MotoGP 2 driver Romano Fenati has apologised for grabbing the brakes of a rival in the middle of the San Marino Grand Prix, an act that got him disqualified and later sacked by his team.
As reported by the Mirror's Alex Richards, after Fenati and Stefano Manzi clashed earlier in the race, the former leaned over and grabbed Manzi's brakes at the speed of 125mph, nearly causing him to crash.
Fenati has now apologised in a statement on his official website (h/t Richards):
"I apologise to the whole sporting world. 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!"
Fenati went on to acknowledge he has an "impulsive character" and said he did not seek to justify himself, but simply to apologise.
Yahoo Sports shared a clip of the incident:
The fallout has been swift for the 22-year-old, who was sacked from his current team, Marinelli Snipers, and has also lost his ride for the 2019 season:
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It looks like Romano Fenati has cost himself a job for next season... Giovanni Castiglioni, his would be boss in 2019 for MV Agusta has made it clear he does NOT want the rider anywhere near his team. "It will not happen, he does not represent our companies true values." https://t.co/EC2ydtYVAc
According to Richards, Fenati has made headlines for unsportsmanlike behaviour on the bike before. In 2015, while racing in Moto3, he received a penalty for kicking out at an opponent during warm-ups.
As shared by MotoGP's official Twitter account, British rider Cal Crutchlow has called on officials to ban the Italian from the sport completely:
Francesco Bagnaia took the race win in San Marino after starting from pole position. The Italian holds a narrow lead over Portugal's Miguel Oliveira in the championship.
Fenati's best result this year came in France, where he finished seventh. Last year, he finished in second place in Moto3, winning three races.