Valentino Rossi appeals to court after Valencia penalty

Valentino Rossi
Valentino Rossi won his first world title in the 125cc class in 1997

MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) after he was demoted to the back of the grid for next month's finale in Valencia.

Rossi, 36, was penalised by stewards after he was blamed for a clash with Marc Marquez in Malaysia but has asked for the punishment to be suspended.

A statement said:external-link "Mr Rossi seeks annulment or reduction of the penalty.

"He further requests stay of execution of the decision."

Rossi holds a narrow seven-point lead over Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo going into the final race of the season in Valencia on 8 November.

Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez
Valentino Rossi (left) had accused Marc Marquez of deliberately trying to impede him before the race in Malaysia

Cas will make a decision by Friday, 6 November.

If Lorenzo wins the race, then Rossi can win his 10th World Championship - and first since 2009 - by finishing second.

The statement adds: "Mr Rossi has filed an urgent application to stay the execution of the challenged decision in order not to lose his place on the starting grid at the next, and last, event of the season."

Repsol Honda rider Marquez, the current champion, crashed out of the Malaysian Grand Prix after a clash with Rossi, who went on to finish third.

Rossi was not disqualified, collecting 16 championship points, but was made to start the final race of the season from last on the grid.

He later accused Marquez of "making me lose the championship".