Valentino Rossi’s CAS Appeal Denied

Press Release | November 5, 2015

Valentino Rossi will have to start the 2015 MotoGP Valencia finale from the back of the grid after all. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has denied the nine-time World Champion and current MotoGP points leader’s appeal of the penalty imposed by FIM Race Direction after the Malaysian Grand Prix. The CAS press release announcing the decision states:

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed Valentino Rossi’s request to stay the execution of the decision issued by the FIM Stewards on 25 October 2015. Accordingly, the decision of the FIM Stewards to impose 3 penalty points on Valentino Rossi’s record following an incident with Marc Marquez during the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix race held on 25 October 2015 stands and Valentino Rossi will commence the next (and last) event of the season, to be held in Valencia/Spain on 6-8 November 2015, from the last grid position.

After the race in Malaysia, the FIM Race Direction found that Valentino Rossi had deliberately run wide in order to force Marc Marquez off line, resulting in contact causing Marquez to crash out of the race. For this breach of the FIM regulations, the FIM Race Direction imposed 3 penalty points on the rider’s record, a sanction confirmed later by the FIM Stewards. Since Valentino Rossi already has 1 penalty point from an earlier incident this year, this decision brings him to a total of 4 penalty points. On the basis of the FIM Regulations, a rider with 4 penalty points must start the next race from last grid position.

This request for a stay was filed at CAS on 29 October 2015 by Valentino Rossi together with his appeal to have the FIM Steward’s decision regarding the 3 point penalty annulled or at least reduced. The CAS Arbitrator, appointed by mutual agreement of the parties (Prof. Ulrich Haas/Germany), heard the representatives of Mr. Rossi and FIM yesterday at the CAS office in Lausanne in order to rule exclusively on the urgent request for a stay to determine whether or not Valentino Rossi should start from last grid position in Valencia. The CAS Arbitrator found that the conditions to grant the stay were not met, which means that the sanction imposed by FIM will have to be served at the next Grand Prix in Valencia.

Valentino Rossi CAS Appeal Denied
The CAS decision, announced the day before to the Valencia finale, coincided with another important meeting for the MotoGP paddock. The Permanent Bureau of the MotoGP Championship, comprising of FIM President Vito Ippolito and Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta, addressed MotoGP riders and team managers. The Permanent Bureau issued the following statement from the meeting:

First and foremost, sport must prevail. This Sunday is the last race of the year, and it is sport that needs to win.

We are proud of the magnificent races you have given us this year. They continue to foster interest in our championship all around the world. We also want to thank you for that.

Over the past days, there have unfortunately been some controversies that have surpassed the limits of a healthy passion and, on occasions, logic itself. You have millions of followers all around the world. They watch and admire your achievements on the track. And they also listen closely to what you say.

What you do and say, could have consequences that are not in keeping with the noble values of our sport.

In the name of the Permanent Bureau, the FIM and the promoter, Dorna, I would like to remind you that we are the only sporting organisation in the world that draws up its regulations for one of its flagship Championships with the agreement of all parties. That is the role of the Grand Prix Commission, where the FIM, Dorna, MSMA and IRTA are all represented. We know that the rules can always be improved, and having said that, I repeat that every change will be made with the consent of those concerned. In addition to the GP Commission, we have also set up the Safety Commission, in which riders are consulted on a regular basis about safety issues. Here too we are pioneers in the world of motor sport.

Once again, we want you to be aware that we intend to pursue our policy of keeping the doors open in order to hear your opinions and to allow you to contribute to making this great Championship even better. We would like to emphasize, that for next year, some changes will be made to prevent this from happening again.

We also want to remind you of the values of our sport: exemplarity, fair play, sportsmanship and courtesy. Our officials will be vigilant in observing the fair play and sporting behavior of every one of you and will be very strict with any infringement of our sporting rules.

We must remember that we organize and practice sport at the professional level, not only because it is entertaining and extraordinary but to showcase the values we believe in. The next race will be broadcast live and followed by a very large number of spectators. We therefore have ahead of us a golden opportunity to demonstrate to the world the highest values of our sport, and in so doing, to set a great example. We would also like to assure everybody that this weekend we will pay even more attention to what occurs on the track for the benefit of the sport.

Thank you all and have a good race!