Valentino Rossi questions “respect” of some MotoGP riders


The Petronas SRT rider was nudged slightly wide by Binder in the latter stages of last Sunday’s 2021 season-opener at Turn 1 – though Rossi ended up two spots ahead of the KTM in 12th at the chequered flag.

The incident required no intervention from Race Direction, while Binder doesn’t believe there was any contact.

“We got quite close in Turn 1 but there was no contact,” he said after the race. “I came next to him but he kind of let go of the brakes and I had to let go of the brakes too.

“So, it was a bit tight but no contact. It was clean enough.”

Asked about the incident and whether the respect for rivals in the mid-pack has changed over the years ahead of this weekend’s Doha GP in Qatar, Rossi took a dig at Binder – and others like him – for ‘not caring about their rivals’ in races.

“For me, it doesn’t depend very much on the position but it depends very much on the different riders,” Rossi explained. “You have a lot of riders who are more clean and ride with a lot of respect for the opponents.

“You have some other riders like Binder, who ride a lot harder and don’t care about the rival.

Valentino Rossi questions respect of some MotoGP riders


Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“So, if you try to close the line he releases the brake, and if you don’t move he hits you out of the track. But it’s like this, now it’s like this.

“Maybe in this case the word respect is too big, but it’s difficult to understand the limit because usually in the past sometimes you touch another rider but you didn’t try to touch.

“But now, some riders think just about their race and not the other ones.”

Over Rossi’s 26-season career in grand prix racing he has had many public falling outs with rivals.

Asked why this doesn’t occur in modern day MotoGP so much anymore, Rossi noted the level of interest on a rider during a race weekend mean any controversies can “wear you down for a few weeks”.

“I’ve experienced it myself, because I’ve been racing for so long,” he said. “Now the situation has changed, there are a lot more cameras, a lot more pressure from the outside and you can’t behave like that anymore, because if you do something sincere like in the 90s, controversies start that wear you down for a few weeks.

“You have to be – or pretend to be – politically correct, because that’s the way the world goes. Or you can be smarter, but I’m afraid the old days will never come back.”


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