Fortunately, the other rider maintained control over his bike.
The offending racer is 22-year-old Romano Fenati of Italy, whose racing future now appears to be in doubt.
“I wish it had been just a bad dream,” said Fenati on Monday, a day after the Moto2 race in San Marino, Italy. “I made a disgraceful gesture, I was not a man,” he added, before apologizing. “The criticisms are correct and I understand the resentment towards me.”
Fenati’s racing team quickly dumped him, saying that he’d endangered the life of fellow rider Stefano Manzi. The team for whom he was supposed to ride next year followed suit, as did bike maker MV Agusta, reports the BBC.
“In all my years of watching sport, I have never seen behavior as dangerous as this,” says Giovanni Castiglioni, head of the bike manufacturer. “A rider who can act like this can never represent the values of our company, and our brand.”
Fenati’s move came after he and Manzi had contact a couple turns earlier, “but nothing to justify such a reaction,” says Manzi.
Other riders chimed in that they don’t want to see Fenati allowed back on the track given how dangerous the sport already is.
“You can’t do this to another motorcycle racer,” says rider Cal Crutchlow of Britain. “We are risking our lives enough.”
Fenati acknowledged he had an “impulsive” nature, and the Guardian notes that in 2015 he was penalized for literally kicking another rider while racing.