Rubbing is racing? Gibernau says Rossi Jerez ’05 move set bad example

Sete Gibernau says Valentino Rossi's controversial pass for victory in the 2005 Jerez MotoGP race has inspired others to ride more aggressively since

Valentino Rossi, Sete Gibernau

Sete Gibernau says Valentino Rossi’s controversial last corner pass for victory in the 2005 Spanish MotoGP race in Jerez set a precedent that aggressive riding is both acceptable and would go unpunished by stewards.

The race marked the opening round of the 2005 season and came after Honda’s Gibernau had pushed the Italian all the way to the 2004 title.

Coming into the tight final corner left-hander on the last lap, Rossi went for an inside gap on an unconventional line as Gibernau turned, resulting in contact that sent the Honda wide across the gravel. Despite its controversy, one which stoked an already contentious relationship between the pair, the result stood with Rossi declared the winner.

The move has divided many over the years and remains one of the most remembered final lap showdowns of any race [WATCH the incident here]

Fifteen years on and Gibernau, who retired from MotoGP in 2009 but returned to with a stint in MotoE last year, feels the incident had long-term ramifications for the sport, creating an acceptance that such moves in an already ‘dangerous sport’ were now acceptable.

“I don't know how many times we've talked about that corner, but the more time goes by the more I understand after that, things change," Gibernau told BT Sport.

"Many people were seeing that move, and from that moment on it opened the door for it to happen many more times.

"At the end of the race, both of us did what we thought was best for the championship, and my opinion can be whatever. But since then things have changed in MotoGP and racing is understood, which I don't agree [with]."

Expanding on that final comment, Gibernau feels the sport has become more lenient in determining the difference between aggressive riding and hard racing, adding the sport is dangerous enough without riders feeling as though they can resort to moves that lead to potential contact – or worse - without penalty.

“I don't want anyone to get hurt. It's one of my priorities and it's how I understand sport and racing."

"MotoGP is already so dangerous that in my opinion we should all put together our knowhow to avoid these type of situations.

"Is it difficult to do? Yes. Is it impossible to do? I don't think so. It's the responsibility to whoever is in charge of the championship and to put the rules where we need to stay away from this type of situation because, like I say, we're risking more than just a crash."

The final corner in Jerez has long been the scene of some dramatic finishes in motorcycle racing. In 2013 Marc Marquez launched a similar attempt to pass, clattering into the side of Jorge Lorenzo’s Yamaha and going on to secure second place. Stewards allowed the result to stand.

However, in 2019, Jonathan Rea was punished with time penalty and a grid drop for the following race when a collision at the bend with Alex Lowes led to the Yamaha rider crashing out.

Ironically, the curve has since been renamed Curvo Lorenzo after the three-time World Champion