Life on bikes

Romano Fenati set to return to Grand Prix

According to motogp.com, disgraced Moto2 rider Romano Fenati is set to return to racing with a seat at the Marinelli Snipers Team – the same team that sacked him after he pulled on the brake of a competitor during a championship race.

If the rumours are true, Fenati will ride in the Sniper’s Moto3 team in 2019, along with Tony Arbolino. There has been no official announcement and Fenati’s Wikipedia page still states that he is ‘former motorcycle racer’ after his International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) ban from racing that lasts until the end of 2018.

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There has been no activity on Fenati’s official Twitter account, Fenny5, @RomanoFenati since the incident in September and his official website only has a statement from the rider apologising for his behaviour. Fenati himself called his actions a ’disgraceful gesture’.

When the incident occurred, there was general astonishment and anger at his actions. Although full accounts of the story revealed that fellow competitor Stefano Manzi had provoked Fenati on previous laps and the warm-up, including kicking out at Fenati and hitting his engine kill switch, the view across racing from both fans and professionals was that his actions were a step too far and Fenati had placed the other rider in danger.

In the race paddock, however, other riders partially defended his actions. MotoGP’s Aleix Espargaro claimed, “Riders were doing worse things with a lot worse images every weekend and nothing happened. OK, he did a big mistake but I feel very bad, sincerely.” Both Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso pointed out that Manzi’s aggression will have played a big part in Fenati’s actions. “What Romano has done is terrible, but Manzi is a very aggressive rider, almost reckless,” Lorenzo said. “I’m sure he has done multiple actions during the race until reaching this point..”

Britain’s Cal Crutchlow had a very different view. “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.”

Before news of the full ban had come through, Crutchlow commented, “If his team keep him, they’re absolutely stupid.”



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