Nakamoto says Marquez’ crash down to Rossi’s kick


HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto has said that Honda have data they have shows that a sudden spike in pressure on Marquez’ front brake was the reason he fell in Sepang, going on to say that the reason for the spike “was a result of Rossi’s kick”.  

Eight days on from the highly eventful Malaysian Grand Prix with the now infamous “SepangClash” between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez, Honda have issued a Q&A with head Shuhei Nakamoto, where he defends his rider and offers Honda’s view on things.

On lap seven of last weeks race, Marquez and Rossi came together, with the end result seeing Marquez crash out of the race. Nakamoto understandably defends his rider claiming that Marc rides every race to achieve the best results for himself and Honda. He went on to compare the clash and the way Marquez was riding, to how an out-of-the championship Rossi battled with his title contending team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in Motegi during 2010. 

Nakamoto went on to say that he and HRC accept the decision of Race Direction and the future decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

The Honda release reads as follows:

“First of all, we would like to state that we believe it is very important to speak about the facts, not about assumptions. A fact is a fact and there is only one interpretation. Assumptions can be translated in different ways, depending on which side you are. For the good of our sport, we would like everybody to just consider the facts that occurred and these are clearly the following: 

– Marc Marquez won the Australian GP, overtaking Jorge Lorenzo on the last lap, and therefore taking away 5 points from him in the Championship.

– On Thursday prior to the Malaysian GP in the Pre-Event Press Conference, Valentino Rossi accused Marc of racing against him in Phillip Island to help Jorge Lorenzo.

– In the Malaysian GP, Rossi intentionally pushed Marc out of the racing line which caused him to crash. Race Direction gave him a penalty for this action, confirmed by FIM.

As a matter of fact, the aforementioned topics are the only facts we can consider and comment upon, any other discussion would be based on assumptions. To speak about assumptions would only increase the negative atmosphere we are facing in this moment, but will not change the reality of what happened.”


What is your opinion regarding the current situation after the Malaysian GP?

“We as HRC are very regretful this situation has been created. First of all, we would like to underline that Marc has been subject to an accusation with no evidence, after the Phillip Island race. Clearly there are no grounds to support that he wanted to help any rider in the Championship battle, considering he pushed to win the race and did so. After reviewing the images further, you can clearly see Valentino and Marc shaking hands after the chequered flag in Australia, acknowledging a great and fair battle.”


Do you believe the battle in the Malaysian GP between Marc and Valentino is a result of Valentino’s accusation?

“We honestly don’t think this is the case. We all know Marc races at 100% all the time, it’s one of the reasons we all love him and he has so many fans around the world. Marc always pushes to the maximum to achieve the best result possible. He had a great battle in his career with many riders, and nobody complained about that. In Malaysia, we know that Marc was struggling at the beginning of the race with the full tank, as has happened several times this season. Also in Sepang he made a mistake at the beginning of the race and this allowed Jorge to pass him. Then Valentino arrived and they began to fight for third place. The passes were extreme, but safe, from both riders. Two of the greatest champions we’ve seen battling together on track”


Is it possible that Marc slowed down Valentino in those laps?

“The lap times they were doing were quite fast, clearly showing that there was no intention from Marc to slow down Valentino. In addition, after Marc crashed and Valentino had an open track in front of him, his lap times were no faster then during the battle with Marc. We believe, they were both pushing to the maximum. Both wanted third place and to try and catch up with Dani and Jorge, but of course this battle opened up a gap to the front two. This is racing and when you have two talents such as Marc and Valentino you can see a wonderful battle as we saw.”


Do you believe Valentino kicked Marc’s bike?

“It is clear that Valentino intentionally pushed Marc towards the outside of the track, which is out of the rules, therefore Marc had no other option other than to run wide. The data from Marc’s bike shows that even though he was picking up the bike trying to avoid contact with Valentino, his front brake lever suddenly received an impact that locked the front tyre, which is the reason for his crash. We believe that this pressure was a result of Rossi’s kick. The data acquisition from Marc’s bike is available if anybody from Dorna, the FIM or media want to check.”


Do you believe Marc is telling the truth when he says he wasn’t trying to slow down Valentino in Sepang?

“I know Marc well. He is a good guy, with strong and honest values. Marc was just trying to defend his position, as any rider would do, and we believe him 100%.”


What is your position on how Race Direction acted?

