FIM President: Sepang has poisoned the atmosphere of our sport

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The FIM President, Vito Ippolito, has waded into the post Sepang mire by saying that “the recent events have had a damaging effect on the staging of our competitions and poisoned the atmosphere around the sport. We are moving away from the tradition of pride in sportsmanship that is part of the heritage of motorcycling.”

The aftermath of the Sepang crash between Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez has been far reaching with both riders pointing the finger of blame at each and Race Direction punishing Rossi for causing the crash and handing him a back of the grid penalty. With numerous past champions, rivals and even sponsors having voiced their opinions Ippolito felt it was time to do the same. 

“Everyone has the right to express his or her own ideas. But words and actions always have consequences. Every individual has to take responsibility for those consequences.  The riders, first of all, must be aware of this. Each one of them has thousands of fans who follow their exploits on the track and listen to what they say off the track. For that reason, we look to them, not just in this Championship but in all our disciplines, to set the best example of what our sport should and aspires to be. 

“This responsibility is also shared by the people who form their entourage, beginning with their teams and sponsors. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, if some of those people unnecessarily fuel polemics about events or decisions in a wrongheaded way, they are doing a great disservice to the sport, to the detriment of our entire community and all the good things it offers to everyone. 

“Riders, teams, manufacturers and sponsors should not only respect the rules but they should accept the decisions of the officials, whatever they may be. Otherwise, they are contributing to anarchy and undermining the future development of our sport.”

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Steve English

By Steve English