LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Championship leader Valentino Rossi has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have his MotoGP penalty overturned before the final race of the season.

Rossi was ordered to start from the back of the grid in Valencia on Nov. 8 for kicking Marc Marquez during the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend.

Rossi was also penalized three points after appearing to kick out at Marquez as the duo jostled for third place on lap seven, with Marquez crashing out of the race.

Pending the appeal, Rossi holds a seven-point lead ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, the only rider who can catch him.

A seven-time world champion in the premier class, Rossi is seeking his first title since 2009.

Rossi maintains Marquez and Lorenzo have conspired to prevent him from winning.