Apr 8, 2002
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From former AMA, AFM and WSMC racer Jeff Short:<BR><BR>"Don't the rest of us need to know how we can also cheat and only get a fine and not be disqualified?<BR><BR>"When a Supersport 600 can run down the straight as fast as the Superstock 750s is there not something wrong with that picture? <BR><BR>"I think I will mill my head fifty thousandths and see if I only get a fine. Wait a minute, my motor would still not be fast enough to even get noticed!"<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>From OMRRA, WMRRA, GPRA racer Brandon Watson:<BR><BR>(After pointing out that the AMA website shows the top Supersport trap speeds, as follows:<BR>Ben Spies, 161.408 mph<BR>Tony Meiring, 160.164<BR>Jason Pridmore, 159.549<BR>Tommy Hayden, 158.939<BR>Jamie Hacking, 158.333)<BR><BR>"Whether they are the only ones to have information that has this conclusion is obviously left to the reader to determine."<BR><BR><BR>From James Bacon: <BR><BR>"Just wanted to point out the disparity in AMA tech and rulings Chuck Chouinard suspended for a year for modified valves at Loudon, Ben Spies docked 20 points and allowed to keep his finishing position at Fontana!"<BR><BR><BR>From tuner Chuck Giacchetto:<BR><BR>"You should call Chuck Chouinard and ask him how he feels about it. Maybe he could give some color commentary on the topic. I bet he would have liked to have kept his finishing position. Let's face it, Ben rode two great races but what's fair is fair. Just thought I would put a plug in for the Massachusetts Bruiser, Chuck Chouinard!"<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>From John B. Robinson, Motorcycle & Kart Product Manager, Sales Engineering, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire:<BR><BR>"Add me to the list of those upset and frustrated with the AMA's handling of the 250 grid at Fontana. Who do you recommend that I contact at AMA to discuss the situation? Sure seems that the AMA is working quickly to destroy this class of fine racers?"<BR><BR><BR><BR>From Bob Nevola:<BR><BR>"I'm writing to express my continued disappointment in the apparent lack of professional resources available to the operation of a quality AMA Pro Racing Superbike Series. In particular the red flag of the second Fontana Round of the AMA Superbikes races due to a crashed motorcycle left on the track. It was a crushing blow to my respect for the AMA Superbike Series to see such an unconscionable act as to not have the resources or staff to remove a crashed motorcycle from the racetrack causing the premier race be stopped.<BR><BR>"I will readily admit I have a heightened interest to see a Ducati finish on the podium. I, along with many other Ducati/Chandler fans, believe he could have achieved a podium finish if the track officials had done their job and removed the crashed motorcycle from the racetrack. <BR><BR>"Earlier on Sunday I watched the inaugural MotoGP start the new 4 stroke vs. 2 strokes era by racing in the rain (at speeds up to 200 mph). I have seen little evidence to support any hope for the USA race fan to enjoy such a high level of motorcycle racing entertainment as long as AMA Pro Racing continues to operate in such an amateur manner."<BR><BR><BR>From Stasia Christensen, wife of racer Pete Christensen: "Just another perspective on the accident during the Superbike race on Sunday:<BR><BR>"Pete and I attended the races at Fontana on Sunday and were sitting in the grandstands directly facing the area where crash occurred during the Superbike race. The entire crowd in that area held its collective breath each time another rider came around the corner only to find the downed motorcycle laying on the track. After realizing that the cornerworkers did not intend to remove the bike, the crowd started yelling at the cornerworkers to do something, anything! The waving yellow flags did not come out until at least half of the field had gone by and the red did not appear until it seemed that the entire field had passed through that area at least twice. Miguel even kicked his foot out at the bike on his second time past seemingly to indicate that the bike not being moved was ridiculous. <BR><BR>"The rider had quickly scrambled off the track after the accident but kept looking for cornerworkers to come out and help him get his bike off the track. We do realize how dangerous it is for cornerworkers to go out on a track to remove a bike as seen at Loudon last year, however, it was just as dangerous for the riders who were still out on the track. Who deemed the cornerworkers' lives more precious than the riders'? The red flag was thrown way past the time when it should have been and the crowd in our area booed the cornerworkers as they came out to collect the bike after the red flag. Although it may have not been the cornerworkers' fault directly, the fans were so upset at that point that they released their anger, perhaps inappropriately, on these people.<BR><BR>"We are disappointed in the AMA and their delayed reaction to this incident. My heart was racing each time a rider narrowly missed the prone bike. It would have been a tragedy had another rider lost his life at Fontana this weekend. I look forward to the AMA's response to this incident, as surely they are aware of the how disturbed the fans and riders are regarding this situation."<BR><BR><BR>From Tony Jordan: "How about Roger Lee's crash in Turn 1? The boneheads at Start/Finish didn't even notice that a bike and rider were laying in the middle of the banking near a very high speed part of the track for at least two laps. The California Speedway personnel (positioned well away from the crash location) handled the situation well, but the AMA didn't see fit to stop the race for that crash. Then a bike goes down in a first gear corner with course workers readily available and they can't get to the bike and drag it off in a matter of seconds? No wonder Gary Mathers resigned!"<BR><BR>(Editorial note: Or how about the fact that Hayden was riding around with his exhaust pipe falling off and didn't get black-flagged before he dragged it and crashed?)<BR><BR>From David Hawks of Jupiter Eight Racing: "After talking with everyone in the pits Saturday I was all ready to go to a few AMA events around the country. I was initially planning to do only the Sears and Laguna events. Now I'm not sure. Does the AMA truly not care about privateer's concerns? Is the problem just AMA management? I'm sure FUSA would gladly have a 250GP grid the size of Fontana's (before the 112% enforcement) Should we, the weedeater pilots, bother to attend AMA events? It seems that they (the AMA) are all hot to get rid of 250GP anyway. (despite the 'graceperiod' for attrition that was talked about last year) Is there anything that I as a racer/team owner can do?"<BR><BR><BR><BR>(e-mail comments on this specific issue of AMA Pro Racing officiating at Fontana to email@example.com)