Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com
Friction, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have it. Whether it is the friction these two teammates display in the paddock, or the friction they create rubbing bodywork in the turns, there is no love lost between the two Yamaha-sponsored speedsters. Thankfully we race fans have a front row seat.
This weekend in Japan, the two were almost recklessly aggressive in their mutual pursuit of the final spot on the podium. Lorenzo is poised for this year’s MotoGP championship, Rossi is the defending circuit champ. Obviously, the competitive juices flow briskly in each. The final 3 laps of the Japanese MotoGP were classics. The top two podium spots were a forgone conclusion, leaving all if the intrigue to the fight between Rossi and Lorenzo.
In true Kobe Bryant / Shaquille O’Neil style, these two uber-competitive alpha males will part way next season when Rossi will pilot a Ducati. In the mean time, we get to watch the pre-separation fireworks.
In Japan, it was Rossi who fought his way to the podium. However, the two disagreed on how he got there. Rossi called it, “a great battle, proper racing.” On the flip side, Lorenzo claimed, “at some points I do not think he (Rossi) was completely fair, we were both on the limit but some of his moves were maybe a bit too much and he touched me and pushed me wide when I don’t think it was right.”
Over the next few races, Lorenzo will almost certainly claim the title. However, the inter-team rivalry will surely spice up the MotoGP storyline.
Take a look at the highlights of the podium battle in the video below: