Fenati will be "starting from zero" in Moto3 in 2019

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Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Nov 16, 2018, 11:11 AM

Controversial grand prix rider Romano Fenati will be “starting from zero” when he reunites with the Marinelli Snipers team for a return to Moto3 in 2019.

Fenati, once a protege of MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi, made headlines when he attempted to grab rival Stefano Manzi's brake lever during a Moto2 race in a moment of anger.

He was swiftly cut from Marinelli Snipers' Moto2 squad and his 2019 contract with MV Agusta in the same series was likewise terminated – before his FIM licence was withdrawn for the remainder of the year.

However, while his career initially looked to be damaged irreparably, the 22-year-old Italian was linked to a return to the grand prix paddock soon enough.

MV Agusta was thought to have considered reinstating his deal – only to hire Dominique Aegerter instead – before Marinelli Snipers made the call to bring him back into the fold alongside Tony Arbolino.

Quizzed on the logic of Fenati returning to Moto3 rather than continuing in the intermediate class, Marinelli Snipers tech chief Mirko Cecchini said: “It's like, he would like to start from zero.

"This is a new life for him, and okay, he did a mistake, a big mistake, but I think that the media have made bigger than what he was deserving.

“So, we push together, to begin a new life, together, so this is a good point for us, because we have next year a young [rider] that is growing up in Toni and an experienced rider, we can have both for the top.”

The team had previously signed Makar Yurchenko for 2019, but the Kazakh rider has already made way for Fenati at Marinelli Snipers on next season's Moto3 entry list, instead linking up with the RBA Boe Skull Rider outfit.

However, Yurchenko's representatives have told Motorsport.com that his RBA deal was not yet sorted.

"It's a rather strange situation, because the a two-year deal was agreed with Marinelli, and partial payment has already been made - but as far as I can tell, Dorna [series promoter] wanted Fenati back," the Kazakh rider's manager Olga Kudinova said.

"Stefano [Bedon], who manages the team, is also Fenati's manager. So of course he has some interest to bring him back into his team.

"Tonight we'll talk compensation. It was a two-year deal, and the team has to pay us significant compensation - and Dorna should add an 'interest' payment, as Makar is now switching to a KTM rather than Honda, which is the bike we wanted."

Fenati had spent six seasons in the lightweight category since debuting with a podium in 2012, and finished runner-up to Suzuki MotoGP recruit Joan Mir on a Marinelli Snipers-run Honda last year.

Additional reporting by Andrey Safronov

Romano Fenati, Snipers Team

Romano Fenati, Snipers Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

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About this article

Series Moto3
Drivers Romano Fenati
Teams Snipers Team
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy