The Aaron Yates incident at Daytona — kicking and head butting a rider involved in an accident with him — was deplorable and embarrassing for Yates, his team and the AMA. The reaction by Suzuki and the AMA, however, makes you feel good about the sport of motorcycle road racing in this country.
You probably know that Yates was fined $25,000 by Suzuki, and that the AMA has fined him an additional $5,000, and suspended him from participation in the California Speedway round of the AMA Superbike series. The one-race suspension, of course, will probably cost Yates plenty of money on top of the fines. The AMA has said that it will reduce the $5,000 fine it imposed by one-half if Yates takes an anger management class prior to participating in his next event.
An embarrassing situation like this can be turned into a positive when the authorities mete out a just punishment. It sends a message not only to the rider involved, but to all riders. It also, in this instance, portrays the AMA Superbike series as a professionally run, no nonsense championship series. This will benefit the sport in the long run.
So, congratulations to Suzuki and the AMA for doing the right thing, and helping Aaron Yates learn from his mistake.