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WorldSBK Jerez: Fabrizio retires in protest

Kawasaki’s Michele Fabrizio chose not to race in Sunday’s WorldSSP action at Jerez in respect of the passing of WorldSSP300 rider Dean Berta Viñales.

The 37-year-old Italian, however, has called time completely on his motorcycle career in protest of the FIM’s handling of this year’s tragic deaths - with Berta Viñales the third teenager to have lost their life during an FIM event in 2021.

In a scathing open letter on Fabrizio’s social media, the ex-WorldSBK stalwart and four-time race winner didn’t hold back with his thoughts on the world that has seen him rack up 247 World Championship race starts.


“Tomorrow I will refuse to run out of respect for human life” Fabrizio wrote on Saturday night.

“And I’m retiring. It’s time to say enough. Today I witnessed a bad day, the loss of a rider just 15-years-old. Races like this I have seen many in this category, and every time we finished, we’d sigh in relief because it went well. But unfortunately it doesn’t always go well and today the unpredictable happened or maybe what we knew would happen.

“I have been lying on my hotel bed for more than 5 hours looking at the ceiling, looking back at the beautiful moments that this sport gave me.

“But coming back after 6 years, I’ve seen this world changed. I saw an indifference from the International Federation: deploying 42 children in the Yamaha Cup (fortunately everything went smoothly in 2021) and another 42 in the World 300.

“Too many, too many riders with little or even very little experience, and this doesn’t just happen in the world championship, but also in national championships, where to make money you take everything, to the last available seat.

“Valentino Rossi years ago, when Marquez entered MotoGP, they criticised, saying he was complaining about Marquez’s “incorrect” manoeuvres. He needs to be right. Marc has become a reference point: these young people emulate his deeds, making overtaking too much on the limit, leaning on their opponent, risking every inch.

“Let’s add that I’m retiring from the racing world to send a strong protest message! In order for the rules to change fro safeguard human lives. The problem is in Moto3, the Talent Cup and the National Championships! On top of this, we also need to review the tracks that must provide better escape spaces!

“See Valentino’s crash, who almost died from a bad track. See the Red Bull Ring, where riders fall and stay in the middle of the trajectory! All this depends on the FIM which does not play a role of safeguard towards life but simply prefers business! It is time for every nation’s politics to intervene!

“The first to send a strong message was Ayrton Senna, who said that some tracks were dangerous, and only after his death was there intervention. To date, there are fewer deaths in Formula 1, but in motorcycling lately there has been a massacre!”

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