MotoGP race director Mike Webb has explained the logic behind the decision to force Valentino Rossi to start from the back of the grid for the title decider at Valencia following his clash with Marc Marquez.
The penalty was awarded to Rossi for forcing Marquez wide at Turn 14 on the seventh lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix, the points leader making contact with the Spaniard and causing him to crash.
Webb said it was deemed that Rossi broke the rules by making contact with Marquez, who, while not entirely blameless, did not transgress any particular rules in his dice with Rossi.
"Race Direction has imposed three penalty points on Valentino Rossi for irresponsible riding, that is, deliberately causing contact," explained Webb.
"[He was] deliberately running wide in a corner in order to try and force another rider off line. The result was a crash, and so it’s irresponsible riding causing a crash."
He added: "Marc explained that he was riding his normal race waiting for the tyres to feel good and going fast when he could and slowing down when he had to.
"Valentino was of the opinion that Marc was deliberately slowing the pace of the race down and doing so unfairly.
"There was some fault on both sides, but as far as the rulebook goes, Marquez did not make any contact, did not break any rules as such, but we feel that his behaviour was causing problems to Rossi who reacted.
"Unfortunately he reacted in a way that is against the rules.”
Yamaha appealed the decision to award the penalty points to Rossi, but this was rejected.