The Daytona 200 clearly did not go off as planned, unless of course, the AMA purposefully scheduled a three hour break in the middle of the race. Issues with the front tire caused the AMA to red flag the race, send all the riders to the pits, and issue a mandatory front tire change.
This took close to three hours, and some people suggested that the race restart may have been delayed in order to allow Jason DiSalvo and his team to finish work on their engine. This probably would have been a non-issue, but since DiSalvo ended up winning the race, some people are crying foul.
In Regard to Jason DiSalvo: Here’s a statement from the AMA:
“The length of the red flag was solely dictated by the time it took to safely address the tire problem. To that fact, AMA Pro would simply add that we are fiercely dedicated to treating all of our participating teams and manufacturers equally and fairly, and further, that the matter of our dwindling live TV time—the importance of putting our series in front of a live, prime-time audience—was also of great importance. There was no benefit to AMA Pro in a red track; only in a green one.”
The AMA also said that an AMA staffer was on hand during the entire rebuild of DiSalvo’s bike, and that Team Latus followed all rules and regulations.
So if there wasn’t any favoritism for Jason DiSalvo, how did changing 30+ tires take close to three hours?
In Regard to the Length of the Red Flag: The AMA says that the length of the red flag was “wholly and solely dictated by theamount of time it took to get each of the thirty-eight Daytona 200 competitors re-fitted with new-spec tires that were warmed long enough to be safely raced on. The downtime included the paddock’s attempts to comply with original instructions, the communication to the paddock of Dunlop’s revised assessment, the process of getting the entire field’s front rims re-fitted with new-spec rubber, and the time it took to safely warm new tires.”
In Regard to the 15 Lap Sprint: The AMA also addressed why the race was shortened to 15 laps. Going into the Daytona 200, most riders were told and expected to finish the race on the same front tire that they started the race with. After the red flag, it was decided that all riders could complete a 15 lap race safely, and that finishing the remaining 30 laps would require riders to change a front tire, which a few riders did not have.
Because of this, the AMA decided that the best option was to finish the Daytona 200 with a 15 lap sprint.
In Regard to Final Scoring: The AMA addressed the final lap, which saw one final red lap flag. A crash involving Dane Westby and Taylor Knapp caused the red flag to fly, milliseconds after the top five riders crossed the finish line. The AMA says that they scored the race correctly, but after reviewing footage, they have decided to address a penalty. Who will receive the penalty will be announced once the rider in question has been notified.
To Sum Up: The AMA tried to make the best of a bad situation. Every decision the AMA made was the right one. It’s just unfortunate that those decisions had to be made. There’s close to two months before the next AMA Pro Racing event, and you can bet that the AMA, Dunlop, and everyone at Laguna Seca will be working to make sure that the second round of the AMA goes off flawlessly.
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com