Repsol Honda Team’s Marc Marquez has once again countered claims that his battles with Valentino Rossi in recent Grands Prix were aimed at assisting fellow Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo in the Moto GP World Championship hunt.
Rossi currently leads the Championship standings by just seven points with Movistar Yamaha teammate Lorenzo trailing on 305 points.
Marquez and Rossi were involved in a heated battle in the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit in October and the scrap reached boiling point when the Italian held his line and appeared to kick out at Marquez, forcing him into the gravel.
The Spaniard did not finish the race and although Rossi went on to finish third without receiving any immediate punishment, he subsequently received three penalty points and will start Sunday’s season-ending Valencia Grand Prix from the back of the grid as a result.
Lorenzo will need to finish as high as possible on the podium, and hope his teammate does not fight his way through the crowd to join him, in order to steal the title.
However, Marquez has insisted that he will not simply allow his compatriot free reign in Sepang and intends to battle to the bitter end.
“If Lorenzo is ahead of me and I can overtake him, I will. Just like everyone else does at work, I always try to do my job to the best of my ability and I'll look to win the race or, failing that, at least to finish on the podium", he told Spanish publication Marca.
"Every time I go out on the track I give 100%. I've done that all season and that's why I've had some falls. I gave 100% in Japan, Australia and Malaysia and I'll do so again here.
“I'll jostle for position at the front with anyone and everyone. I said in my press conference in Sepang that if I had to vie with my teammate, Lorenzo or Valentino, I'd do just that, and I meant it."
Meanwhile, Lorenzo himself expects Marquez and Danny Pedrosa, the other Repsol Honda rider, to be his main contenders in Malaysia.
“The fact that Valentino will start from the back of the grid on Sunday certainly could affect his Championship title chances as it's more difficult starting last than from the front or second row,” he said.
“We'll see how things go over the weekend. Honda's competitiveness will be very important; it will be decisive in the final outcome of the race".