Romano Fenati Announces Immediate Retirement After Being Sacked From Racing Team

Italian motorcycle racer retires after Sunday's incident
Mirco Lazzari gp / Getty Images

Sunday’s Moto2 race in San Marino at the Misano Grand Prix turned very ugly in an instant when Italian rider Romano Fenati decided that while going at nearly 140 mph down the straight, it was a good time to reach out and attempt to pull rival Stefano Manzi’s front brake.

Fortunately for Manzi, he was able to right himself after a wobble and continue on with the race without a major accident. Unfortunately for Fenati, his moment of lunacy did not go unnoticed by the stewards or his team, Marinelli Snipers.

As reported by the Independent, MotoGP organizers immediately slapped the Italian with a two-race ban, but his punishments have just kept coming through the week.

Shortly afterwards, Marinelli Snipers cut all ties with 22-year-old Fenati, and not long after that, Forward Racing, Manzi’s team and the team Fenati was contracted to join for the 2019 season, also announced they were cancelling his contract for next year.

Fenati apologized for his behavior, issuing a statement on Monday in which he called his actions “disgraceful.”

“I apologise to the whole sports world. This morning, with a clear mind, I wish it had been just a bad dream,” Fenati said. “I think back to those moments, I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man. The criticisms are correct and I understand the resentment towards me. I want to apologise to everyone who believed in me and all those who felt hurt by my actions.”

On Tuesday, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) summoned Fenati to Geneva where he was expected to explain his atrocious actions during the race, per GP One. When the hearing concluded on Friday, the site confirmed that Fenati’s racing license has been suspended as a result of his conduct.

Fenati spoke up again on Wednesday to confirm his immediate retirement from racing, confirming he will no longer be seeking a team that would actually be willing to contract him through such outbursts.

“I’m finished with the motorcycle world, I will not run again. I was wrong, it’s true: I apologise to everyone.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t stop there, and tried to justify his behavior by laying some blame on Manzi’s shoulders as well.

“Do you want to see my helmet and my leathers? There is a long black strip, the Manzi rubber. He attacked me three times and he could have killed me too, as you say. The last time I had it done to me was 500m before (his incident), then I thought ‘now I do the same, I’ll show you that I can be bad’ and maybe you will finally understand what it means. But I never thought to hurt him, I swear.”

It is not the first time Fenati has come under fire for outrageous actions on the track that could endanger the lives of other racers. In 2015, he kicked another rider during a race, and turned the same driver’s engine off moments before a practice was supposed to commence.