Madrid: Angry Australian Casey Stoner accused MotoGP marshals of regularly favouring Valentino Rossi after he and the Italian great collided at a wet Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday.
Rossi`s Ducati slid into Stoner`s Honda at the Jerez circuit while fighting for second place with 20 laps remaining in a race full of incident that was eventually won by Spain`s world champion Jorge Lorenzo.
While marshals helped the Italian remount and return to the action, finishing fifth, Stoner was forced to retire and lost the overall MotoGP lead when he could not get the Honda push-started.
"I think if we`d got over the hill with more people pushing, there`s a good chance we could`ve started the bike," the autosport website quoted Stoner as saying.
"When I looked back I had like one guy pushing me, all the rest were walking back to their posts... What am I supposed to do with that?
"This is something that riders who are against Valentino have had to learn to deal with. It`s completely unfair, but it`s something that`s happened to me in the past when I`ve crashed," added the 2007 world champion.
"I`ve had people pushing my bike off the track - even when it`s perfect and I can still race. I`ve had to fight with marshals to get them to try and get me started again."
"This was a racing incident, just him losing the talent in this corner. It`s disappointing for me, but for me the worst was the marshals not helping me and to completely forget me like I`m nothing, and then trying to push me off the bike basically," said the 25-year-old.
Stoner, who has started both races this season on pole position and won the opener in Qatar, said the issue needed to be addressed even if he saw no point in going to the authorities himself.
"I`d like to see something done about it, not just for me but for other riders," he declared.
"I just think it`s completely unfair. There`s not enough consistency in the marshalling all around the world. There`s got to be consistency with everyone, not hampering someone`s race just because of popularity."
"I don`t go to the safety commission anymore," he added. "It`s like knocking your head against a wall. Nothing happens.
"You put a lot of effort in for nothing in that safety commission. There are just certain people they listen to, certain people who complain about small things."
Rossi did go to see the Australian after the race to apologise, although even that did not placate the Honda rider who felt the nine times world champion had made too much of a public show of it.
"I would prefer it if Valentino did it away from the cameras and would say something to me quietly without always having to have proof," he told the official motogp website.
"Valentino doesn`t do this for himself, he just wants to show to everybody that he has apologised."