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How much contact is too much in MotoGP? | MotoGP | Sport

More than 25 overtakes in last weekend’s epic Australian GP involved contact, sometimes violent. Rubbing is racing, goes the saying. But how much rubbing is too much

The participants in that battle were questioned on race eve at Sepang. And all gave it the nod.

For winner Marquez, after rerunning the race and examining the video evidence: “For me, it’s okay. In Australia, what I saw, we in the limit.”

Dovizioso was not part of it, but is a respected counseller. “At this moment, everything is under control,” he said. “It is the character of Phillip Island and circuits like that: braking from high speed it is easy to make a small mistake.”

Rossi concurred. “It is Phillip Island, we saw it often in the past. The level opf aggressivity is high, but it is inside the rules.”

Rossi, Malaysian MotoGP 2017

Zarco has felt the wrath of several riders this season, including Rossi but especially Lorenzo. This time he was not condemned.

Zarco, Malaysian MotoGP 2017

“I like to see a race with many overtakes,” he said. “You don’t want the contact, because both riders could crash, but many riders were at the same level. Perhaps it is the tyres, that you can’t push them too hard.”

Asked which of Rossi or Marquez was the most difficult to pass, Zarco laughed. “Valentino. Sometimes I think he has eyes in the back of his helmet. He always knows what is going on around him in a race, and if you try and pass he fights. Marc lets you go, because he is thinking ‘I will overtake you again after’.”

At the same press conference, Moto2 title hopeful Franco Morbidelli was asked what he had learned from Rossi’s VR46 Academy. A man of few words, he responded: “It’s a long list. Basically everything I know.”

Morbidelli, Rossi, Dovizioso, Marquez, Vinales, Zarco, Malaysian MotoGP 2017