"Fenati is a rider with great talent and we want to bet on him for the future, also for Moto2 next year, but unfortunately we have to give up," Valentino Rossi.
Romano Fenati faces an uncertain future after being suspended by the VR46 Moto3 team on Saturday night in Austria.
The Italian - a seven time grand prix winner, most recently at Austin - was given the shock sanction for multiple, unspecified breaches of team rules.
"The rules we have inside of the team, first of all we give one warning. Second, we give another warning. Then the third one was the problem," team manager Pablo Nieto told Crash.net in Austria.
It is not clear what exactly the 'warnings' were for. All Nieto would say is that it did not involve Fenati's relationship with team-mates Niccolo Bulega and Andrea Migno.
Highlighting the magnitude of the decision is that Fenati holds third in the world championship, with VR46 also due to base a new Moto2 team around the Italian in 2017.
Nieto added that no decision had yet been taken about Fenati's future beyond this weekend, but speaking after Sunday's MotoGP race team owner Valentino Rossi warned:
"Yes, you know for us is a great shame. We are not happy because is like that you lose a battle. Also because Fenati is a rider with great talent and we want to try to bet on him for the future, also for Moto2 next year, but unfortunately we have to give up."
Round 11 of the world championship takes place at Brno next weekend. Judging by Rossi's comments it will be a surprise if Fenati is present. - MotoGP