Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi has appealed his sanction for kicking defending champion Marc Marquez off his bike at last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Rossi, who leads the championship standings by seven points from Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, had been relegated to the back of the grid by race stewards for the final race of the season in Valencia on November 8.
If Lorenzo were to win the race in Valencia, Rossi would then need to come from the back of the pack to finish second, to clinch the title.
The appeal means the sanction will be suspended until a definitive decision is made just 48 hours before the race.
"Valentino Rossi has filed an appeal against the decision taken by the race direction of the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix in Sepang," the International Motorcycling Federation said in a statement on MotoGP.com.
"In appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Mr Rossi seeks annulment or reduction of the penalty.
"The sanction imposed by the race direction at the Malaysian GP is suspended for now, with a final decision expected on November 6."
Rossi is sure to receive a hostile reception in Valencia with his actions having caused widespread outrage in the Spanish media.
However, the Italian has pointed the finger at the two-time world champion claiming that Marquez was conspiring against him to help compatriot Lorenzo land the title.