“We respect the decision of Race Direction and don’t want to pass judgement if the penalty they administered was right or wrong. However, we do believe there was enough evidence to allow them to take a decision during the race, it was not necessary to wait until the end.”


What do you think of Valentino’s appeal to the CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) against Race Direction and FIM’s decision?

“This is in his rights. We will respect the CAS decision.”


People say that it’s unfair that Marc battled with Valentino, as Marc is not fighting for the Championship, while Valentino is.

“This is racing! There were no comments or concerns after Dani fought with Valentino in Aragon and beat him, and also in Phillip Island with Iannone – nobody accused Andrea of trying to help one competitor more than the other. It’s been a difficult season and in Sepang Marc simply wanted to take the best result possible for him and his team, it’s not in his nature to settle for fourth place when there is a chance to fight for third. We should also look back to Motegi 2010 when Valentino was out of the race for the title but had a great battle with his teammate Jorge. After the race, when Jorge complained about Valentino being too aggressive and with no meaning as he was out of the Championship, Valentino commented: “I said to Yamaha, what do you expect from me, to arrive behind? If I know this I will stay at home.” We totally agree with Valentino’s approach and will always support our riders to achieve the best results possible.”


What is your opinion of Valentino in this moment?

“Valentino is the greatest ever champion of our sport. We believe he has done a great job this year, and if he wins the Championship he truly deserves it, as he has been consistent and very fast all year. The fact that he is 36 years old increases the respect for such a great champion. Having said that, we don’t understand his accusation related to the Phillip Island race and his manoeuvre in Sepang. We hope that Valentino will think it over and understand his mistake.”


What is your target for Valencia?

“As always, our target is to win! Our hope is that Marc and Dani can fight for the win. If they can finish first and second – it doesn’t matter for us which order – then we will be very happy. First of all, because we want to finish this season with the 4th win in a row, second because if they both are in front of Jorge and Valentino, their result will have no influence in the battle for the title and – finally – we hope everybody will understand that Honda riders race for the win and the pure competition, for nothing else.”


Photos via HRC & Red Bull

4 thoughts on “Nakamoto says Marquez’ crash down to Rossi’s kick

  • November 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Whats that smell?? Is it horse? Cow? NO …… IT’S BULL SHIT !!!!

  • November 2, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    What a load of utter crap !!!! If there was a ??spike in the braking it was done by Marc. How can Rossi use his size 9 boots to hit the brake lever when there is fitted to EVERY bike a front brake guard ??. If Rossi did some how manage to do it, when Marc lost the front it would of dragged Rossi down. if mr happy wins the championship this year it will always be known as the year Rossi won the championship but happy chops got the cup.

  • November 2, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Yes, and the same data also showed that Nakamoto looks more like Brad Pitt than Buddha and that unicorns helped MM win in ’13 and ’14.

  • November 2, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Its all about force and levers. I look at movement analysis on a daily basis in humans. i watch and treat motrobike riders and racers. if I am at a race I might just watch a lap of where their elbows are or where their bikes are in relation to the torc, shear and rotational forces . In movement there are forces that need to be taken to produce any line of movement, and to cross any lines there has to be other forces generated. Rossi did not have wing mirrors and marc would not have been racing with his eyes closed. look at the angles of their entry onto the corners and where they are looking. look at the forks and the acceleration factors of each bike. As marc turns there is a slight movement on that front wheel which sends his head sidewards to Rossi the hands have it as well. Rossi then turns his head and acellerates away, then marc hits again and slides off at which point Rossi pushes him away. Marc was on his way down, and unsavable, before the knee came out, which is why his angle of decent is as it is, There was no altered force from that knee as it came out at an angle as he turned away and left the scene of the crime , It is my belief that if Rossi had not done that he would have gone down as well. If Rossi had followed Marc down then Marc would have been sliding while still on the bike and Rossis bike attached to him. If anything Marc should consider that Rossi did the best to avoid serious injury to him and/or them both.

    i have signed the petition based what I saw on all the angles and I am sick and tierd of the dreadful behaviour of teammates and commentators both young and old who have bad mouthed both riders. teams, players, etc that have come up with inuendoes, based on personal preferences. especially Jorge lorenzo, a brilliant rider, who is charchter flawed in his behaviour towards other motogp riders. I had thought he had grown up after his comments about Marco Simoncelli shortly before his tragic death, but it appears not.

    Remember until you are ready to look foolish you’ll never have the possiblity of being great.
    To all please just tell the truth.


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