LONDON (Reuters) - Italian rider Romano Fenati was dumped by his Moto2 team on Monday, and was also set to lose a 2019 MV Agusta deal, after he grabbed a rival’s brake lever while racing at speed in Sunday’s San Marino Grand Prix.
The Marinelli Snipers team announced they had terminated the 22-year-old’s contract on account of “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 apologised for in any way,” the team added.
The boss of Italian bike maker MV Agusta also vowed to scrap a contract for 2019.
Fenati was disqualified on the spot and barred from the next two races after the 200kph incident at Misano on Italy’s Adriatic coast that made waves around the world.
Moto2 is a feeder series one rung below the main MotoGP class.
“This has been the worse and saddest thing I ever seen in a bike race. True sportsmen would never act this way,” MV Agusta president Giovanni Castiglioni told his 565,000 followers on Instagram.
“If I would be (MotoGP promoters) Dorna I would ban him from world racing.
“Regarding his contract for a future position as rider of MV Agusta Moto2, I will oppose myself in every way to stop it. It won’t happen, he doesn’t represent our company true values,” added Castiglioni.
Fenati, who also caused headlines in 2015 when he was penalised for kicking out at Finnish rider Niklas Ajo in a Moto3 warm-up in Argentina, had been due to join MV Agusta’s new Moto2 project next season.
The project is in partnership with Forward Racing, whose rider Stefano Manzi was on the receiving end of Fenati’s actions.
British rider Cal Crutchlow, who finished third in Sunday’s MotoGP race, told reporters Fenati should have been banned for life.
“He should never compete on a motorcycle again,” said the LCR Honda rider. “He should have walked back to the garage and his team should have just kicked him straight out the back.
“You can’t do this to another motorcycle racer. We are risking our lives enough.”
Fenati later apologised on Facebook for his “disgraceful gesture”.
“This morning, with a clear mind, I would have wished it to be just a bad dream,” he said.
“The criticisms are correct and I understand the resentment towards me. I want to apologise to all those who believed in me and all those who felt hurt by my actions.”
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond