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.