MotoGP: Rossi to appeal penalty ahead of title decider

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Valentino Rossi has confirmed his intention to appeal the penalty awarded to him in last Sunday’s MotoGP Malaysian Grand Prix after being handed a grid drop of the championship decider in Valencia next weekend.

Rossi appeared to deliberately use his leg to make contact with Honda rider Marc Marquez during the race at the Sepang International Circuit, causing the Spaniard to fall and retire from the race.

Rossi was hit with three penalty points on his licence, meaning that he will start next Sunday’s Grand Prix of Valencia from the very back of the grid. The Italian enters the final round leading the championship by seven points from Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo.

After having his initial appeal rejected by the race stewards in Malaysia and then saying that he may boycott the final race in protest, it has now been confirmed that Rossi will take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

“Mr. Valentino Rossi has filed an Appeal against the decision taken by the Race Direction of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang, penultimate round of the FIM MotoGP Grand Prix World Championship, and confirmed by the FIM Stewards, to award 3 penalty points to Mr Rossi following an incident on Turn 14,” a statement from governing body FIM reads.

“In appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Mr Rossi seeks annulment or reduction of the penalty. He further requests stay of execution of the decision in accordance with Article R37 of the Code of Sports-Related Arbitration.

“The FIM will not comment any further at this time.”

Should the case be heard by CAS, a decision may not be made for many weeks or even months, leaving doubt over the course of action that the stewards would take in Valencia next weekend.