Anthony West announces racing comeback, apologises for ‘spreading false rumours’

Ex-MotoGP rider Anthony West apologises to the FIM and rivals for 'spreading false rumours' as he prepares his comeback from a two-year racing suspension

Anthony West

Former MotoGP rider Anthony West has made a public apology to both the FIM motorcycle racing governing body and his fellow riders following an outburst earlier this year in which he accused both Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez of being allowed to cheat their way to their world titles.

The Australian, who competed with Kawasaki in MotoGP and has also raced in Moto2, WorldSBK and WorldSSP with success, has received two bans in his career for drug related offences, the most recent of which came in January 2019 and was originally due to last until September 2020.

However, West continued to race in the Brazilian Superbike Championship during this period of ineligibility believing it to be exempt from the FIM’s ruling because it wasn’t officially overseen by the governing body. As such, the FIM proceeded to ‘remind him of his violations’ in January 2020, which was seen as a veiled precursor to more sanctions coming his way.

In response, West delivered an alarming outburst (which has since been deleted) on his Facebook page in which he accused the FIM of allowing Marc Marquez to cheat his way to the 2013 Moto2 World Championship with a special ECU and said Valentino Rossi’s 500GP world titles were achieved because he had tyres developed for him.

"I quit, I’m done,” he wrote in January 2020. “These corrupt people are out of control and out to destroy me. I raced in Brazil a championship That was a NOT FIM affiliated. Now they invent there own rules like they have control over me racing there. 

“They already stopped me from racing there by going to Kawasaki japan and making them stop my sponsorship in Brazil. I hate life as it is and I was trying to do my best to come back broke.”

Anthony West announces his return to racing

With West’s 18 month ban extended to two years from September (expiring in March 2021), the Australian has since taken to social media to express his remorse at his words and to formally confirm he will be available to race again next year.

“I am making this post to publicly apologise for my past conduct in respect of the FIM, which I acknowledge was unacceptable, degrading and hostile. My previous social media statements regarding the FIM were offensive and spread malicious false rumours, and were unfortunately published as a result of my state of mind at the time the statements were made.

“Having had time to reflect on my comments and the events that led to the verbal outburst against the FIM and several of my fellow riders, I would like to once again apologise. It was never my intention to hurt anyone, i am a motorcycle racer and i have been racing all my life and sometimes I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’d like to say thank you to the FIM for working with me to obtain my licence back, without their help and understanding I would not be racing again. 

“I’m hungrier than ever to sit back on a motorcycle again and get back out there and enjoy the sport again. In March 2021 i will have my licence back and I will be back on track. Hopefully i can get back to WorldSBK or WorldSSP or the Asia championship where I was winning races, i can’t wait to have that feeling again. I feel good, feel fit, no more injuries playing up. Let’s go racing!”