Marquez and Lorenzo Booed on the Podium at Mugello, Mixed Reactions

Rossi fans shaming MM93 and JL99 at Mugello, 2016 1 photo
Photo: Colin Edwards
It's no secret that Valentino Rossi's fans perceive Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo as the biggest enemies of the Doctor, and it looks like they are not at all shy to show this in public. The two Spanish riders, who finished on the first two steps on the podium last Sunday at Mugello were booed upon receiving their trophies.
After all that happened in the final rounds of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship, there is no more room for reconciliation between Rossi and the two Spaniards. This, obviously, extended to the immense number of fans the nine-time Italian rider has, and they were only too eager to show their feelings for MM93 and JL99.

The Italian fan club of Marc Marquez said that they will not be at Mugello for this year's race because they perceived their presence could lead to most unpleasant consequences. Both Marquez and Lorenzo received a flood of verbal abuse on social media platforms after the 2015 championship ended, but the main target was the Honda rider.

Dorna increased the security around both pilots for Mugello, assigning a bodyguard for each and advising them to restrict their movements to the necessary minimum. After all, Mugello is considered Rossi's home round, and the sea of yellow t-shirts, flags and caps clearly showed that he is THE man at the iconic Tuscan circuit.

Things went even worse, as Rossi was forced to retire from the Italian Grand Prix with a blown engine, eight laps into the race. The Doctor looked as strong as ever, with Lorenzo unable to lose him and foretelling a battle that would have delighted the audience.

However, disaster struck twice that day for Yamaha. In the morning session, Lorenzo's mechanics had to replace his engine, but little did Yamaha know about what was to befall their other rider in the very race.

Even with Rossi retired, the tifosi gathered in front of the podium. The Italian rider had appealed to them days earlier, asking them to respect all the riders, but his words were not heeded by the enthusiastic crowd.

Marc Marquez declared that he was expecting a hostile atmosphere at Mugello. "The reaction was not the best one and for that reason I didn't celebrate a lot on the podium because I don't like this," MM93 added.

On the other hand, Lorenzo, who won the race at Mugello after a fierce battle with Marquez in a 0.019s photo finish, was more relaxed. "I don't care about what the reaction of the people is. We are like their enemies, but they have a similar reaction every year and I come here and get focused and make a good race every year. But I believe next year the circuit will be mostly yellow so we'll get the same treatment," he told autosport.

Now, the truth is that an unsportsmanlike attitude and lack of respect for the riders cast a rather bad light upon the sport itself. Motorcycle racing is considered a particularly respect-laden activity, even among the fiercest rivals. Scenes like Lorenzo's thumb down for Rossi, his departure from the podium last year and the fans booing riders are still the backlashes of Dorna's failure to find a more transparent solution to the Sepang incident.
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