Romano Fenati disqualified for attempting to grab rival's brake lever on straight during Moto2 race at Misano

Fenati was once seen as a promising rising star in the sport but has been caught up in several controversies

Monday 10 September 2018 07:08 BST
Black flag Romano Fenati for irresponsible riding

Romano Fenati was disqualified from a Moto2 race at Misano, Italy, for "irresponsible riding" after he reached across to Stefano Manzi's bike and grabbed the brake lever.

The pair were side-by-side on a straight and the incident momentarily wobbled Manzi's bike, and though he was not troubled the outrageous manoeuvre from Fenati could easily have resulted in a high-speed crash for Manzi.

MotoGP officials Dorna have taken a dim view of Fenati's actions and sanctioned him with a two-race ban affective immediately, which will see the hot-headed Italian miss the next two grand prix in Aragon and Thailand.

A MotoGP statement read: "At Misano, Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was shown the Black Flag and disqualified from the Moto2 race for irresponsible riding after an incident between the Italian and compatriot Stefano Manzi (Forward Racing Team).

"The FIM MotoGP stewards decided to suspend Fenati from the next two Grands Prix following the offence, deemed serious. The penalty applies to the rider only, not the team - leaving the door open for a replacement to race."

Fenati appeared to be reacting to an earlier incident between the pair, which saw Manzi run the Italian off the track as he overtook him. Mazni received a penalty of his own for the initial clash, and he will be hit with a six-place grid penalty at Aragon next time out for "irresponsible riding".

But speaking after he took third in the MotoGP race, Britain’s Cal Crutchlow claimed that Fenati should be banned for life from motorcycle racing for his actions.

"I think he should never race a motorcycle again," Crutchlow said. "When he walked back to the garage, the 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. Sure, maybe there was contact before, but there is contact all the time.

"To grab the brake lever on the straight, he deserves to be kicked straight out."

Crutchlow claimed Fenati should never be allowed to ride again
Crutchlow claimed Fenati should never be allowed to ride again (AP)

He added: "Don't get me wrong, sometimes I can be hot-headed, another rider can be hot-headed. But he has a serious problem.

"You can't ride along the straight and grab someone's brake lever. If he would've held it for one split second longer, Manzi would've crashed in the straight.

"I heard they're giving him a two-race penalty... but hopefully he just gets banned by his team. If his team keep him, they're absolutely stupid."

Fenati meanwhile is due to join Manzi’s Forward Racing Team next season, with the latter still potentially remaining as his teammate for 2019. But Manzi said after the incident that he would not want to partner Fenati, and revealed that talks between the three parties will take place next week.

It was very strange for me, obviously it is not motorsport," Manzi said. "I don't know what he was thinking in this moment."

In 2016 Fenati was released by Valentino Rossi's Sky VR46 programme for "behaviour not in line with the disciplinary rules of the team", having previously lashed out at other riders and switching off an opponent's engine during practice starts in 2015.

Former MotoGP rider Colin Edwards said that Fenati had "put somebody's life in danger".

"This is unbelievable...are you kidding me?" Edwards said on BT Sport. "That's where you tell him, 'go pack your bag and we'll see you next year'. That's ridiculous."

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