Rossi: Marquez handshake "right thing to do" after Salom’s death

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Rossi: Marquez handshake
Charles Bradley
By: Charles Bradley
Jun 5, 2016, 11:22 PM

Catalunya MotoGP winner Valentino Rossi said that his post-race handshake with runner-up Marc Marquez was the right thing to do in light of the sad circumstances of the race weekend.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team
Podium: second place Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, race winner Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Race winner Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team fans banner
Race winner Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Rossi dedicated his victory to Moto2 rider Luis Salom, who was killed in a crash in practice on Friday.

Marquez then appeared to offer a further olive branch by heaping praise on Rossi after the race. He also patted a smiling Rossi on the shoulder after they agreed to improve their relationship, which led to a spontaneous outbreak of applause from the assembled media.

The two have been bitter rivals since numerous on-track clashes last year led to the infamous Malaysian GP incident, that cost Rossi a grid penalty and a clear shot at the 2015 championship. Since then, they have barely acknowledged each other’s existence, despite often sharing the podium or a press conference desk.

“After these things [with Salom] happened, all the rest become not very important, so I think it was very important [to shake hands with Marquez],” said Rossi after his emphatic Barcelona victory. “I think it's the right thing to do.

“From the other side, we need to stay quiet, to stay relaxed – [it] is a great sport, it's our passion, but it's also dangerous. A normal behaviour, a normal feeling with other riders is also helpful for being quiet and concentrated.”

Still no sign of Lorenzo ‘thaw’

When asked about his relationship with Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, which has also been highly strained since allegations of a Lorenzo/Marquez pact against him, Rossi replied: “Sincerely, the situation with Lorenzo is a little bit different.

“What I can say is, at the beginning of the season, I don't think to don't have any more relationship with him or don't speak with him or don't say ‘ciao’.

“But from when I come back to Yamaha, it was always me to go to Jorge to say ‘ciao Jorge, is okay? How are you feeling?' – all that.

“So I think this year I wait for him to come. But it never happen, and so you have to speak with him.”

Additional reporting by Jamie Klein

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