Moto2 rider Romano Fenati has been hit with widespread condemnation following this shocking and spectacularly dangerous behaviour at the San Marino Grand Prix. The Italian rider was seen leaning over and pulling the brake of competitor Stefano Manzi’s motorbike while the pair were travelling at around 125mph, causing the latter to have a scary-looking high-speed wobble.
Thankfully, Manzi - who’d earlier made contact with his rival and pushed him off track in a misjudged overtaking manoeuvre - stayed on, but race officials understandably took a dim view of Fenati’s conduct. He was black flagged and has been handed a two-race suspension, although for some, this doesn’t go far enough. Aleix Espargaro reckons Fenati should be made to sit out rest of the 2018 season (there are still six races remaining this year), and the Spaniard’s fellow MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow has said that Fenati should be banned for life.
“I think he should never race a motorcycle again,” the Briton said, adding, “You can’t do this to another motorcycle racer. We are risking our lives enough…If his team keep him, they’re absolutely stupid.”
In a statement posted on its website, Marinelli Snipers Team - the outfit Fenati races for - said that it “accepted it [the two-race suspension] immediately,” but made no mention of firing the rider. The twist in this unfortunate tale is Fenati is signed with Forward Racing for the 2019 season. That being Manzi’s team. Awkward.
Will that still happen? We’re not sure at this stage, but Forward is due to take on MV Agusta branding next year as part of a new tie-up, and MV’s boss Giovanni Castiglioni is not happy about Fenati being part of the squad. “I will oppose myself in every way to stop it…he [Fenati] doesn’t represent our company true values,” he said in an Instagram post.
UPDATE: Fenati has since been fired by his existing team and had his 2019 contract with Forward cancelled.