Romano Fenati has been axed by the Marinelli Snipers team and possibly the team he was set to join in 2019 after his now infamous Moto2 brake lever incident.
Fenati was suspended for two races for reaching out and grabbing Stefano Manzi’s brake lever during the San Marino Grand Prix in an apparent act of retaliation for an earlier incident between the two Italians.
Snipers has now issued a statement advising that it has terminated his contract altogether with six races in the season remaining, “for his unsporting, dangerous and damaging conduct for the image of all.” (See below for the statement in full)
The team had initially stated in the hours following the race that the incident was “unforgivable” and one from which it “dissociate(d)” itself, before the matter escalated to a termination announced shortly after Monday midday (local time).
In a further twist, Fenati had signed to race in 2019 for the reborn MV Agusta team, which will be run by the Forward Racing squad that Manzi currently rides for.
However, MV Agusta President Giovanni Castiglioni has indicated that the deal which was announced only a fortnight ago is also off.
“Regarding his contract for a future position as rider of MV Agusta Moto2, I will oppose myself in every way to stop it,” wrote Castiglioni on Instagram. (See below for full post)
“It won’t happen, he doesn’t represent our company’s true values.”
UPDATED Fenati has issued a statement apologising for his actions.
The 22-year-old expressed contrition but was still critical of Manzi’s riding which precipitated the incident.
“I apologise to the whole sporting world,” read the Fenati statement.
“This morning, with a clear mind, I wanted it to just have been a bad dream.
“I think and think about those moments, I made an unspeakable gesture.
“I was not a man! A man would finish the race and then go to Race Direction to try to get justice for the previous episodes.
“I should not have reacted to the provocations. The criticism is correct and I understand the resentment towards me.
“I want to apologise to everyone who believed in me and to everyone who felt hurt by my action. A horrible image of me and the sport has come out.”
While Fenati has form, having kicked at a rival and switched his bike off at a practice start during a warm up session in 2015, he insisted that the latest episode was not a reflection of his true character. (See below for the statement in full)
For his part in running Fenati off the track earlier in the race, Manzi was hit with a six-position grid penalty for the next grand prix in Aragon on the weekend of September 21-23.
Statement from Marinelli Snipers Team
Here we are. Now we can communicate that the Marinelli Snipers Team shall terminate the contract with the rider Romano Fenati, from now on, for his unsporting, dangerous and damaging conduct for the image of all.
With extreme regret, we have to note that his irresponsible act endangered the life of another rider and can’t be apologised for in any way.
The rider, from this moment, will not participate in any more races with the Marinelli Snipers team.
The team, Marinelli Cucine, Rivacold and all the other sponsors and the people that always supported him, apologised to all the World Championship fans.
Comment from MV Agusta President Giovanni Castiglioni
View this post on Instagram
This has been the worse and saddest thing I ever seen in a bike race. True sportsmen would never act this way. If I would be Dorna I would ban him from world racing . Regarding his contract for a future position as rider of MV Agusta Moto 2 , I will oppose myself in every way to stop it . It won’t happen , he doesn’t represent our company true values ⚔️⚔️⚔️ #mvagusta #rc #moto2 #fairplay
Statement from Romano Fenati
I apologise to the whole sporting world.
This morning, with a clear mind, I wanted it to just have been a bad dream.
I think and think about those moments, I made an unspeakable gesture. I was not a man!
A man would finish the race and then go to Race Direction to try to get justice for the previous episodes.
I should not have reacted to the provocations. The criticism is correct and I understand the resentment towards me.
I want to apologise to everyone who believed in me and to everyone who felt hurt by my action.
A horrible image of me and the sport has come out, everything, horrible.
I’m not like that, people who know me well know!
In my career I’ve always been a good rider. Last year (in Moto3) I was one of the few riders who didn’t receive any penalties.
I’ve never put someone else’s life at risk, on the contrary, I’ve always maintained that there are dangerous riders, on the track, for riding style.
It’s true, unfortunately I have an impulsive character, but my intention was certainly not to hurt a rider like myself. But I wanted to make him understand that what he was doing was dangerous and that I too could have done him some mischief as he had just done to me!
I don’t want to justify myself, I know that my gesture is not justifiable, I just want to apologise to everyone.
Now I will have time to reflect and clear my mind.