MotoGP organisers Dorna Sports behaved like the "Spanish mafia" during the controversy between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez last season, according to motorcycling legend Phil Read.
A duel between Yamaha's Rossi and Honda's Marquez in Malaysia ended in tears for both riders - with Marquez crashing out and Rossi penalised for his actions in the incident.
The race stewards concluded that Rossi was responsible for the contact, meaning he started the final race of the season from last place, costing him the world championship to team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
And Read, a two-time 500cc champion, has accused Madrid-founded Dorna Sports of favouring the Spanish riders in the paddock.
"It was totally unfair at the Malaysian Grand Prix for Valentino to be penalised, and to have to start at the back of the grid [at Valencia]," Read said at the Autosport International Show on Sunday.
"To my mind it was Marquez's fault, he leaned on Valentino."
"MotoGP is run by a Spanish group [Dorna], and I feel it's getting like the Spanish mafia. They are favouring Spanish riders, and not supporting fairly the foreign [non-Spanish] riders."
Former 500cc rider Wayne Gardner backed up Read's comments.
"I think it was the wrong call by the race stewards to penalise Rossi to put him at the back of the grid," said the Australian.
"The whole situation was aggravated by Marquez trying to hold Rossi up, so he could let Lorenzo get away, and then he fell off of his own accord.
"Rossi didn't push him off with his knee, he was pushed off because he was leaning on [Rossi].
"And then to make Rossi start from the back of the grid for the last race of the championship when he'd fought all year for it, it was a little bit unfair."