Racing bad-boy Romano Fenati has had his two-race ban from Race Direction extended to six races by the FIM, keeping him out for the rest of this season.
Without a team or a bike, however, the ruling will make little difference to the 22-year-old Italian, who told Italian media in the week after the Misano GP that he in10ded to retire and resume his studies for a career outside racing.
Meanwhile, riders rallied round the miscreant, decrying the roasting he has had in both the mainstream and social media, where some went so far as to issue virtual death threats.
Fenati earned the opprobrium for an extraordinary attack on Moto2 rival Stefano Manzi. Seeking revenge for having been pushed wide by his crash-prone countryman, the 10-times Moto3 race winner pulled alongside on the pit straight, reached across and squeezed Manzi’s brake lever. Manzi wobbled, but did not fall off.
It was in full view of the TV feed, and the next day photographs appeared worldwide, along with wholesale condemnation. Rossi expressed his disgust that the incident had been the subject of much more coverage than Dovizioso’s home-race win on the all-Italian Ducati.
Crutchlow repeated his original assertion that a life-time ban would be an appropriate punishment, saying: “I’m no angel, but for me this was the limit.” But both Marquez and Dovizioso deplored the harsh judgement meted out by social media. Said Dovizioso: “The media spoke too much about stupid things, not about racing, and the social [media] in most cases reated a very bad answer. I hate people who speak because they are able to, and the they don’t understand the situation.”
Fenati has been replaced at the Marinelli Snipers team by 20-year-old Andorra rider Xavi Cardelus, now in his eighth GP after seven wild-card appearances this year on a Team Stylobike Kalex.
Press release by MotoGP
FIM withdraws Romano Fenati’s licence after discussions in Mies, Switzerland
Moto2 rider Romano Fenati attended a meeting at the FIM Headquarters in Mies on Tuesday 18 September following an incident in Misano during the Moto2 race on Sunday 9 September 2018.
Mr Fenati, accompanied by his legal representative, was received by FIM President Vito Ippolito and FIM Deputy CEO and Legal Director Mr Richard Perret.
Mr Fenati was asked to explain in person his act on the track in Misano, which has given rise to many extreme reactions in the traditional media and on social media platforms.
During the meeting, the FIM representatives emphasised the Federation’s deep concern for the safety of all riders and other participants in motorcycling competitions. They also highlighted the importance it attaches to fair play in motorcycling sport. While acknowledging that riders, and in particular those who reach the highest level of the sport, are subject to many pressures both on and off the track, they reminded Mr Fenati of the profound influence high-level athletes can have on fans and young people and urged him to be mindful of his responsibility to set a positive example in future.
Following the discussion with the rider and his representative, the FIM decided to withdraw Mr. Fenati’s FIM licence until the end of the current calendar year. A new FIM licence for the 2019 season may be granted to him subject to the conditions laid down in the FIM Regulations.
By Michael Scott