LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Valentino Rossi will start the MotoGP title-deciding race on Sunday from the back of the grid after all.
Championship leader Rossi failed to persuade sport’s highest court on Thursday to overturn a sanction for his actions during the Malaysian Grand Prix last month.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said its single judge found that conditions to freeze Rossi’s sanction by the International Motorcycling Federation were not met.
Six-time champion Rossi was penalized for appearing to kick out at defending title holder Marc Marquez of Spain, who then crashed on the Sepang track.
Rossi has a lead of seven points over Jorge Lorenzo of Spain ahead of the last race on Sunday at Valencia.
With 25 points for a race victory, Rossi must pass almost the entire field for the top-2 finish he needs to ensure his first title since 2009.