In what has to be the most strongly worded press release we have seen in this business, MV Agusta and Forward Racing made it crystal clear why there were terminating their relationship with rider Romano Fenati, who was set to join the Italian company’s Moto2 project next season.
“In all my years of watching sport, I have never seen behavior as dangerous as this,” said MV Agusta CEO Giovanni Castiglioni. “A rider who can act like this can never represent the values of our company for our brand. For this reason, we do not want him to be the rider with which MV Agusta makes its return to the World Championship.”
Even those who don’t follow motorcycle racing are talking about Fenati’s actions from this past weekend’s San Marino GP, where the 22-year-old Italian grabbed the brake lever of Stefano Manzi, as the pair raced at over 130 mph.
The move has lead to the extremely lenient penalty by Dorna of only a two-race suspension for Fenati, but the consequences of his actions are starting to show elsewhere. Losing his contract with MV Agusta for the 2019 Moto2 season, Fenati finds himself once again unemployed in the grand prix paddock, as a direct result of his worst impulses.
What makes yesterday’s on-track actions almost ironic is that Fenati and Manzi were set to be teammates next year, inside the Forward Racing team, which is operating MV Agusta’s Moto2 race program. It seems impossible to see how that team and rider could overcome such an action by its would-be newest member. Accordingly, Forward Racing boss Giovanni Cuzari also had strong words for Fenati and his actions.
“After the disgraceful episode between Romano Fenati and Stefano Manzi, it is impossible for the team to maintain its planned collaboration with the rider from Ascoli for the 2019 season,” said Cuzari. “Fenati’s behaviour is incompatible with the sporting values of the Forward Racing Team and of MV Agusta.”
“For this reason, though we bitterly regret it, we are forced to cancel our project with Fenati. Our sport is already extremely dangerous, and any act which increases the risks involved for the riders is intolerable. We cannot accept behaviour of this type from one of our future riders.”
It remains to see what further consequences will come to Romano Fenati, but it is increasingly likely that Sunday was the last of his racing career. This thought comes as Fenati has also been booted from his current Moto2 squad, the Marinelli Snipers Team, which today also released an announcement that it was ending its relationship with their young Italian rider. Fenati, to his credit, has issued a public apology for his actions.
Source: MV Agusta