Rossi warns Zarco for Austin move: “This is not Moto2”

Valentino Rossi was adamant Johann Zarco was to blame for their clash in the Austin MotoGP race, as he accused the Frenchman of trying to make a Moto2-style pass during their battle.

Rossi warns Zarco for Austin move: “This is not Moto2”
Podium: second place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

The two Yamaha riders came to blows on the seventh lap of the Circuit of the Americas race as they diced over third place behind the two Repsol Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez.

MotoGP rookie Zarco attempted an unorthodox pass on Rossi at Turn 3, with the pair making slight contact that resulted in Rossi cutting the track at Turn 4 and rejoining ahead of his rival.

The Italian went on to pull away and pass Pedrosa to finish second, taking the points lead in the process as teammate Maverick Vinales crashed out.

However, Rossi was given a time penalty of 0.3 seconds for the incident, as he was deemed to have gained time cutting the track in the Zarco incident, although this didn’t affect his result.

Speaking to BT Sport after the race, Rossi said two-time Moto2 champion Zarco had made a mistake, accusing him of trying to make a pass more suited to the intermediate class.

“I want to speak with the guys in Race Direction, because I had no choice [but to cut the track],” said Rossi when asked about his penalty.

“Either I do it like this, or we touch and we crash together. Also, when you go 180 km/h and you see a black shadow on the left, you don’t decide – you go straight.

“The problem is Zarco, because he’s a great talent but he did a mistake. This is not Moto2, you cannot overtake like this.”

When Rossi’s comments were put to him, Zarco replied: “That’s MotoGP, that’s maybe why the way I did it, I could not go [ahead].

“I tried to overtake Valentino because I was feeling very good in this moment of the race, but we lost contact [after the incident] and then he was faster than me.

“It was necessary to do it like this, because it was an opportunity to pass him. If I wondered to myself, can I or not, I might have crashed. So it was necessary just to go [for the pass].”

Zarco went on to finish fifth after losing a place to the LCR Honda of Cal Crutchlow on the penultimate lap of the race.

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