Hacking’s Suspension Lifted

Henny Ray Abrams | March 27, 2009

Monster Energy Attack Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking will be allowed to race at Road Atlanta next weekend after his suspension was lifted, a fine was paid, and an apology made at a meeting with AMA Pro Racing officials in Daytona Beach, Florida.Hacking was suspended indefinitely and fined $4000 for “conduct detrimental to the sport of professional motorcycle racing” for his behavior at and following Sunday’s post-race Daytona SportBike press conference at Auto Club Speedway. Runner-up Hacking and third place finisher Jason DiSalvo engaged in minor spat during the press conference. But it was Hacking’s profanity as he was leaving the press room that the AMA most objected to. In a press release issued Sunday evening, just after they suspended him, the AMA said “Hacking displayed additional acts of inappropriate behavior in both public and media interviews.”However, what he did in the public interview was no different than what DiSalvo did. DiSalvo took offense to Hacking talking to race winner Danny Eslick while DiSalvo himself was being interviewed. But the videotape clearly shows DiSalvo talking to Eslick during Hacking’s earlier interview.Hacking, his wife, Rachel, and Attack Racing team owner Richard Stanboli met with AMA Pro Racing officials this morning. Following the meeting, AMA Pro Racing issued a press release that the suspension had been lifted and that Hacking had been placed on probation for the remainder of the season after paying the $4000 fine and issuing a letter of apology. But he’s been put on a short leash. The AMA release states that “any violations of his probation in that event or any other on the 2009 schedule will result in the immediate enforcement of the one-event penalty, in addition to any other fines, penalties or suspensions related to the infraction.”Hacking was among the veteran riders and safety advocates who vowed not to ride on a wet track at Auto Club Speedway. Six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin made the same vow, as did Formula Xtreme Champion Jake Zemke. Whether he’ll be punished for voicing concerns about safety issues in the future remains to be seen. The answer could come shortly. The long term forecast for the Suzuki Superbike Showdown at Road Atlanta on April 4-5 calls for wet conditions on both Friday and Sunday.Kawasaki road race manager Mike Preston was “thoroughly excited, ecstatic,” when he received the press release via e-mail. “Jamie (Hacking), Rachel (Hacking), and Richard (Stanboli) all went in the meeting. From what they said to me they had a real good meeting with the AMA people and discussed a lot of things and obviously discussed Jamie and last week.”As to whether Hacking would be making a statement, Preston said, “Not right now. I don’t know what they said to him. Obviously, it was good and he’s happy and he might want to speak and talk about it. Then again, this was a big headache for him for speaking before. We talked it all over and for sure some of the things were not right. We had an apology and we’re grateful that they allowed him to go on instead of missing races for the championship.”Hacking heads to the Suzuki Superbike Showdown at Road Atlanta as the SportBike points leader with 69 to 60 for DiSalvo.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.