Romano Fenati has been sacked by his Marinelli Snipers Team following a remarkable incident whereby he pulled Stefano Manzi’s brake lever at 140mph during Sunday’s Moto2 race in San Marino.
The Italian rider was given a two-race suspension but has now had his contract ripped up.
“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,” read a team statement. “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.”
Earlier, the boss of Italian bike maker MV Agusta had vowed to rip up a contract with Fenati, who also caused headlines in 2015 when he was penalised for kicking out at Finnish rider Niklas Ajo in a Moto3 warm-up in Argentina. Fenati had been due to join MV Agusta’s new Moto2 project next season, but the project was in partnership with Forward Racing, for whom Manzi rides.
“This has been the worst and saddest thing I ever seen in a bike race,” Giovanni Castiglioni said in an Instagram post. “True sportsmen would never act this way. If I would be [MotoGP promoter] Dorna I would ban him from world racing.
“Regarding his contract for a future position as rider of MV Agusta Moto2, I will oppose myself in every way to stop it. It won’t happen, he doesn’t represent our company’s true values.”
Fenati himself apologised on Monday. “This morning, with a clear mind, I wish it had been just a bad dream,” he said. “I think back to those moments, I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man. The criticisms are correct and I understand the resentment towards me. I want to apologise to everyone who believed in me and all those who felt hurt by my actions.
“Unfortunately I have an impulsive character, but my intention was certainly not to hurt a driver like me … I do not want to justify myself, I know that my gesture is not justifiable, I just want to apologise to everyone.”
Red Engineer 100 Boot Polyurethane Hero Funtasma Men's British rider Cal Crutchlow, who finished third in Sunday’s MotoGP race at Misano, told reporters the 22-year-old should have been banned for life. “He should never compete on a motorcycle again,” said the LCR Honda rider. “You can’t do this to another motorcycle racer. We are risking our lives enough.”