MADRID (Reuters) - Outgoing MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez has filed a legal complaint after he and his family were allegedly insulted and physically attacked by journalists at their home near Barcelona.
Representatives of the Honda rider from Spain published a statement on Saturday that said reporters from an Italian television programme called ‘Le Iene’ (The Hyenas) had turned up at the Marquez residence in Cervera on Friday.
They “hurled a series of insults, performed certain humiliating and ridiculous actions towards the rider and even pushed and attacked his closest family members”.
“Given the seriousness of the events, the actions have been reported and will follow the normal course of a legal complaint against these people,” read the statement.
Marquez clashed with Yamaha rider and championship leader Valentino Rossi at last weekend’s Malaysia Grand Prix when the Italian was sanctioned with three penalty points for kicking the Spaniard off his bike.
The Le Iene official Facebook page carried a statement from two of the programme’s reporters, Stefano Corti and Alessandro Onnis, that said they had gone to the Marquez home to present him with a tongue-in-cheek trophy.
“We arrived in the vicinity of the home of the rider’s parents where we came across Marc Marquez, his father, his brother and a friend,” the statement said.
“When we tried to present our trophy we were attacked and in the scuffle they broke the camera and tried to take the video card. Perhaps they wanted a bigger cup.”
The two reporters had gone to a hospital to be treated for “injuries sustained”, the statement concluded.
Le Iene published a follow-up statement later on Saturday in which they said the reporters had instructed their lawyers to file a counter complaint against Marquez.
They said they had salvaged some footage, which would be shown on the Italia Uno channel on Monday, and urged the Marquez family to make public a video of the incident shot by the mother on her mobile phone.
Rossi will start the final grand prix of the season in Valencia next weekend at the back of the grid because of his punishment although he has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
He finished third in Malaysia and leads second-placed Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo of Spain by seven points in the championship.
Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Clare Fallon