Screen grab from Motogp video clearly shows Fenati leaning across and squeezing the front brake lever of Manzi's Sute. Picture: MotoGP.com

Misano Adriatico, Italy - Moto2 rider Romano Fenati has been banned for two races for grabbing Italian rival Stefano Manzi's brake lever during the San Marino motorcycle Grand Prix at Misano on Sunday.

This followed Manzi's attempt to pass Fenati a few laps earlier. The pair made contact as Manzi overtook on the inside, with both riders running off the track, losing several positions and dropping out of the points. Fenati then lean over and squeezed Manzi's brake lever, causing him lose his balance briefly before regaining control of his Suter.

Fenati - a Moto2 rookie this year on a privately-entered Kalex machine - was black-flagged and disqualified after 23 laps for "irresponsible riding".

The stewards later said Fenati would miss the next two races in Aragon, Spain on 23 September and Thailand on 7 October for having "deliberately attempted to cause danger to another rider".

"Riders must ride in a responsible manner," they said, "which does not cause danger to other competitors or participants, either on the track or in the pit lane."

Six-place penalty

Manzi was also penalised for forcing Fenati off the track, shortly before the latter's outburst, when both were fighting for 12th position, and will start six places back on the grid for the next Grand Prix.

"We had a contact two turns before," he admitted, "but nothing to justify such a reaction, his gesture speaks for itself."

Fenati, who can appeal the ban, is 19th in the Moto2 standings with 14 points - but this is not the first time the 22-year-old Italian has been in trouble. He was ordered to apologise for kicking out at Finnish rider Niklas Ajo during the Moto3 warm-up at the 2015 Argentinian Grand Prix and was dropped for disciplinary reasons during the 2016 season by the Sky Racing Team VR46, owned by MotoGP star Valentino Rossi.

Agence France-Presse