down the inside under braking for the final complex.
Enter "The Journalists"
Understandably when titans clash, so do their people. Fast forward to the afternoon of Friday, October 30th. Two cocky Italian TV show hosts from the satirical show, Le Iene (The Hyenas), Stefano Corti and Alessandro Onnis make their way over to Marquez’s house in Lleida with the intention of awarding him with 'a cup of shit'' for relegating their hero, Rossi.
The TV hosts broke into Marquez’s garage and waited for him in his house in Lleida to film him for the show. Marquez and his family tried to stop the filming and the two journalists. Consequently, when they attempted to deliver the 'cup of shit', the two presenters were attacked by Marquez’s family. A scuffle ensued and Stefano Corti and Alessandro Onnis’ camera was smashed and the video cards removed. Both Stephano and Alessandro ended up in hospital. They are fine and making the most out of the situation on Instagram.
Marquez was grabbed by the arm and the neck, Spanish newspaper EL PAIS wrote, adding that the Marquez family is set to file a police report. An official statement from the Spanish rider read: "A group of people appeared at the rider's home and shouted a series of insults, made certain ridiculous and humiliating actions towards the rider himself and even pushed and assaulted his closest relatives." MotoGP is serious business, Police said criminal proceedings will follow.
But Where Will The Kick Place Rossi at Valenciana?
The Court of Arbitration will make a decision by Friday, November 6th as to where #46 will start for the final race of the season, only days before the race on Sunday, November 8th at Valenciana, Spain.
Rossi fans, don’t hold our breath. The Spanish newspaper EL PAIS reported today that Marc Marquez’s allegation of 'the kick' is now backed up by telemetry data collected off the bike. The data shows that even though Marquez was trying to lift the bike to avoid contact with Valentino, his front brake lever was hit suddenly blockading the front tire, and was the reason for his fall. “We believe that pressure on the brakes is the result of the kick by Rossi ", said Shuhei Nakamoto, Honda's head of racing who hosted a Q and A about the incident and explained the data collected.
Rossi, 36, is seeking his seventh MotoGP title. He holds a narrow seven-point lead over Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo and must finish second if Marquez wins the race in order to win the championship.
We hope this does not end with the titans speeding to a death match instead of showing us a crescendo of skill and grace at 200+ mph.
Watch the final MotoGP race of the season, free at http://motogp.com, Sunday, November 8th, 2015.