Returning to the scene of one of the most controversial moments in modern MotoGP history, Valentino Rossi has said his thoughts and feelings are still exactly the same as they were 12 months ago.
During last seasons Malaysia Grand Prix, it was the pre-event press conference where Rossi launched his stunning attack on Marc Marquez, accusing the Spaniard of trying to sabotage his chances of winning a tenth World Championship, whilst questioning his integrity in the process.
Tensions eventually spilled over during Sunday’s race when Rossi and Marquez came together on the track, causing Marquez to eventually crash out of the fight for third position. The ramifications were huge, with Valentino Rossi forced to start from last place at the season finale in Valencia, all but ending his chances of claiming the MotoGP World Championship.
The fall out from Malaysia continued after the season when Rossi’s VR46 clothing brand dropped Marquez and his younger brother Alex from their lines and tension continued into 2017.
Then in Catalunya, it appeared a truce had been agreed between the two when the duo shook hands in Parc Ferme following an emotional event, just two days after the passing of Luis Salom.
Rossi insisted that he is focused on this weekend and getting the best result possible in is bid to secure a third consecutive silver medal in the World Championship, however, ‘the Doctor’ did admit that his feelings from 2015 hadn’t changed.
“It’s very important to try to not think much about what happened last year,” said Rossi.
“I try to remain calm and concentrate on the last two races. What I think on the last races of last year I have already said. There are still two races left this year and we have to work hard for next year, instead of looking in the past. It’s better to look forward.
“We must try and be strong and make a good race like in Phillip Island or like I could have done in Japan if I didn’t crash. I repeat, this is the most important. But after a year I feel exactly the same.”
Rossi currently sits 24 points ahead of team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in the hunt for second in the MotoGP World Championship.
Photos via MotoGP.com