Motorcyclist who grabbed rival’s brakes at 140mph is banned until 2019

Motorcyclist who grabbed his rival’s brakes while racing at 140mph is banned for the rest of the year

  • Romano Fenati tried to pull off an astonishingly dangerous move in San Marino
  • Fenati tried to grab the front brake of Stefano Manzi’s bike during the race
  • He was attempting to overtake his compatriot but was later disqualified
  • He has been banned until 2019 by Motorcycling’s world governing body

A motorcyclist who grabbed his rival’s brakes while racing at 140mph has been banned for the rest of the year. 

Romano Fenati was caught on camera reaching over and attempting to pull the brake lever on fellow Italian Stefano Manzi’s right handlebar at San Marino Moto2 on 9 September. 

Fenati, who said he pulled the brake because he was ‘provoked’ by an earlier clash in the race, has been sacked by his team. He was this week banned until 2019 by Motorcycling’s world governing body.

Romano Fenati (left) tried a very dangerous move as he looked to overtake Stefano Manzi

Fenati attempted to grab the front brake of Manzi’s bike at the San Marino Grand Prix

Fenati was later disqualified from the series’ race following his dangerous act on 9 September

The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) said in a statement that the 22-year-old and his lawyer attended a meeting at the FIM’s Swiss headquarters on Tuesday to explain his actions.

The FIM emphasised its concern for the safety of all riders and reminded Fenati of his responsibilities to fans and young people.

‘Following the discussion with the rider and his representative, the FIM decided to withdraw Mr Fenati’s FIM licence until the end of the current calendar year,’ it added.

‘A new FIM licence for the 2019 season may be granted to him subject to the conditions laid down in the FIM regulations.’  

After the incident, Manzi’s Suter’s bike shook briefly but he managed to regain control and carry on with the race.

The ban until 2019 will be seen as soft by riders who said Fenati should get a life ban.

‘He should never compete on a motorcycle again,’ said British MotoGP rider Cal Crutchlow, who finished third in the main MotoGP race.

‘He should have walked back to the garage and his team should have just kicked him straight out the back.

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‘You can’t do this to another motorcycle racer. We are risking our lives enough.’

Fenati was sacked by his team, Marinelli Rivacold Snipers, the day after the race. The team released a statement condemning his ‘unsporting, dangerous and damaging’ behaviour.

The statement read: ‘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 apologised for in any way. The rider, from this moment, will not participate in any more races with the Marinelli Snipers team. 

‘The team, Marinelli Cucine, Rivacold and all the other sponsors and the people that always supported him, apologised to all the World Championship fans.’

Fenati (left) is seen on the starting grid before the race at Misano circuit in San Marino

In another shocking incident from a past race, Fenati kicked the bike of one of his rivals

Fenati issued his apology on the MotoGP website, during which he referred to an earlier incident in the race with Manzi, which saw Manzi rebuked by officials for causing Fenati to leave the track.

‘I apologise to the world of sport,’ Fenati’s statement said. ‘This morning, with a lucid mind, I wish it had just been a bad dream.

‘I think about and think back to those moments, I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man. I shouldn’t have reacted to provocation.

‘The criticisms are correct and I understand the animosity towards me.

‘I want to apologise to everyone who believed in me and all those who felt hurt by my action. A horrible image of me and of the sport has come out.

‘I’m not like that, people who know me well know that.’

Fenati in 2015 was penalised for kicking out at Finnish rider Niklas Ajo, whose engine he also turned off at practice starts.

Fenati added: ‘It’s true, unfortunately I have an impulsive character, but my intention was certainly not to hurt a rider like me, rather I wanted to make him understand that what he was doing was dangerous and how I could also have done something similar to what he did to me.

‘I do not want to justify myself, I know that my actions were not justifiable, I just want to apologise to everyone.

‘Now I will have time to reflect and clear my head.’

Fenati can be seen arguing with a rival on the start grid in another past incident

Fenati had been somewhat leniently banned for two races after being disqualified from the race following the incident, which occurred on the 23rd lap.

The pair had made contact earlier in the race as Manzi attempted to overtake Fenati, and both riders ran off the track before re-entering and continuing to race, but losing positions to their rivals.

The incident seems to have enraged Fenati, leading to his reckless reaction. 

‘We had a contact two turns before, but nothing to justify such a reaction. His gesture speaks for itself,’ said Manzi. 

Fenati has a reputation as a hot-head after a series of incidents during his racing career.

In a BT Sport video, he can be seen kicking a rival’s bike while racing in another staggering and highly dangerous attack.

He also has a reputation for heatedly arguing with other riders, and can be seen turning a rival’s bike off, raising his middle finger and being physically aggressive on the grid. 

Former MotoGP rider Colin Edwards, commentating for BT Sport said Fenati had ‘put somebody’s life in danger,’ adding: ‘This is unbelievable. Are you kidding me?’

Four-time MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez called for Fenati to be banned.

‘They need to put some penalty that the other guys will never do … that if you do this, you will not race,’ he said. 

32-year-old Italian Andrea Dovizioso won the San Marino Grand Prix on 9 September

Marc Marquez finished second to increase his MotoGP championship lead to 67 points

Italian Andrea Dovizioso went on to win the San Marino Grand Prix while reigning world champion Marquez finished second to increase his MotoGP championship lead to 67 points.

Local favourite Valentino Rossi managed only a distant seventh for Yamaha and lost second place overall to Dovizioso who had 154 points to Spaniard Marquez’s 221 with six races remaining. Rossi had 151.

Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo, who had started on pole position at the Marco Simoncelli circuit on Italy’s Adriatic coast, crashed out on the penultimate lap while heading for a Ducati one-two finish.

That lifted Crutchlow, whose home race at Silverstone last month was cancelled due to heavy rain and drainage problems, to third as the leading non-factory finisher on an LCR-Honda.  


Romano Fenati shocked the world of sport after he astonishingly and very dangerously tried to pull a rival’s brakes during the San Marino MotoGP. 

On 9 September, Fenati was riding alongside fellow Italian Stefano Manzi, before reaching over and attempting to pull the brake lever on his rival’s right handlebar. 

However, it isn’t the first time he has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The Italian rider has a very chequered past within MotoGP. 

CLICK HERE to read all about Fenati’s list of past indiscretions, including, incredibly, kicking another rider’s bike during a race. 

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