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Ippolito: "The FIM won't crucify Fenati, but more severity from now on"

The President speaks: "A significant disqualification, but things could get worse. This is the new line. More black flags, like in the Marquez-Rossi case"

: Ippolito: "The FIM won't crucify  Fenati, but more severity from now on"

Romano Fenati has been summoned by the FIM to its HQ in Switzerland to clarify the 'Misano affair’, but there is one important fact missing from the summons: the date.

It is not even clear why the International Federation has summoned him, considering that the decision to disqualify him for the next two races was take by the federal judges at Misano.

Whatever decision the FIM makes, whether positive or negative, it will equate to a ‘diminution' of its own officials.
All questions that deserve a response, which has come from the President of the FIM himself, Vito Ippolito who, having read our open letter, contacted us as soon as he landed in New York, where he'll spend a few days before returning to Switzerland for the meeting with Fenati.

“One thing I want to clarify right away is the reason for summoning Romano Fenati - anticipates the FIM President - we haven't called him to crucify him, but rather to listen to him. Our aim, in fact, is to analyse the facts objectively, to make a decision. It may all stay as it is, or be pejorative. Our intention is to put a definitive end to this matter because we do not like the media pillory that we have seen on social media. It's not right. The date of the hearing will probably be Tuesday”.

The fact remains that you will judge something that's already been judged... by your own judges!

“That's true, but the FIM's power to intervene at any time and with regard to any previous judgement is a ruling that was set out by Francesco Zerbi when he was FIM President. And I think it's right. It's the Federation that should have the last word. And there's more. The panel of judges at Grand Prix races has a limited field of intervention, because it has to decide in a very short space of time. This disqualification for two races is already the biggest penalty ever given. It's clear that for anything more, or anything different, it must be the FIM itself that intervenes. Let's say that the power of the panel only goes so far”.

Will you be present at the hearing, as President?

“I will be back in Switzerland over the weekend. So yes, I'll be present along with the single presiding judge”.

Did you read our open letter?

“Yes I read it”.

And how about the sackcloth and ashes? Will this be the FIM's new attitude in future? Rigidity?

“Yes, this will be our attitude in the future and I'll make a confession: when that incident occurred between Marquez and Rossi in Argentina, I was not in agreement with the decision made. I wanted the black flag. And when they told me, it doesn't alter the result, Marquez won't get points anyway, I replied: but the impression it makes from outside is very different! A black flag does not just mean zero points. It means that a serious offence has been committed”.

All very clear. What is the position with respect to the past then? Would Valentino Rossi have deserved a black flag at Sepang when, by slowing Marquez down, he caused him to crash? Careful - we're not talking about the alleged kick. Which probably didn't happen, but the principle of cause and effect is incontrovertible.

“unfortunately, on that occasion, we still had the notorious points system. I didn't like that system because it took responsibility away from the judges. So they said: Rossi has one point already, taken at Misano I think, we'll give him another three, so he's on four and will start from the back of the grid. This kind of reasoning does not assign the right responsibilities. Then Valentino appealed to the TAS in Lausanne, and at that point the FIM couldn't do anything. We could no longer get involved. But the principle of cause and effect was evident, even if Marquez didn't crash due to a kick, but because Marc is Marc and having been pushed off line he wanted to accelerate to get himself out of that situation. We've rewatched those clips a thousand times”.

If somebody shoots out of the window at new year just to hear the 'bang' and the bullet hits someone, he's still responsible.

“Of course, correct”.

 So in future we should expect the FIM to be strict, ready to punish any wrong behavior as soon as it occurs?

“Yes, that's right”.

Translated by Heather Watson

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