Rossi to start MotoGP title decider last after CAS rejects stay of execution request

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Valentino Rossi will start Sunday’s MotoGP title decider in Valencia from the back of the grid after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejected his request for a stay of execution of his grid penalty.

Rossi sparked controversy in Malaysia two weeks ago when he appeared to kick Honda rider Marc Marquez and cause the Spaniard to fall from his bike.

The Italian was duly relegated to the back of the grid for this weekend’s season finale in Valencia. Rossi’s appeal to the stewards was rejected, prompting him to take the case to CAS.

In a statement issued by FIM, the governing body of motorcycle racing, it was confirmed that CAS had rejected Rossi’s request for a stay of execution and that he would be starting Sunday’s race from the back of the grid.

“On 4 November 2015, a preliminary hearing was held at the headquarters of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne in the matter Valentino Rossi v. the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme,” the statement reads.

“Following the hearing, the CAS issued an Order dismissing the application for a stay filed by Mr Rossi concerning the decision rendered on 25 October 2015 by the FIM Stewards. The CAS ruling on the request for stay of execution does not prejudge the final award on the merits of the case.

“In appealing to the CAS against the decision of the FIM Stewards, Mr. Rossi seeks annulment or modification of the FIM Stewards’ decision taken at the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang, in which the FIM Stewards confirmed the 3 penalty points awarded by the Race Direction to Mr. Rossi following an incident on Turn 14.

“The FIM takes note of the ruling of the CAS.

“As a consequence of this ruling, at the Gran Premi de la Comunitat Valenciana, last race of the FIM World Championship Grand Prix, Mr Rossi will start from the last position on the Grid.”

Ahead of the race weekend in Valencia, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP promoter Dorna, called a meeting of all riders and crew chiefs to discuss the incident in Malaysia and ensure a repeat is prevented.

“We all have the same interests and I think it was worth defusing tension, so we asked the riders not to share their disputes until next week,” Ezpeleta said.

“I do not know what they will do, but I told them I thought it was good for them during this weekend to only talk about racing and nothing else.

“The president of the FIM made an appearance on Thursday and we believe that the mistakes and failures have to be learned from, and we will continue working with all riders, FIM, IRTA and manufacturers to learn from what happened and that things are going better.

“We’ve done a lot of self-analysis and few people know the situation better than us. I’ve never had any qualms about accepting that when things go wrong, our mission is to try to see what we can do to improve things in the future.”

Rossi enters the final race of the year leading Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo by seven points in the championship standings.