There has been a well publicised controversy lately in the world of motorcycle racing. A sporting professional was found to be pulling a competitor’s brakes while they were travelling on a track at over 100 mph. This has caused outrage among the community and led to the sacking of the rider in question.
Romano Fenati showed promise of being a truly great professional motorbike racer. He was competing at the Moto2 at the time of the incident. It occurred at the track in San Marino. Stefano Manzi was the unfortunate rider who had his brakes pulled during a race that was being televised live. Many pundits were taken aback by how brazen the move was and how Fenati could possibly think he would be able to get away with it.
In a video that has circulated on internet message boards and news outlets Fenati’s left hand can be see reaching across to Manzi’s bike and squeezing at his front brake. When this was being done both their speeds were recorded to be in the area of 130mph. The move showed a disregard for rider safety and could have easily led to a crash. It was also in breach of racing rules.
Manzi can be seen struggling to control his bike. The vehicle wobbles and swerves directly after the incident. There is also a moment where he loses his grip but manages to readjust and recover. Fenati’s own team have condemned the move and announced that he is no longer driving for them.
Furthermore the regulatory body for Moto2 have barred him from racing in the next two competitions. With no other teams willing to take him on Fenati has more or less lost any chance of ever driving in professional bike racing again. The world of racing has turned on him. Marinelli Snipers stated that the incident was an “irresponsible act” and that this endangering of life does not belong in the sport.
After an onslaught of criticism Fenati has gone on to apologise and explain that he did not intend to cause Manzi any harm. Just before the incident Manzi attempted to overtake Fenati during which they made contact. Manzi himself was given a penalty for this. It appears that Fenati then grabbed his brake in retaliation.
Third place winner Cal Crutchlow from Britain went one step further with his condemnation. He has gone on the record to give his opinion that Romano Fenati should not be allowed to participate in races ever again. Colin Edwards, a former US rider in the MotoGP has also told the press he finds the incident “unbelievable”. His words echo the opinion of others in the sport that what Fenati did should not go unpunished.