By Lisa Lewis
Romano Fenati found himself the centre of off-track attention in the Italian sporting press when it was reported that the 16-year-old race winning rookie had been involved in a war of words with the local police after being asked to move the car he was helping his grandfather unload, allegedly resulting in his foot being run over by the police car as they left the scene and a trip to hospital with suspected tendon damage.
Both Fenati's website, Romanofenati.it, and the Team Italia FMI official Facebook page have issued statements aiming to set the record straight - showing the Italian meeting with the local chief of police (pictured) and also confirming that he did not sustain any injury.
“The news circulated in recent days about the health of Fenati deserves a reassuring denial... [Fenati] will be fully fit for Misano.
“Romano was involved in an event which, though trivial, has generated a regrettable misunderstanding with the Municipal Police. To clarify the episode Romano requested a personal meeting with the Brigade Commander.”
The team went on to add: “We hope that this denial will be given the same prominence as the incident.”
Fenati, who won the second race of the year in Jerez, one of his three podium appearances so far this season, is astounded the matter has become such big news:
“I am very surprised that what happened last Friday has caused such a stir. The statements that I have read do not reflect my thinking.
“I never claimed to have been 'hit' by the policeman in question nor have I any 'broken tendon'.
“I'm sorry if this misunderstanding has caused inconvenience to the Municipal Police with whom I have always had a great relationship.”
Hopes are high for a good result for the Italian team and rider as the Moto3 championship heads to Misano in San Marino, one of the few circuits in the Championship where Fenati has previous racing experience.