Rossi: I didn’t cheat

There has been a war of words between Rossi and reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez following the dramatic incident at the final chicane, which saw light contact between the riders which caused Rossi to bring his bike urpright and ride straight through the gravel rather than taking the corner.

Marquez felt that he should have won the race and even hinted that Rossi bent the rules his way to the chequered flag. But, Rossi has refuted Marquez's claims and believes that the move he pulled off was not illegal in any way. 

"I will watch the race again but I have never had a doubt because he put me off in the gravel," Rossi told Cycle World. "This was the only choice I had. Last year I never succeeded to beat him at the very last lap, mainly for a technical reason. He had a better technical package and was unbeatable. This year the M1 has improved a lot. 

"Honda returned to the 2014 chassis while we made another step forward. I am happy to have 74 points of advantage because I'm sure that in Germany he will be even stronger."

Rossi added that outlasting Marquez at the final chicane made his return to winning ways even sweeter. To add insult to injury, Marquez now trails Rossi by 74 points on the MotoGP standings, with the 36-year-old Italian extended his lead over team-mate Jorge Lorenzo to 10 points.

"I'm really happy, and beating Marc at the very last chicane gives me an extra boost," Rossi said. "I was competitive throughout the whole weekend and with such a high level of the championship we need to take the maximum, whenever it is possible.

"The first "success" arrived on Friday with the pole position. Before Assen, I had zero poles and Lorenzo had seven. It was not embarrassing, but I was obliged to chase. Starting from the front row, it's much easier. It was a great satisfaction to score the pole position. I was starting from the pole and Jorge from the 8th spot.

"I have been chasing Lorenzo in the last four races and the idea was to go away and manage the gap. I maintained a strong pace but it wasn’t enough to get away from Marc. I tried to push at the limit but he came with me. Then we came at the last chicane."

While Rossi is still on track to win his seventh MotoGP title, he knows that he has to continue winning if he wants to keep Lorenzo at bay. 

Lorenzo cut Rossi's lead atop the standings to just one point prior to the race in Assen as he won four races in a row at Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello and Barcelona before finishing third at the Dutch TT. 

"It was important to give a sign," Rossi said. "Jorge struggled in the first races. He gave the maximum and he had almost re-joined me. 

"Now he is chasing again. But the championship is still open as there are still 10 races to go."

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