Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Aug 16, 2002

Yates' Actions And Sadowski's Comments Draw Reader Fire--And A Little Support

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>From e-mails:<BR><BR>After watching the races at VIR and reading the feedback in the aftermath of the Aaron Yates incident I felt compelled to add my 2 cents.<BR><BR>What Aaron did was the right thing to do.<BR><BR>How he went about it is where he deserves some criticism.<BR><BR>Given the situation on the track with Robert's RC-51 the race clearly needed to be red flagged for safety and quickly. From Aaron's point of view that was not happening and it demanded action. Way to go, Aaron!<BR><BR>Laying down on an active racetrack while interesting on TV and somewhat comedic took a bad situation and made it worse by reducing the number of options approaching riders may have to avoiding an already bad situation. Aaron could have easily been hit again by an approaching bike even further worsening the situation.<BR><BR>I sincerely hope that the AMA isn't too hard on Aaron, he was doing the right thing. I also hope Aaron Yates will continue to do the right thing in the future.<BR><BR>I just hope he does it a little more professionally.<BR><BR>Tom Tracey<BR>Bartlett, IL<BR><BR><BR><BR>As a racer and cornerworker for the past 13 years, I think David Sadowski's comments are completely out of order. Aaron Yates did a stupid, dangerous and selfish thing by running back out into traffic and laying down on the track. Commending a rider for doing something like that is the wrong thing to do. Aaron should be fined at the very least and other disciplinary actions may well be needed. This should never ever happen again.<BR><BR>If Aaron was really concerned about getting the track safe, run and pick up the bike, don't lay down on the track. As a cornerworker I would rather have the racer(s) get off of the hot track to have one less thing to deal with. As a racer, I'm going to see the downed bike and look for a way around it. I don't need another obstacle in the way. Especially one that purposefully put himself there.<BR><BR>Aaron Yates put himself there for whatever reason. I believe it was a selfish act to ensure a red flag was thrown and let him get back in the race. Whether or not he would ever admit that I do not know.<BR><BR>So no, Dave, Tony is not the idiot.<BR><BR>Craig Bibeau<BR>CRA Racer and Corner Captain<BR><BR><BR><BR>Sadowski has been a great commentator for Speed for the past few years and I respect the guy as he has achieved things in motorcycling that I may never. I also believe that what Yates did was called for and was neccesary.<BR><BR>But for Sadowski to go off like he did on Ianelli (sic) was simply uncalled for. If I were a big wig at Speed, I would be more than a little upset that a prominent spokesman for my network was writing such awful things on the internet and those things were being read by my target audience. Sadowski has every right to speak his mind, but getting personal like he did was juvenile and low class. Dave, I respect you as a racer, but you make a third-grader look mature when it comes to arguments.<BR><BR>Colin Walker<BR><BR><BR><BR>I would also have to agree with Tony Iannarelli, Yates was wrong for laying on the track. But as for Dave Sadowski who has been around racing for many years is one of the biggest idiots I have ever heard on television. I constantly hear him make mistakes on television. One example is, the racers just came from their warm-up lap and were pulling into there grid spots, when Mr. Know It All Sadowski says look the racers are checking their front tires for wear. I don't think so, Dave, it appeared to me they were looking to see if their front wheels were in the start box! And as far as Dave ripping on the guys in 750 Superstock, get a life loser, these guys can run just as fast as the Superbike guys except for the Superbikes being way faster. I watched all the races this year and I noticed a lot of those privateers are going just as fast as the Superbike stars in the corners, they only get pulled down the straights. I am a personal good friend of the top-finishing privateer Brian Parriott and I will tell you get him a factory Superbike and he will run with the best of them. So I don't buy this crap run with Jimmy Moore first, then step up, all that did was make you look like a total jerk, and I would enroll in a broadcasting school or something if I were you because you really sound like a moron on television, even commentating the sport that you USED to do! So strike 2 on you.