Fabrizio retires mid-event, slams FIM after Vinales death, skewers Marquez too

Michel Fabrizio launches into a scathing attack on the FIM for its indifferent attitude to the WorldSSP 300 class following the death of Dean Berta Vinales

Michel Fabrizio - Motozoo Kawasaki

Experienced racer Michel Fabrizio has announced he is walking away from motorsport mid-way through the WorldSSP race weekend in Jerez following the tragic death of Dean Berta Vinales on Saturday, before launching into a scathing attack on the FIM and its handling of the class.

The oldest rider on the WorldSSP grid at 37-years old, former WorldSBK racer Fabrizio made a surprise return to the international racing scene this year, some seven years after he originally retired from full-time competition following a series of injuries.

Joining the WorldSSP class aboard a GAP Motozoo Kawasaki ZX-6R, it had been a tough return for the Italian - a four-time WorldSBK race winner and third place overall finisher in 2010 - with a best finish of 13th from the ten events.

Fabrizio has now decided to end his career again abruptly mid-way through the Jerez weekend as a mark of respect for Vinales, who was killed in an accident during the WorldSSP 300 race on Saturday.

Writing an open letter in which he explained his reasons for quitting, Fabrizio turned his ire against the FIM for its ‘indifference’ towards the over-subscribed WorldSSP 300 class with huge grids of around 42 entries.

He goes on to add that he is quitting in protest at what he feels is lax riding standards, singling out the aggressive tactics of Marc Marquez for becoming the acceptable ‘reference’ for it.

“Tomorrow I will refuse to run out of respect for human life. And I withdraw. It's time to say enough. Today I witnessed a bad day, the loss of a 15-year-old rider. Races like this I have seen many in this category, and every time he finished one, he breathed a sigh of relief because it went well. But unfortunately it doesn't always go well and today the unpredictable happened or maybe what we knew could happen.

“I have been lying on my hotel bed for more than 5 hours looking at the ceiling, thinking back to the beautiful moments that this sport has given me. But returning after 6 years I saw this world changed.

“I saw indifference on the part of 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 drivers with little or even very little experience, and this happens not only in the world championship, but also in national championships, where to make money you take everything, up to the last available seat.

“Valentino Rossi years ago, when Marquez entered MotoGP, was criticized, saying that he complained about Marquez's "incorrect" maneuvers. We must agree with him. Marc has become a point of reference: these young people emulate his deeds, overtaking too much to the limit, leaning on their opponent risking every inch.

“Let's add that I withdraw from the racing world to send a strong message of protest! So that the rules change for the protection of human lives. The problem is in the Moto3, the Talent Cup and the national championships! In addition to this, the slopes that must provide better escape spaces must also be reviewed! 

“See Valentino's accident who risked dying from a badly made track. See the Red Bull Ring, where the riders fall and stand still 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 step in! 

“The first who sent out a strong message was Ayrton Senna, who said that some leads were dangerous, and only after his death was intervened. To date, there are fewer deaths in Formula 1, while in motorcycling there has been a massacre lately!”