Brad Baker thought he had the AMA Pro Flat Track points lead leaving the Daytona Short Track on Friday night, but a few hours after his second-place finish Baker was informed that he lost his points for Friday night’s race for running a noncompliant fork on his Specialty Fabrication Incorporation Honda.
The protest of Baker’s forks was filed by third-place finisher Bryan Smith.
Baker admitted to using older spring fork on his 2013 machine, which comes with an air fork. The issue, however, was that Baker’s fork used a special friction-reducing DLC coating, which isn’t allowed in the rulebook.
Baker claimed he was told he could use the fork, but said that it could have been a misunderstanding.
“It’s a bummer deal tonight ending up getting disqualified for running illegal forks,” Baker said in a video on Flat Track Live. “It was mainly a misunderstanding between me and Al Ludington [AMA technical director] from a conversation we had back in January saying I could run these forks for this event… Since I had the okay to run these forks over my air forks – these were spring forks I was running from an older model – I went ahead and ran them with the DLC coating. It was just a misunderstanding that he said I could do it. I guess that wasn’t the case from what he explained to me.
“It one of those things where I might try to appeal it, but we’re still fifth in points and I still rode my butt off this weekend, so I’m disappointed I lost the 19 points, but can’t be too disappointed because I rode my butt off.”
AMA Pro Racing officials would only say that Baker’s forks were noncompliant. Smith did not want to comment on his protest.
With the Baker disqualification and pending any appeals, Brandon Robinson leaves Daytona as the points leader after scoring a fifth on Thursday night and winning on Friday night.