(909) 838-4587 ed [at] le-suspension.com

Over at http://motorbikeroadracing.blogspot.com/ my friend MG is bitching about how the MotoGP officials messed up when they made Folger give up a position then gave him a ride through plenty on the last lap because he did not give up the position in time.

It use to be that we raced on dangerous tracks, on unreliable bikes with useless gear. It use to be that when you cut the course you lost a lot of time off road riding. Now we race at nice tracks with paved run off room on fast bikes with great gear. Now when you cut the course you don’t crash and many times don’t even lose any ground but that’s not fair to the riders who stayed on the track.

So Folger cut the course somewhere. He knew he cut the course and he knew he did not give up the position. When he later got the give up one position board after pulling away from those guys he should have slowed way down so that they caught him at the slowest part of the track giving him the best chance of letting only the one guy past and the best shot at getting back ahead and the most remaining laps to go after the next guy. Instead he kept going like a track day rider waiting for his slow friend who is on the other side of the track.

Folger caused and compounded this problem. He should be penalized for messing up the battle behind him and for not following the rules, not fussed over because the officials looked like poor parents trying to deal with a bratty six year old.

As to what MG says about DMG’s last AMA Pro weekend, he is spot on.

Up-dated with MG response:  By the way, he is right.

Ed, you ignorant slut. (Thank you, Dan Akroyd and Saturday Night Live.)
This was about Race Direction blowing a call, not the boneheaded stuff the rider may or may not have done as well. Folger last made a move for position on Lap 13, and that was when a rider in front of him crashed. Before that, his last pass was on Lap Five. This was a racer in the top ten on the track. This wasn’t something that happened in the battle for 32nd.
And every lap after about Lap Five, the same thing happened – Folger lost a little ground to the rider in front of him, gained a little ground on the rider behind him. Which he did for the actual majority of the race before Race Direction decided to issue a penalty, by which point Folger couldn’t even see the riders behind him as he sat up on the front straight.
In such circumstances, a time penalty (if warranted) makes far more sense. What you saw was a dumb rule, with its dumbness compounded by extraordinarily poor enforcement.
You are correct – tracks are safer, paved runoff is (usually) safer. But in those circumstances, it becomes imperative for race officials to have sensible rules in place and to enforce them appropriately. Forcing riders to drop a place is a bad idea. Forcing someone to hang around and try to give up six seconds at the very end of a race and then wedge their way back into a pack is bad execution.
By the way, I was wrong and you are right – a track with crazy noise limits beats the no-track alternative, hands down.