Valentino Rossi has formally withdrawn his appeal against the three penalty points handed down to him in the clash at Sepang. The Italian had originally appealed the three points handed down by Race Direction for the incident with Marc Marquez at Turn 14 at Sepang, first to the FIM Stewards, and after the FIM Stewards had rejected his appeal, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
After filing the appeal to the CAS, Rossi then filed an appeal for a stay of the three-point penalty. If that stay had been granted, then Rossi would not have had to start from the back of the grid at Valencia. However, Rossi's request for a stay was rejected, and Rossi was left at the back of the grid. Finishing fourth meant he lost the 2015 MotoGP title to his Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.
With the 2015 MotoGP title settled, Ross must have felt there was no point in continuing with the appeal. Even if the CAS ruled in Rossi's favor, all they could have done is reduced the number of penalty points he had been awarded. That would not have had a material outcome on the 2015 title, and given Rossi's otherwise near-impeccable record, it is unlikely to have an outcome in 2016.
Rossi still has four penalty points to his name, one picked up at Misano for cruising on the racing line, plus the three from Misano for the breach of section 1.21.2 of the FIM Grand Prix regulations. Should he incur another three points before mid-September 2016, he could be forced to start from pit lane. That, however, remains unlikely.
With the withdrawal of his appeal, Rossi's case against Race Direction is now closed, and a line can be placed under the 2015 MotoGP championship. The debate will no doubt continue among fans and media, but as far as the organizers of the sport are concerned, and the individuals involved, the affair is over and done with.
The press release issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport is below:
Tribunal Arbitral du Sport - Court of Arbitration for Sport
FIM MOTOGP CHAMPIONSHIP 2015
VALENTINO ROSSI WITHDRAWS THE APPEAL HE FILED AT THE COURT OF ARBITRATION FOR SPORT
Lausanne, 10 December 2015 – Valentino Rossi has withdrawn the appeal filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the FIM Stewards’ decision to impose 3 penalty points on his record following an incident with another rider during the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix race held on 25 October 2015.
In his appeal to the CAS, Mr Rossi sought the annulment of the penalty, or at least a reduction from 3 points to 1, since on the basis of the FIM Regulations, a rider with 4 penalty points must start the next race from last grid position. Together with his appeal, Mr Rossi filed an urgent application to stay the execution of the challenged decision in order not to lose his place on the starting grid at the final event of the season which was held in Valencia/Spain on 6-8 November 2015.
On 5 November 2015, the Sole Arbitrator appointed by mutual agreement of the parties, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany), dismissed Valentino Rossi’s request to stay the execution of the challenged decision. The Sole Arbitrator found that the conditions to grant the stay were not met, and accordingly, Valentino Rossi began the Valencia race from the last grid position.
Mr Rossi has now informed the CAS that he does not wish to continue with his appeal. Accordingly, the arbitration procedure has been terminated and the FIM decision will continue to remain in force.