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AMA Pro Racing Comments on Windham’s Penalty

The controversial ten-point penalty levied against Honda’s Kevin Windham (as discussed in yesterday’s article) is now the subject of an official AMA Pro Racing statement, printed below. Almost certainly, the AMA’s decision to crack down on aggressive riding in supercross this season will lead to more controversy, as championship points are near and dear to the hearts of both factories and riders. Here is the statement.

In pre-season meetings and conversations with supercross team managers, AMA
Pro Racing communicated that it would be taking a closer look at aggressive
riding and begin imposing point deduction penalties instead of fines
beginning with the 2004 season. This was partially in response to concerns
stated by the teams over an increase in questionable riding tactics by some
participants. It was generally agreed by all parties that fines were no
longer an effective deterrent. This direction was communicated to riders and
team personnel in rider meetings preceding Round 1 and Round 2 of the AMA
Supercross Series.

In the opinion of race officials, Kevin Windham engaged in unsafe and
unsportsmanlike riding by intentionally making contact with David Vuillemin
on lap one of the main event. Said contact resulted in Vuillemin being
pushed off the track nearly hitting a photographer standing nearby. In post
race interviews, Windham all but acknowledged that he intentionally collided
with Vuillemin.

As defined in the AMA Pro Racing Supercross Rulebook, this type of behavior
is specifically prohibited and is punishable by (among other things) points
deductions. Upon reviewing video footage of the situation, meeting with
involved parties and discussing it with race officials, AMA Pro Racing
Supercross/Motocross Series Manager, Steve Whitelock elected to impose a
10-point deduction to Windham’s results while allowing him to keep the win.

This decision is consistent with guidelines established in the AMA Pro
Racing Supercross Rulebook. Additionally, is it consistent with the
direction that had been discussed with team managers and personnel prior to
the season beginning. As stated then, it is AMA Pro Racing’s intention to
minimize overly aggressive riding while maximizing safety to all riders and
these actions are in line with those objectives.

About AMA Pro Racing

AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the
United States. Its properties include the AMA Supercross Series, the AMA
Chevrolet Motocross Championship, the AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship,
the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship and the AMA Red Bull
Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit
www.amaproracing.com.