From Bad To Worse: Romano Fenati Loses Racing License, Summoned To FIM

Things are going poorly for Romano Fenati. His actions during Sunday's Moto2 race at Misano, when he reached over and squeezed Stefano Manzi's front brake, are having far-reaching repercussions. 

On Sunday, the FIM Panel of Stewards penalized Fenati with a two-race ban. On Monday morning, he was sacked from his current Moto2 ride by the Marinelli Snipers Racing Team. On Monday afternoon, he also lost his 2019 ride with the MV Agusta Forward Racing Team. 

More was to come on Tuesday. First, the Italian motorcycle federation FMI revoked Fenati's racing license for all sporting activities in Italy. This also renders him ineligible to compete in any international or world championship events, as international racing licenses are also issued by the national federation, which in Fenati's case is the FMI. He has been invited to a hearing on 14th September, at which he will have the right to representation by a lawyer.

Then, the FIM, the international motorcycling federation, summoned Fenati to the FIM headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, to explain his actions. In a press release, shown below, FIM president Vito Ippolito summoned Fenati to the FIM to here his side of the story, before considering further action against the Italian.

This seems outside of the normal course of events for disciplinary proceedings. Fenati could be referred directly to the FIM's highest court the International Disciplinary Court (CDI). If issued a penalty by the CDI, Fenati would have two more avenues for appeal. 

It may not come to that. Today, Fenati told the Italian paper Il Resto Del Carlino that he intended to withdraw from racing, at least for the foreseeable future. He would complete his studies, and perhaps go and work in his grandmother's hardware store.  He accepted his error - "I did the stupidest thing of my life" he told Il Resto Del Carlino - but insisted his intention had not been to harm Stefano Manzi. 

Fenati had received death threats since the incident, he said. The press coverage of the incident had been overwhelming, even making the evening news in countries in which motorcycle racing is a niche sport. That coverage, and the outrage generated in online echo chambers, had whipped up some individuals so far as to make threats against Fenati's life.

Whatever the outcome of the FIM hearings, Fenati's racing career is at best on hold for a period of years rather than months, and at worst, finished permanently.

The FIM press release appears below:


The FIM summons Moto2 Rider Romano Fenati to FIM HQ

Following the incident in the Misano round of the FIM Moto2 Grand Prix World Championship on Sunday 9 September involving Moto2 rider Romano Fenati, the FIM President has summoned the Italian rider to the FIM Headquarters in Mies (Switzerland) to explain his conduct.

In view of the egregious and shocking nature of Mr Fenati’s act, the FIM took the time needed to reflect serenely on the incident, which has prompted strong emotions throughout the world of motorcycling and beyond.

The FIM has decided to summon the Rider to FIM HQ (Switzerland) in order to discuss the situation with him before taking any action the FIM may consider appropriate.

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Comments

...I mean of course it is, but with the fact that it has made international main news, motorcycle racing needs to get ahead of the story and make it clear that it's not Live Action Super Hang On and homicidal riders do get turfed out of the sport. Major brands might not be as keen to sponsor a sport seen to be literally murderous. Also, for every kid who look(ed)(s) up to Fenati & thinks about emulating his or her hero in the next minimoto race they are trying to win, this is a clear signal that this is 100% not a thing to even think about emulating... if Fenati has to be thrown under an escalating sequence of ever bigger and bigger buses just to ensure that the sport isn't damaged one way or another by his moment of madness, then said buses will be queuing round the block already, under contract to Dorna & the FIM...

Total votes: 8

The incident was even picked up by CNN in the USA and they NEVER cover any motorcycle racing, and the incident was on the front page of their site.  Almost unbelievable to see it there.

More unbelievable, racing a motorcycle in the highest league there is, to working in a hardware store in just a few days time.  That is a massive fall from grace.  A Felix Baumgartner fall.  

Total votes: 73

the story was a featured link on the news aggregator ‘Drudge Report’ - one of the most trafficked sites in the world. Motogp is unfortunately niche here so i was surprised to see it featured. 

