AMA: No pace car cautions at Mid-Ohio

AMA Pro Racing suspends controversial policy

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 15, 2009
AMA Pro Racing has announced it is suspending its controversial full course yellow flag procedure for the upcoming race weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Safety vehicles during the July 17-19 event at the Lexington, Ohio, circuit will only be used in practice sessions, race starts and restarts for the AMA Daytona Sportbike and SunTrust MotoGT races.

The one-race suspension of the safety vehicle procedure will give AMA Pro Racing time to improve its policies and procedures before the following event, July 31 to Aug. 2 at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan. where the new safety bikes will debut.

All restarts at Mid-Ohio will be held in single file except for rulebook-mandated repeat clutch starts for red flags occurring in the first two laps of American Superbike and Supersport races.

The Buell-supplied pace bikes will debut at the Heartland Park Topeka round.AMA Pro Racing has been under much criticism over the safety car procedure introduced this racing season. The safety car caused collisions or near-collisions at the two highest-profile AMA Pro Racing events so far this year, the season-opening Daytona 200 and the Laguna Seca round in front of the international motorcycle racing media covering the MotoGP race.

Former Grand Prix World Champion Kevin Schwantz reportedly walked out of a press conference following the Laguna Seca incident in frustration while Colin Fraser, AMA director of competition, responded to his questions about the safety car procedure.

American Superbike point-leader Mat Mladin also expressed his concern about the safety car procedure at Laguna Seca.

It could have been very ugly, said Mladin. Im not sure what its going to take to understand that the pace car doesnt belong in motorcycle racing. This isnt NASCAR were not having a cup of tea in the race car.

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