Romano Fenati retires from motorcycling after being sacked for pulling brake of Moto2 rival Stefano Manzi

‘Do you want to see my helmet and my leathers? There is a long black strip. He attacked me three times and he could have killed me too’

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 11 September 2018 12:51 BST
Black flag Romano Fenati for irresponsible riding

Romano Fenati has responded to his dismissal from both his current Moto2 team and the one he was due to join next year by announcing his immediate retirement from motorcycling, and hit out at rival Stefano Manzi for escaping criticism for his part in last Sunday’s controversy.

The pair clashed during the Misano Grand Prix in San Marino that resulted in Fenati deliberately grabbing the front brake of Manzi’s Suter at close to 140mph and could have resulted in a serious accident.

Fenati was handed a two-race ban by MotoGP organisers, but he has since been sacked by the Marinelli Snipers Team, and he also lost his contract to ride for Forward Racing next season – the team who Manzi currently rides for.

Having initially apologised for his action, Fenati has now issued a second statement to confirm he will not seek any further opportunities in motorcycling, and claimed that Manzi was to blame for his reaction as he rode into him “three times” that left a black strip on his leathers and helmet from making contact with his tyres.

Speaking to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Fenati said: “I’m finished with the motorcycle world, I will not run again. I was wrong, it’s true: I apologise to everyone.”

Romano Fenati has announced he is retiring from motorcycling

But he added: “Do you want to see my helmet and my leathers? There is a long black strip, the Manzi rubber. He attacked me three times and he could have killed me too, as you say. The last time I had it done to me was 500m before (his incident), then I thought ‘now I do the same, I’ll show you that I can be bad’ and maybe you will finally understand what it means.

“But I never thought to hurt him, I swear.”

Fenati has been heavily condemned for his actions in Misano 

The report goes on to add that Fenati was already considering his future in the sport due to previous criticism, and he had a clause inserted into his Marinelli Snipers contract that enabled him to quit racing at any point during the season.

His latest outburst is somewhat different to the apology he issued on Monday, in which he admitted he acted “disgracefully” in putting Manzi’s life at risk.

“I apologise to the whole sports world. This morning, with a clear mind, I wish it had been just a bad dream,” Fenati said. “I think back to those moments, I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man.

Fenati grabbed the brake of his rival as they travelled at nearly 140mph

“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 rider like me but I wanted to make him understand that what he was doing was dangerous.

“I do not want to justify myself, I know that my gesture is not justifiable, I just want to apologise to everyone.”

Cal Crutchlow claimed Fenati should never be allowed to ride again

The decision to retire will appease those who called for a lifetime ban for Fenati, while MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow claimed that teams should make the decision not to hire a rider who has such a reckless streak in him.

“He should never compete on a motorcycle again,” said three-time race winner Crutchlow. “He should have walked back to the garage and his team should have just kicked him straight out the back.

“You can’t do this to another motorcycle racer. We are risking our lives enough.”

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