From bad to worse indeed. There has to be a lot of political pressure given the coverage this received and also this all seems somewhat disproportionate with some the other terrible infractions we’ve seen over the years and as were highlighted in a comment to your other post  

 

Total votes: 15

Brake checks, pushing fellow riders wide, there are other ways of "payback" that the cameras seldom see or cover. Romano's brake grab was outragous, stupid, dangerous and in your face but is it so bad that he deserves death threats or never races again? Is it actually worse than what other riders have clean got away with in the past?

Hopefully t will all blow over and we will see him back next year for a final chance.

Total votes: 24

As David pointed out in his fine article who would want to race with Fenati?  Sure he can claim to be rehabilatiated but in the heat of the moment who is to say he won't relapse and nobody wants to be there if/when it happens.  Plenty of good riders so it would be a huge risk for sponsers to give him a seat.

Total votes: 12

I go on less and less social media now, just the essentials (we all have them and they can be many and varied!). It’s a huge subject best not debated here but you know that the digital ‘Stoning Mob’ are going to aim their rocks before melting back from the glare of their screens. There are oceans of calm-this site for example-where the opinions are measured and thoughtful, but you know how depressingly low the haters will go; worst is they largely remain anonymous and unaccountable.

Total votes: 23

i agree funsize. I've always said peoples real life identification & address should be compulsorily shown on all social media sites - then we'd see who is brave enough to comment. In the meantime, whilst Fenati is a dick, he's young & I hope he has some close support around him.

Total votes: 15

Ironically it would appear that Romano has inadvertently increased the profile of the sport!

I too feel some sympathy for him. I don't condone his actions in any way and what he did was downright dangeous, but I have seen this happen before at GP level and by well respected riders too! 

Taking his young age into consideration, it is hard to think that his whole career is being taken away but I guess that happens to many people in lesser occupations for making similar errors of judgement. Life is hard, he was privilidged and should have realised it. It brings the whole question of allowing people into top flight racing below the age of 18 into focus in my mind. Success comes to early for them to appreciate it and childish entitlement can lead them into having no respect for others safety!  

Total votes: 17

Yea to Funsize and Tombu; they called it right. This went from reasonable coverage to moral outrage and then to truly destructive trolling. Consider the range of response: One otherwise respected website asking whether Fenati tried to kill another rider, to, on the other hand, a Race Direction ban of two weeks? I think we can be pretty sure that a sensible approach lay between these two extremes. And however bad his action was we should support him to get his shit together, become a better man and live a good life. I reckon that everyone concerned in Dorna and GP management might ask themselves how they contributed to a racing culture where such a talented rider could do something so nuts. Yes Remano has mainly himself to blame, but there was a whole competition which did not sanction him early enough and even at the very end only offered an out of step two week penalty. More evidence too that motomatters is where sanity rules the commentariat.

 

Total votes: 26

And yet, this guy is still riding. He should should gotten even worse treatment. 

Total votes: 8

I have never seen that previously. Certainly Canepa should have also had some heavy duty sanctions. While they were not going as fast as Fenati & Manzi, it was still rather nuts. What if the guy broke a collarbone?! Jesus...

Total votes: 6

That's incredible, it was a few years ago I see. I guess though a track day is outside the jurisdiction of the FIM?

However this went to court, there was more to it than meets the eye, and Canepa was found not guilty. He didn't grab his brake lever..

Total votes: 8

And now they’re thinking of prosecuting him for attempted murder. I’m beginning to feel quite sorry for this chap, you’d think he’d started WW3.

Total votes: 15

Attempted murder? That will be interesting to see. Who exactly, where did you read that?

Total votes: 12

fenati murder and you’ll see plenty of links. It’d be a dark day for bikes if they did and it stuck, given its inherent in motor racing (and many other sports) that you may cause someone else’s demise.

Total votes: 5