Rossi admits to Sepang regrets

Valentino Rossi says he regrets pushing Marc Marquez wide during the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang.

The Italian was found guilty of 'irresponsible riding' by Race Direction, and received three penalty points.

That took his total for the season to four and led to him being relegated to the back of the grid for the final race of the season this weekend at Valencia.

Rossi appealed the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to have the penalty suspended, but it was rejected on Thursday.

In hindsight, Rossi said he wished he had held his line instead of making contact with Marquez, who would crash out of the race.

“At the end, unfortunately [I didn't] have any other choice, I just regret to go wide and not follow my normal line, but except from that it's better that we speak about this weekend." 

Asked to comment on the CAS decision, Rossi said he had no choice but to try and protect his seven-point championship lead from the rear of the grid.

“Unfortunately, starting from the back of the grid makes everything very difficult. Already is difficult, but starting from last make the things in the race a lot more harder but I'm here and we have to try the maximum, stay concentrated and try to make good work during the weekend and arrive competitive and as fast as possible for Sunday for the race and see what happens,” he said. 

“For sure a lot of people speak about the race in Malaysia and the incident and I decided to make the [appeal] to the CAS for try to understand if it is possible to fight for the championship in the normal way. The [final CAS ruling] is not arrived yet because the thing of today is just that I have to start last in this race because they need time for decide [their appeal]. 

“We have to wait and see what they decide, but the important thing is I have to start last,” he added. “Apart from that Carmelo [Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO] say to us 'don't say nothing more about Sepang' and I also agree because we have another race, the last race, so we have to try to focus on the target and give the maximum for this weekend.” 

Some reports there might be some crowd trouble at Valencia this weekend, with 110,000 fans expected at a sold-out track, and Rossi said he hoped that would not be the case.

“I think and I hope everything can go in the normal way like a normal race weekend; always in Valencia is a great weekend because it's the last race and sometimes it also decides the championships,” he said. 

“There is a lot of people anyway and in this case maybe more, but I hope that all remains quiet and we can have a great support from the fans around the track without any problems.” 

As for his chances from the back, Rossi said there were a lot of factors to consider.

“It's very difficult to say how much chance I have to win or lose. We have to see, we have to try,” he said. 

“When you start last it is very difficult to prepare some strategy. First of all you have to work well in the practice and be competitive. The race is very long, 30 laps, and for sure when you start last the risk is a lot more when I try to recover [places]. 

“It's very hard to say: I need to understand my potential, I need to do the right choice for the setting, for the tyres also, and we have to see the conditions and after try to give the maximum and try to recover on Sunday. 

“In our team, all my guys we are focused, we have to try and we try to make this like a positive motivation.”