Rossi must fight from last place
By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) - Italian great Valentino Rossi goes into Sunday's MotoGP title decider in Valencia with his hopes of a 10th world championship hanging by a thread after a court ruled he must start in last place.
The 36-year-old, who has won seven of his titles in the top category and is battling against Yamaha team mate Jorge Lorenzo for another, had sought a stay of execution for the penalty pending an appeal hearing.
However, the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport said in a statement it had dismissed Rossi's application and upheld a stewards' decision from last month's Malaysian Grand Prix.
"Valentino Rossi will commence the next (and last) event of the season...from the last grid position," it said.
The CAS added, though, that the arbitration procedure remained in progress and a final decision had yet to be made on the merits of the case.
Rossi leads Spanish rival Lorenzo by seven points, with 25 for a win, ahead of a finale that has been overshadowed by controversy since the last round in Malaysia.
The row kicked off, literally according to Rossi's accusers, when the Italian tangled with Honda's outgoing double world champion Marc Marquez at Sepang.
The young Spaniard has said Rossi used his leg to make him crash, an allegation the Italian has denied while suggesting Marquez was trying to sabotage his championship bid and help Lorenzo. Continued...