MotoGP legend and Sky VR46 team owner Valentino Rossi has confirmed his Moto3 side have “given up” on lead rider Romano Fenati after the Italian sat out this weekends Austrian Grand Prix.
The team confirmed they had internally suspended the 20-year-old on Saturday for “behaviour not in line with the disciplinary rules of the team”, all but ending his chances of challenging Binder at the summit of the Moto3 World Championship.
Whilst early rumours were unclear, it’s now obvious that the Italian has cut ties with his prodigy not only for the remainder of the 2016 season, but also admitting that the Moto2 plans they had in place will not go ahead as planned.
“For us it’s a great shame,” said the seven-times MotoGP World Champion.
“We are not happy, it’s like you lose a battle. Fenati is a rider with a great talent, and we wanted to try to bet on him for the future, also for Moto2 next year. But unfortunately we had to give up.
“I don’t think he can race with us at Brno. It’s not a decision that has been taken lightly and I don’t think we can change our decision,” he continued.
“We hope to succeed where others had failed: we wanted to help Romano show his full potential and become a professional, but it didn’t go to plan.”
Whilst nothing official has come out from Rossi or the team, rumours suggest that the the straw that broke the camels back was when Fenati was involved in an intense argument with Rossi’s right hand man and best friend Uccio Salucci. Without confirming that the case, ‘the Doctor’ did suggest temper issues we’re behind Fenati’s ultimate sacking.
“Sometimes Romano will flip out, the problem is that it keeps happening every three or four races. It’s like starting over each time, nothing ever changes,” he said.
Current Moto3 CEV leader Lorenzo Dalla Porta is favourite to replace Fenati alongside Nico Bulega and Andrea Migno in the Sky VR46 team in Brno and for the remainder of the season. Dalla Porta has agreed a deal to join the Aspar Mahindra team for 2017, with Pecco Bagnaia moving into Moto2 with Sky VR46.
Fenati and Bagnaia were both said to be moving into Moto2 in 2017 with the Sky VR46 team, with Fenati testing both Kalex and Speed Up machines in the summer break. It is not clear yet if they will look to still fill a two rider outfit in 2o17 or now run a one man team of just Bagnaia.
Photos via Romano Fenati Facebook