<BR><BR>Tim Kamholz<BR>AFM #15<BR>Newark, CA<BR><BR><BR><BR>I don't really care about Aaron Yates laying on the track, I mean the race was already red-flagged. I think Sadowski was being kind of a dick in his response to Iannarelli, but I can get over that, maybe he was having a bad day.<BR><BR>What I do care about is the seeming agreement that Sadowski and Iannarelli have made about Supersport bikes not belonging in Superbike. It doesn't matter what 750 you ride or how fast it is, you're still in the line of fire of the factory guys and it's your rider skill and experience that's going to determine how "spooked" you get. For anyone who thinks a Supersport bike doesn't belong in Superbike, I have just two words for you: Ricky Orlando (check your Daytona 200 results and yes, that was a Supersport bike minus the wheels).<BR><BR>Rafiq Premji<BR>MRA Expert #408<BR><BR><BR><BR>Dear Mr. Sadowski,<BR><BR>As a Road Racer for 14 years, and Fan for 20+ Years I would have to call your response heavy-handed, and hypocritical.<BR><BR>I for one am sick of you putting down privateers with statements like, "Yeah, this wouldn't be the first time a backmarker changed the outcome of the race." Having watched you when you were with V&H, I never figured out how you got your ride. Dave, you were a good rider, not great. John Ashmead has won as many Daytona 200s as you have and he did so on REAL privateer equipment. You are the same bonehead that got tangled up with your teammate and almost jeopardized the 600SS Championship for you and your teammate. I watched you get lapped ON FACTORY BIKES. What was your excuse then? The only thing you did well was dominate F-USA in its waning WERA/NASB days.<BR><BR>Dave, I have read your safety comments and suggestions and am impressed, but you need to get the delusional idea out of your head that, "Only the high and mighty" should race Superbike. Get real. You weren't that good on one (and, yes, I know the year you raced with Yosh, the bike sucked) as you seem to think. Give the privateer guy a break. I won't also mention the dozens of mistakes you make every broadcast as I know it is part of your job to help the show have some drama, but some of your mistakes are gross at best. I haven't written Speed to have you taken off the air, because I am not sure if there is anything better. I highly suggest you keep you comments to yourself unless you think 8 bikes on the grid for a Superbike race is better.<BR><BR>In regards to Aaron Yates' actions, I find it difficult to criticize him, as I have been a fan of his since he won the Future Stars series in the early 1990s. What he did, though, was inexcusable. THE RED FLAG HAD NOT BEEN THROWN, I saw the videotape. I have tremendous respect for him, as do others in the pits, but what he did was stupid and dangerous. Whether you agree with the attitude and level of AMA safety (I don't) or not, you have to respect the organization's control and direction during an event. Obviously the Himmelsbach issue that weekend really illustrated the lack of AMA ability, BUT YOU CAN'T create a more dangerous environment because you don't like something.<BR><BR>Thanks for supporting the Air Fence and other safety related issues, but get real, dude.<BR><BR>Marcus McBain<BR><BR><BR><BR>In regards to the debate on Aaron Yates lying down in the track, and Dave Sadowski's insulting reply to one opinion, I've always thought that maybe it was my hangup that Dave seemed to be a bit of a bragging punk rather than an enthusiast announcer -- enthusiast being like the Brit motorbike announcers on Speed are, and the Canadians announcing their Superbike championship, and car road race and rally announcers that I've heard, not to mention announcers of the Isle of Man TT and Endurance championships.<BR><BR>Now I know it wasn't my problem -- DS really is a punk.<BR><BR>Ed Light<BR>Former AFM Los Angeles Chapter Vice President/Secretary<BR><BR><BR><BR>Did I just read David Sadowski accuse Tony Iannarelli of speaking before he thinks? <BR><BR>The whole issue is pretty simple to me really. Aaron Yates walked onto a hot track and he LAID DOWN. Regardless of his motivation for doing this, can anyone seriously support his action? <BR><BR>I hope I'm not an idiot for thinking this, but in my opinion laying down on a hot track is dangerous and irresponsible behavior. Yates risked his own safety as well as that of others still on course. <BR><BR>Had a racer at a small club event done this I am certain that they would face serious penalties. In fact, I am willing to bet they would be thrown out of the club for such an action. While I certainly don't think that Yates should be thrown out of the series, I do think he deserves disciplinary action for what he did. <BR><BR>Erik Astrup<BR>Davis, CA<BR><BR><BR><BR>First off, Dave, let me say I do enjoy your announcing AMA road racing events, and I respect your expertise derived from your years of road racing.