Valentino Rossi believes it is pointless for the MotoGP rulemakers to try and legislate on overtaking etiquette in the wake of recent rows over track manners.

Marco Simoncelli has been at the centre of the controversy, with several riders complaining about his aggressive overtaking, and Jorge Lorenzo taking him to task over it in front of the media at Estoril a fortnight ago.

But Rossi said that while the riders were entitled to their opinions, he did not see any way in which the safety commission or FIM could stipulate how riders tried to overtake each other.

“I understand if the riders come to the safety commission to make a personal attack on Simoncelli,” he said. “If [Andrea] Dovizioso came to the safety commission and said ‘for me, Simoncelli is too dangerous, because of this and because of that’, okay this is one way.

“But I don’t understand in which way you can make the rules for overtaking in motorcycle racing. It’s very difficult – you can just pass on the straight, or just on the right, or left, or you have to put an arrow out… It’s something very, very stupid.”

He also criticised coverage of the recent discussions over minimum weights in the safety commission, amid suggestions that Rossi had pushed for a change in the rules to reduce the advantage smaller riders like Dani Pedrosa are alleged to get under the current regulation in which bikes are weighed separately from their riders.

“I heard some stupid polemics about the safety commission, and I heard from some journalists that the safety commission is an Italian mafia. This is very stupid,” said Rossi.

“In the safety commission we work mainly on the safety of the tracks. This is because it was formed in 2003 after Daijiro [Kato] died. I think it is very positive, because people listen to us. In Formula 1 the drivers don’t speak. If [Fernando] Alonso says something, they say ‘hey, shut up’.

“We always work for the other riders, we do a good job on the tracks. Other than that, we speak with Bridgestone about the tyres – more choice and better solutions for the riders.

“We never speak about changing the rules. Let me hear one thing that has come out of the safety commission that is an advantage for Italian riders or Valentino Rossi…?

“We spoke about the weight in Jerez, but because Dorna said to us ‘why does Honda gain half a second on the straight’. I explained to them, but I didn’t write to the safety commission and say ‘hey, we have to change the weights because my weight is more than [Casey] Stoner’s…’

“What I read in the newspapers is wrong. We didn’t say we needed more weight on the light riders. We said with 21 litres [fuel limit], the disadvantage for the heavy riders is bigger. Just that. But change the rules? No.”


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