Romano Fenati will not be on the starting grid at the Austrian round of MotoGP on Sunday. The Italian has been suspended by his team for "repeated behavior not in line with the disciplinary rules of a team".
Though the team has not made a statement on the exact reason for suspending Fenati, there are reports of repeated bad behavior by Fenati in the team. Motorsport.com state that Fenati became abusive towards his crew during qualifying at the Red Bull Ring, and this was the final straw.
Fenati's future is now in serious jeopardy. His suspension at Austria puts him in an almost impossible position in the 2016 Moto3 championship, the Italian currently third and trailing Brad Binder by 66 points, and Binder the hot favorite for victory at the Red Bull Ring. Fenati's suspension in Austria looks likely to turn permanent, with reports of a young Italian replacement being brought in at Brno.
Fenati's suspension means his plans for 2017 are now on hold. The Italian was due to move up to Moto2 for 2017 in the Sky VR46 team. Over the summer break, there were rumors that the Sky VR46 team would run two riders in MotoGP, with Pecco Bagnaia widely tipped to take the slot alongside Fenati. With Fenati now gone from the Sky VR46 team, Bagnaia could become the sole rider for Moto2 in the team.
The official statement issued by the Sky VR46 team appears below:
Moto3/Sky Racing Team VR46 – Austrian Gran Prix
Spielberg (Austria), August 13th, 2016 - Following repeated behavior not in line with the disciplinary rules of a Team - the rider Romano Fenati has been suspended. He will not be on the starting grid of the Austrian Grand Prix.