FIM President Vito Ippolito has urged riders and teams to take responsibility for motorcycle racing's image following the dramatic fallout from Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez's clash in the Malaysian MotoGP, saying it has 'poisoned the atmosphere around the sport'.
In a damning open letter, Ippolito suggests that certain people have 'fuelled' the discord in the paddock by entering into 'polemics about events or decisions in a wrongheaded way'.
Ippolito urges riders, teams, manufacturers and sponsors to not only 'respect the rules' but 'accept the decisions of the officials... otherwise, they are contributing to anarchy'.
The Venezuelan concludes by hoping that riders will fight it out on track 'in a way that fully respects the spirit of fair play' during next weekend's title decider at Valencia.
The full letter is as follows:
“The recent events arising in connection with the competition for the 2015 FIM MotoGP world title have had a damaging effect on the staging of our competitions and poisoned the atmosphere around the sport. We are moving away from the tradition of pride in sportsmanship that is part of the heritage of motorcycling.
“Everyone has the right to express his or her own ideas. But words and actions always have consequences. Every individual has to take responsibility for those consequences.
“The riders, first of all, must be aware of this. Each one of them has thousands of fans who follow their exploits on the track and listen to what they say off the track. For that reason, we look to them, not just in this Championship but in all our disciplines, to set the best example of what our sport should and aspires to be.
“This responsibility is also shared by the people who form their entourage, beginning with their teams and sponsors. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, if some of those people unnecessarily fuel polemics about events or decisions in a wrongheaded way, they are doing a great disservice to the sport, to the detriment of our entire community and all the good things it offers to everyone.
“Riders, teams, manufacturers and sponsors should not only respect the rules but they should accept the decisions of the officials, whatever they may be. Otherwise, they are contributing to anarchy and undermining the future development of our sport.
“On behalf of the FIM and all those who are doing their best to bring about a happy conclusion to this Championship, I express the hope that at the next and final round in Valencia the riders will fight it out on the track and in a way that fully respects the spirit of fair play.
The fuse for Sunday's clash was lit on Thursday at Sepang, when Rossi accused outgoing champion Marquez of favouring Lorenzo for the premier class title, claiming the Repsol Honda rider had 'helped' his Movistar Yamaha team-mate at Phillip Island in Australia.
With tensions running high, the pair engaged in some 'shadow boxing' during practice, before a fierce battle erupted in the early laps of the penultimate race in Malaysia.
That culminated with the young Spaniard crashing out after contact was made between the warring pair on lap seven, when Rossi admits he deliberately ran the Honda star out to the edge of the track.
Race Direction felt that Marquez had 'provoked' Rossi, but did not break any rules. Rossi meanwhile received three Penalty Points for 'irresponsible riding' and will start the final race at Valencia from the back of the grid, after accumulating four in total following an infringement at Misano, where the Italian impeded Lorenzo on a flying qualifying lap.
Having finished second (Lorenzo) and third (Rossi) at Sepang, Lorenzo is now seven points behind Rossi heading into the final round.
Ippolito's intervention mirrors that of previous FIM President Francesco Zerbi, who published this open letter to Rossi and Max Biaggi
following their "anti-sporting behaviour" during the 2001 500cc Japanese Grand Prix.
Referring to Biaggi during his explosive pre-event comments about Marquez, Rossi declared: "In the long run, I prefer more [Biaggi's] behaviour. We were obnoxious to each other, but at least it was clear and honest."