Rider quits motorbike racing after grabbing rival's brakes at 200km/h

Romano Fenati

Disgraced Moto2 star Romano Fenati has quit motorbike racing to go back to school.

Fenati, 22, hit the headlines over the weekend when he grabbed the brakes of rival Stefano Manzi's bike as they raced at 125mph (201km/h) during the San Marino Grand Prix.

The Italian was disqualified from the race for irresponsible riding and given a two-race suspension by MotoGP officials, who were overseeing proceedings.

But the consequences have since got far worse for Fenati.

His Marinello Snipers team had already terminated his contract before the FMI (Italy's motorcycling racing federation) revoked his licence on Tuesday.

"Romano Fenati... is suspended from all sporting activity with consequent withdrawal of his racing licence," an FMI statement said, but did not confirm the length of his suspension.

Fenati followed up the news by telling Italian media that he was leaving racing in order to continue his studies elsewhere.

"Now, I'm going back to school," he said.

"With a cool head, I say that I will not race anymore, but I do not really know how I would see myself in five years.

"At the moment, I just want to put all this behind me."

Twenty four hours earlier, Fenati had issued a statement on his official website to offer his apologies to Manzi for his actions.

“I apologise to the whole sporting world,” he said. “This morning, with a clear mind, I wish it had been just a bad dream. I think back to those moments, I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man!

“A man would finish the race and then go into Race Direction to try and get justice for the previous episodes. I should not have reacted to provocations. 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. An image of me and of the sport has come out, [and] everything [looks] horrible. I'm not like that as those who know me well knows!

“In my career, I've always been a good rider. Last year I was one of the few who did not receive any penalties, I never put someone else's life in jeopardy; on the contrary, I have always maintained that there are dangerous riders on track, with a dangerous riding style.

“It's true, unfortunately, that I have an impulsive character, but my intention was certainly not to hurt a rider like me, but I wanted to make him understand that what he was doing was dangerous and that I could have made some mistakes as well as he had just made them to me!

“I do not want to justify myself, I know that my gesture is not justifiable. I just want to apologise to everyone. Now I will have time to reflect and clear my ideas.”

Fenati was caught on camera grabbing the brakes of his rival's bikes

The boss of Italian bike maker MV Agusta also announced that he was going to rip up a contract with Fenati, who had been due to join their new Moto2 project next season.

Ironically, that project was in partnership with Forward Racing, for whom Manzi rides.

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