10 December 2015
MotoGP: Valentino Rossi withdraws CAS appeal
"Mr Rossi has now informed the CAS that he does not wish to continue with his appeal"
Valentino Rossi has withdrawn an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the three penalty points received following a clash with Marc Marquez at the Malaysian MotoGP.
The purpose of Rossi's appeal had been to try and avoid a back of the grid start for last month's Valencia title showdown with team-mate Jorge Lorenzo.
Rossi's appeal thus included an 'urgent application' to suspend the Sepang points until the final CAS ruling was made, meaning he would be able start as normal in Valencia.
But that request - the key reason behind Rossi's appeal - was rejected by the CAS on the eve of the season finale. Having now lost the championship to Lorenzo, the Italian has decided it is not worth continuing to contest the three penalty points.
The points will thus remain on Rossi's record for one calendar year. If he accumulates seven points, due to further infringements, Rossi would be forced to start from pit lane. Penalty points are unrelated to championship points.
"Valentino Rossi has withdrawn the appeal filed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against the FIM Stewards' decision to impose 3 penalty points on his record following an incident with another rider during the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix race held on 25 October 2015," said a CAS statement.
"In his appeal to the CAS, Mr Rossi sought the annulment of the penalty, or at least a reduction from 3 points to 1, since on the basis of the FIM Regulations, a rider with 4 penalty points must start the next race from last grid position. Together with his appeal, Mr Rossi 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 final event of the season which was held in Valencia/Spain on 6-8 November 2015.
"On 5 November 2015, the Sole Arbitrator appointed by mutual agreement of the parties, Prof. Ulrich Haas (Germany), dismissed Valentino Rossi's request to stay the execution of the challenged decision. The Sole Arbitrator found that the conditions to grant the stay were not met, and accordingly, Valentino Rossi began the Valencia race from the last grid position.
"Mr Rossi has now informed the CAS that he does not wish to continue with his appeal. Accordingly, the arbitration procedure has been terminated and the FIM decision will continue to remain in force."
Rossi was penalised for 'deliberately forcing another rider off line, resulting in contact causing the other rider to crash' on lap 7 of the Sepang race.
Several days earlier Rossi had accused Marquez of trying to help Lorenzo in the Phillip Island race, plus other attacks on his character. It was against that backdrop that the pair battled furiously in Malaysia, passing each other nine times on lap 5 alone, until Rossi appeared to lose his cool and deliberately forced Marquez wide.
With the edge of the track approaching, contact was made when Marquez tried to lean in and turn the corner, leaving the Honda rider on the ground.
No action was taken during the race but, after finishing in third place, Race Direction punished Rossi with three penalty points. When combined with an earlier point from Misano, it meant a disastrous back of the grid start for Valencia.
An appeal to the FIM stewards at Sepang was rejected, leaving the independent CAS as Rossi's last remaining option.
Marquez and Honda claim a kick from Rossi caused the Spaniard to fall, an accusation the Italian denies and which Race Direction said could not be proven by any of the TV footage.
Honda has twice delayed showing telemetry evidence to back up the kick claim. The first occasion was just before Valencia, when Honda wanted to avoid influencing the CAS appeal on suspending Rossi's penalty points.
The second came following a request from the FIM and Dorna not to further inflame tensions following the season finale, in which Rossi again accused Marquez of assisting Lorenzo.
Rossi rode from last to fourth at Valencia, losing out on what would have been a tenth world title by just five points to race winner Lorenzo.
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