​MotoAmerica: Penalties Handed Out Following Supersport Race Two At NJMP (Spoiler Alert, UPDATED)

​MotoAmerica: Penalties Handed Out Following Supersport Race Two At NJMP (Spoiler Alert, UPDATED)

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. by David Swarts

MotoAmerica handed out two penalties following Supersport
Race Two Sunday afternoon at New Jersey Motorsports Park, in Millville, New Jersey.

On lap 13 of the red-flagged-shortened 15-lap race, Celtic
HSBK Racing Yamaha’s PJ Jacobsen was holding a slim lead over M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s
Bobby Fong with Fong’s 17-year-old teammate Sean Dylan Kelly 2.3 seconds back
in third just ahead of RiCKdiculous Racing Yamaha’s Hayden Gillim, MP13 Racing
Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, and Tuned Racing Yamaha’s Bryce Prince.

Gillim attempted a pass on Kelly in Turn Five, a tight
left-hander, and there was contact between the two riders that resulted in
Kelly crashing and Gillim continuing on to finish third behind racer winner Jacobsen
and runner-up Fong.

After the race, MotoAmerica decided that Gillim violated the
rule stating “Riders must ride in a responsible manner which does not cause
danger to other competitors or participants, either on the track on in pit
lane.”

MotoAmerica sanctioned Gillim with three rider penalty
points, which will stay on Gillim’s record for 365 days. If Gillim receives a
fourth penalty point during that time he will have to start his next race from
the back of the grid.

When asked about the incident during the post-race press
conference, Gillim said, “Whenever I got up to Sean I had just done my personal
best lap and caught him quite a bit. Going through Turn Four, I had a head of
steam on him and it kind of surprised me how quickly I got through there. I kind
of had to go for the pass.

“I got up the inside of him and he ran a little wide because
I got up in there and spooked him. And then on the exit out, I was just on the
gas going and all of a sudden I felt something tug on my knee. I tried to pull
the bike back because I figured it was him, and I guess he ended up going down
and yeah. I ran the next couple of laps in third [place] and was able to get up
on the podium for the guys.”

Asked about the incident, Kelly, who was not injured, said, “We
had that third place, but Gillim was pretty close behind me. Then with three
laps to go he tried making a pass going into Turn Five. We were side-by-side at
the exit, and he just gave no room and we made complete contact and he pretty
much took my handlebars off of me and down I went. It’s really unfortunate
considering yesterday we had some pretty close contacts during the race, but
none of us went down. Today was different.”

“It’s really disappointing to see a racer of Hayden’s
caliber riding that way. He’s been doing it the last couple of seasons
and there’s no reason to do that,” said Chris Ulrich, former racer and Vice
President of Operations for Team Hammer, which races as M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. “I
understand tight racing. I’ve raced 19 years at this level and I never purposely
hit anybody.

“So watching Hayden ride that way week-in and week-out it
was only a matter of time before it caught up to him. It’s really disappointing
to see that, and it’s really disappointing that his team didn’t do something about
it earlier, but I’m happy that MotoAmerica is taking action based on the video.

“This is not a stick-and-ball sport. This is not a contact
sport. Motorcycle racing is a very serious sport in terms of the risks and
inherent dangers of the sport and you can’t be running into people and
continuing on your path until the point where they fall over.

“I feel bad for Sean. He was Hayden’s target this weekend.
Other weekend’s it’s been PJ [Jacobsen]. Other weekends it’s been Bobby Fong.
It’s just disappointing. I’m disappointed in his team that they didn’t do
anything about his riding and his behavior, but I’m happy that MotoAmerica is
going to take action and hopefully we won’t see this at Barber.

“I’m also disappointed that Sean didn’t score any points
today. He was riding very well and still had the opportunity to be involved in this
Championship and Hayden took that away today.”

After the race as Gillim exited the racetrack and rode
toward the podium, Kelly’s father, Pat Kelly, had to be restrained from
approaching Gillim, but Pat Kelly still threw a partially full water bottle at
Gillim. The bottle struck Gillim in his helmeted head. For this action, Team
Hammer was fined $150.

“In terms of the behavior afterward, that’s disappointing,
too,” said Ulrich. “We pride ourselves on being professionals, and that wasn’t
professional. We’re going to deal with the actions of Sean’s dad accordingly to make sure it never happens again.”

Roadracingworld.com reached out to RiCKdiculous Racing
co-owner Josh Bronfman for comment, but Bronfman deferred comment to Team
Manager Kelly Rees, who attended the MotoAmerica Judicial Procedure on behalf
of RiCKdiculous Racing. Rees was driving the RiCKdiculous Racing semi-truck at
post time and was unable to take a call from Roadracingworld.com. Bronfman said
his team would be available for comment on Monday.

Read MotoAmerica’s notification of sanction to Hayden Gillim below:

Notification of MotoAmerica Sanction

To: RiCKdiculous Racing

No. #69

Class: Supersport 600

Date: September 8, 2019

According to the Judicial Procedures of the 2019 MotoAmerica Regulations and Procedures we confirm the sanction that has been imposed upon you.

Motive

b. Riders must ride in a responsible manner which does not cause danger to other competitors or participants, either on the track or in the pit lane.

Hearing

You were required to attend a hearing with the Race Direction. You attended the hearing and acknowledged the facts presented to you.

Sanction

For the above reason, you have been sanctioned 3 penalty points.

Right of Appeal

According to 1.7 of the 2019 MotoAmerica Regulations and Procedures, you have the right to appeal against this decision, to the FIM North America Stewards, within 30 minutes from the date and time of receipt of this decision. The appeal must be lodged in writing stating the grounds for the appeal and accompanied by the appeal fee of $1,500.

Thomas Stevens

Race Director

Dan Argano

FIMNA Safety Officer

Tom Kipp

Riders’ Representative

Signature of Rider / Team acknowledgement:

Kelly Rees

Time: 18:26 [Eastern Time]

Update: Roadracingworld.com followed up and reached out to RiCKdiculous Racing Team Manager Kelly Rees Monday and asked for his reaction to the penalties handed out by MotoAmerica to Hayden Gillim and Team Hammer Sunday night at NJMP.

“Honestly, all I’ve seen was the video on the live feed,” Rees said in a telephone interview. “Nobody’s produced or shown us any video beyond that, and that video doesn’t really
show a whole lot. So based on Chris’ [Ulrich] comments, I don’t know if he saw
video that I didn’t see, but going off of what I was provided — MotoAmerica didn’t
provide us any evidence in the hearing as what they were basing it on — I don’t know
what to say. We got the penalty and we’ve got to move forward with it.

“I kind of knew that something was probably going to come
down the line about it. We don’t have a lot of power in the paddock, so we’ve
just got to fight our battles as we can. There’s just not much we can do about
it. There just really isn’t.

“I’m less concerned about our three [rider penalty] points than
I am about the $150 fine for my rider being hit with a water bottle. I honestly
think that’s pretty much embarrassing for MotoAmerica as a whole to let
something like that go. I was promised swift and severe punishment or I was
going to call the Sheriff’s Department and have him [Pat Kelly] removed from
the property. And a $150 fine is literally embarrassing. That’s all I can say
about it. That’s just completely uncalled for. I’m not asking for the fine to
be any higher for the team, but the individual involved should be [held]
responsible.”

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