During the weekend's Moto2 race in Misano, Italy, rider Romano Fenati pulled off a dangerous stunt by attempting to engage his opponent's brake lever while speeding side-by-side down the track's straightaway. The 22-year-old Italian was immediately scolded for his actions and resultantly disqualified from the race for "irresponsible riding," earning him further punishment when he was fired by his team and dropped from his 2019 contract.
Fenati made the move on Stefano Manzi who, ironically, races for the team which Fenati was slated to ride for next season. The two had clashed in a pair of previous corners which apparently led to the act of retaliation.
The antics have provoked a widespread response from the racing community, even prompting MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow to call for a lifetime ban from competition.
"He should never compete on a motorcycle again," said the British rider. "You can't do this to another motorcycle racer. We are risking our lives enough."
An announcement from MotoGP officials reads:
"At Misano, Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) was shown the Black Flag and disqualified from the Moto2 race for irresponsible riding after an incident between the Italian and compatriot Stefano Manzi (Forward Racing Team)."
"The FIM MotoGP stewards decided to suspend Fenati from the next two Grands Prix following the offense, deemed serious," the statement continued. "The penalty applies to the rider only, not the team - leaving the door open for a replacement to race."
Fenati's now-former team issued the following statement after the incident:
"Here we are. Now we can communicate that the Marinelli Snipers Team shall terminate the contract with the rider Romano Fenati, from now on, for his unsporting, dangerous and damaging conduct for the image of all. With extreme regret, we have to note that his irresponsible act endangered the life of another rider and can't be apologized (for) in no way."
"The rider, from this moment, will not participate anymore in a race with the Marinelli Snipers team."
Fenati made a public apology in which he cited his "impulsive character," though not dismissing the gesture which was "not justifiable" by his or anyone else's standards.