The following is from the AMA…
AMA Racing announced today that Jason Lawrence and Ryan Villopoto have been penalized at the Honda Hangtown Motocross Classic from Sacramento, Calif., the opening round of the 2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF.
According to AMA Racing SX/MX Director Steve Whitelock, for actions detrimental to the sport, Lawrence has been fined $7,500 and placed on probation for one year beginning May 18, 2007. Additionally, as part of the penalty, Lawrence loses his earned gate pick for both motos of Sunday’s Motocross Lites event and will now pick 40th out of the 40-rider field.
Villopoto has been fined $2,500.
The penalties stem from a series of instances that occurred during Saturday’s two practice sessions which culminated in a scuffle between the two riders late in session two.
According to Whitelock the severity of the penalties is relative to each riders’ actions. “Jason Lawrence and Ryan Villopoto both share in the blame for what happened today,” said Whitelock. “However, the penalty is harsher for Lawrence because he was the instigator and has demonstrated a pattern of questionable behavior.”
Whitelock confirmed that Lawrence had received a verbal warning regarding his actions after the first practice session.
The final decision on the penalties was reached Saturday evening after meeting with both riders and their teams, reviewing photos and considering the reports of AMA race officials.