AMA Pro Road Racing has issued a statement regarding AMA Pro SuperBike Race 2 at Road America
, Round 2 of the 2014 season. The organization has been criticized for allowing the race to continue to its conclusion after heavy rains started to fall during the final laps of the contest.
Spots of rain had been falling on the track throughout the day, but Race 2 was started in dry conditions. As the contest proceeded, moisture began to fall on a portion of the track but there was no widespread indication from riders that the contest needed to be stopped due to the weather. Officials were eventually forced to red flag the race though when Jason Farrell suffered an off in the rained-on section.
During the break, Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes explained that there wasn’t enough rain on the track to warrant a tire change, so felt it more advantageous to continue with caution until a tire change was absolutely necessary. Officials declared the race wet for the restart, giving riders the option of mounting tires appropriate for such conditions, but since the majority of the course remained dry the general consensus among riders was to remain with dry condition tires.
According to section 2.21b of the current AMA Pro Racing Rule Book
, "should rain begin during a race not originally designated as a wet start race, AMA Pro Racing may stop the race, if track conditions warrant, and designate the restart a wet start. Any race begun or restarted as a wet race will not be stopped solely because of drying track conditions. Riders who wish to change tires or make adjustments must enter the pits and do so during the actual race."
During the final laps of the race, however, the skies opened up and heavy precipitation fell throughout the course. Numerous riders fell during the final laps and those that didn’t were forced to proceed with extreme caution in order to complete the scheduled laps. Afterward, all three podium finishers, Hayes, ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden expressed disapproval with the decision to let the race run its course. The full AMA Pro Road Racing release addressing criticisms of its decisions in SuperBike Race 2 is included in full below.
In light of the recent event at Road America where some of our officiating procedures were called into question, AMA Pro Racing would like to reiterate to our competitors, our partners, our tracks and all of our stakeholders that safety always has been paramount to our business model. Suggestions to the contrary are reckless and misinformed, ignoring the long-standing history of AMA Pro Racing and the integrity of the individuals involved in the Daytona Motorsports Group.
Faced with inclement weather at Road America, we followed our rule book to the letter, in the interest of rider safety and fair competition. We know we made the right, rules-based decisions in running an event that was challenging for everyone at the race track that day.
Moving forward, we will continue to operate our races with safety at the forefront within our established competition rules and, as always, we will continue to review our ongoing procedures with our riders and teams.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.