<BR><BR>It is way out of line for you or anyone else to resort to name-calling when you offer your opinion on any subject. Respect is something you earn. Respect is something you lose.<BR><BR>Sorry Dave, you squinty-eyed, big-nosed stutterer, you lost a little of mine.<BR><BR>Rick Stratton<BR>CCS Southwest Expert #37<BR><BR><BR><BR>Regarding David Sadowski's reply to Tony Iannarelli, I think Sadowski needs to learn to read before he writes. The primary topic of concern to Mr. Iannarelli was Yates' boneheaded stunt of laying on the track in order to generate a red flag condition. His argument that Yates should be heavily penalized or "stripped" was predicated on this act alone and not his reckless passing of backmarkers which was mentioned as an aside.<BR><BR>The fact that Yates has been an active proponent of improving track safety in no way renders him immune from culpability when it comes to such irresponsible acts of stupidity. And it matters not if the race had already been red-flagged. Since Yates was unaware of this so called "fact" when he decided to perform his interpretation of a human speed-bump, one or more other riders could have also missed the red flag and ran over Yates. What happens then "Mr. Know-it-Alldowski"?<BR><BR>I greatly enjoy Mr. Sadowski's TV work but a racer's past record of safety consciousness in the past does not indemnify him from dangerously foolish acts made in the present. "Strike one" for you, Dave, although based on your argument, a case could be made that you've actually been badly beaned. Idiot indeed.<BR><BR>If Mr. Sadowski can in good conscience justify the behavior of Aaron "Asphalt Angel" Yates, his credibility as an impartial and honest commentator is questionable as best.<BR><BR>Bruce Sessler<BR>Port Washington, NY<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>I cannot let this stand without comment. First off, like Mr. Iannarelli, Yates is a rider who I follow and root for. Yates won me over with one of the most incredible displays of control and aggression I've ever seen in the '96 Sears Point AMA Superbike race and I've been a fan of his ever since. However, by Yates' own admission, he ran on to a hot racetrack in order to interfer in an ongoing race. In doing so, he blocked the track with his body, endangering himself and the riders in the ongoing race.<BR><BR>If the safety of the riders in the race was really an issue he had in mind, he could have stayed on his feet and run up the track past the downed bikes, warning the oncoming riders. Instead, he layed down on the track where he would have been visible only to the first rider or two of the oncoming pack. This was not about protecting the oncoming riders, this was about stopping the race by outright interference with the other racers or by requiring an ambulance to be called in order to force a red flag and allow him to stay on the lead lap. This is commendable behavior? Something to be expected of other racers in the future?<BR><BR>I'm not sure what the rest of the letter regarding whether or not the rest of the racers should be on the track in a Superbike race at all has to do with the incident at issue. Is this a call for rear view mirrors? Take it up with the AMA off season. Mr. Iannarelli placed his comment on Yates in traffic in his letter as an aside and it has no bearing on the incident at issue and is only a distraction.<BR><BR>Similarly, the good character references for Yates for prior behavior really have nothing to do with the incident at issue. However, they would be useful in determining the penalty, if one is to be applied for this incident. I'd like to note that I've defended Yates on a racer's listserve over this incident in regard to his career record and have been surprised by the depth of feeling out there from people who have been on the track with him. For a reading of what the fans and racers at large think about the issue, check out the poll on Yates Relaxing On The Track at Dean Adams' site; it don't look good....<BR><BR>The comment that Race Control had already called for a red flag is gratuitous blather. So if a smoker is shot during a hold up, it ain't really murder because the victim was in the process of committing suicide and he was as good as dead anyway?