Valentino Rossi appeals to CAS over grid penalty after Malaysia incident
Valentino Rossi has appealed to the European Court of Arbitration for Sport over the penalty points he received as a result of a racing incident with Marc Marquez in Malaysia, the International Motocycling Federation has confirmed.
Rossi appeared to force Marquez off his bike during the recent Malaysian Grand Prix, the Italian going on to finish third but subsequently receiving three penalty points following a post-race investigation into the incident.
Riders require four penalty points to be forced to start the next race from the back of the grid and Rossi, with one such point already to his name, will now suffer that punishment in the final race of the season in Spain.
Considering he is just seven points ahead of Jorge Lorenzo in the championship heading into that crucial race on November 8, starting at the back would be a potentially disastrous blow to his chances of emerging victorious. Rossi is appealing to CAS to have the points penalty either reduced or annulled, with the larger aim of avoiding any grid relegation in Valencia.
In a statement, FIM announced:
"On the basis of Article 3.4.2, para 3 of the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Regulations, Mr Valentino Rossi has filed an Appeal against the decision taken by the Race Direction of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang, penultimate round of the FIM MotoGP Grand Prix World Championship, and confirmed by the FIM Stewards, to award 3 penalty points to Mr Rossi following an incident on Turn 14.
"In appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Mr Rossi seeks annulment or reduction of the penalty. He further requests stay of execution of the decision in accordance with Article R37 of the Code of Sports-Related Arbitration.
"The FIM will not comment any further at this time."
Rossi had previously suggested that Marquez had deliberately obstructed him in races in order to aid fellow Spaniard Lorenzo in his pursuit of the title. After the incident in Kuala Lumpur, Rossi accused Marquez of "making me lose the championship", despite widespread criticism of his own conduct.
After the incident, Race Direction stated that Rossi "deliberately ran wide ... in order to force another rider off line. This is considered irresponsible riding causing danger to other competitors."
FIM president Vito Ippolito previously made clear his dim view of the incident.
"The recent events arising in connection with the competition for the 2015 world title have had a damaging effect on the staging of our competitions and poisoned the atmosphere around the sport," Ippolito wrote in an open letter.
"We are moving away from the tradition of pride in sportsmanship that is part of the heritage of motorcycling."
With Rossi requesting his punishment be suspended until CAS reach a decision, the dynamic of the final race will be decided by November 6 at the latest - CAS confirming that timeframe in acknowledging receipt of the case.
"Together with his appeal, Mr Rossi has filed an urgent application to stay the execution of the challenged decision in order not to lose his place on the starting grid at the next, and last, event of the season which will be held in Valencia/Spain on 6-8 November 2015," CAS said in a statement.
"A decision on Mr Rossi’s request for a stay is expected to be issued no later than 6 November 2015."
In the aftermath of the race Rossi tweeted: "Thank you all for the fantastic support, you helped me overcome bitterness and being p****d off. Now we work for Valencia."