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GP Week : Issue 102
WORLD Champion elect Jorge Lorenzo accused Valentino Rossi, the man he will depose, of dangerous tactics, after an increasingly fierce last-laps battle that could have ended with both looping through the gravel trap. And friction continued in the divided pit, when his team manager Wilco Zeelenberg spoke out in support of the accusations. Trouble started on lap 23 when Lorenzo outbraked Rossi into the first underpass. Rossi pushed roughly straight back under him forcing him onto the kerb. Jorge nosed ahead again into the S-curve: this time the contact was even more violent and Rossi again emerged in front. They swapped places again on the last lap without trading paint, and Rossi kept him behind to the line. For the fans and for victor Rossi, it was “funny – a good battle with some good overtaking”. Beaten Lorenzo took a darker view, threatening his future Ducati rival with some serious retaliation in the future. “It is good for the show,” said Lorenzo. “But when you are a rider doing 200 or 180 km/h in the corners and you feel another rider touch you, it is not a good emotion. You are putting your life at risk at this moment.” His own moves on Rossi had been “correct and okay. His moves were ... legal, but a bit on the limit for my point of view.” He was echoing Stoner’s words after Laguna 2008, and cited that example and also Rossi’s notorious barge on Gibernau at Jerez. “And now it’s me,” he continued. “Maybe in the future his rivals will get a little bit mad and we will act like he does,” he said. It may not be an empty threat. Lorenzo is no stranger to rough tactics, and in his 250 days was suspended for one race after an incident at this very race-track. Jorge threatens Rossi: “You’ll get it back ...” Yamaha team feud boils over on-track 36