<BR><BR>I won't dispute that you have more facts than I do, and I invite you to call me all the names you feel you need to, in order to bolster your position. But quantity ain't quality and I think I see what has happened and what needs to be done more clearly than you.<BR><BR>Joseph Facer<BR><BR><BR><BR>What a refreshing change to have someone in Sadowski's position actually express a controversial opinion. Even if I didn't agree with him I'd applaud his forthrightness.<BR><BR>Reg Kittrelle<BR>Scotts Valley, CA<BR><BR><BR><BR>Wow, I never liked Sadowski while he was announcing AMA races on Speed Channel because I just thought he seemed like a loud-mouth jerk but now I can see he's actually an asshole and quite possibly an idiot, too.<BR><BR>Yates was a fool and I hope they give Sadowski's contract to Greg White.<BR><BR>Gregor Halenda<BR>Team Incomplete Racing<BR>CCS LRRS USCRA #977<BR><BR><BR><BR>I would like to comment on David Sadowski's response to Tony Iannarelli's letter on Roadracing World's website. His calling Mr. Iannarelli an idiot for expressing his opinion was way out of line. He may disagree with Tony on issues stated in his letter, but to resort to name calling to get his point across was truly a "NO CLASS" act.<BR><BR>I happen to agree with Tony, as do many others according to's recent poll, that Aaron Yate's put himself and other riders in danger with his little stunt. While I'm no fan of the AMA Pro Racing organization, what ever penalty they bring down on Aaron is well deserved and I'm sure they will have a hard time taking him seriously about safety issues in the future. And David's comment that Aaron should not be penalized, he should be commended, shows he has little regard for the other riders' safety as well!<BR><BR>Greg Ruffin<BR>Oklahoma City, OK<BR><BR><BR><BR>First, I am not a racer, just a fan who likes to ride and go to a track day when he can so I have no special information to share. As a fan who watched all the races this year and was able to see a replay of the Speed "long version" Sunday night of VIR Superbike race 2 I have to comment and ask some questions.<BR> <BR>I feel that Yates may have been overly dramatic in his charge out onto the track and laying down but perhaps it was necessary. David Sadowski reported in a previous post that the red flag was already called for, (was it out?), why did Yates feel he needed to go out on the track? Did he know that a red flag had been shown? It seemed incredibly dangerous to me to lay down like that. My opinion, and we note what opinions are like, is that he should not be "punished" but I think it should be made clear that going onto a racetrack and laying down is not recommended. <BR> <BR>As for the cornerworkers, well I am not one so I don't know what they have to put up with but no one should be left unattended at any racetrack for more then a few seconds. This is 2002, soon to be 2003 and there's no excuse for a major venue not having enough well-trained people available. I was sickened to see Yates pinned under his bike then get up bleeding and have to take care of himself after crashing in a previous race to avoid taking someone else out. Heck he could have gone over the top of Roberts at VIR and probably not crashed. I think Yates should get an award for "being the most willing to crash to save someone else" award. Also, what was up with the guy who kept hanging onto the fire extinguisher as Hayden put out the fire? That poses too many questions in itself, that was really weird - on TV at least. My opinion on the whole thing, cornerworkers need to be well-paid, well-trained, and well-represented at our tracks. <BR> <BR>I don't like these big grids, period! It is ridiculous to have guys out there on machines so outclassed that they are rolling roadblocks. I watch and attend races to see racing, not "full" grids. Now if the grids were "filled" with top riders on top machines, OK. There are only so many factory rides, and then there are only so many outside big sponsor, and there's only so much top talent. If we need another class so be it but let's trim the field a bit right now. I have nothing against the guys that don't have top rides but they do nothing for the entertainment value and they endanger themselves and others. For me, my opinion again, 16 riders would be a great field for some serious racing action. If we really wanted everyone in Superbike, or any race for that matter, we could run a top-16 race then a remainder. Just a thought.<BR> <BR>For those who will get all wild over what I've written, remember it's just an opinion.<BR> <BR>Joe White<BR>Ames, IA<BR>