Savatgy Docked by AMA

Steve Cox | April 30, 2017

Savatgy Docked by AMA: As we mentioned in the 250cc East race report here, at one point in the main event, 250cc East points leader Joey Savatgy went down and ended up in an adjacent racing lane. When he got up, he continued from that point forward on the track, inadvertently cutting off a section of the course. While he officially finished third in the main event, the AMA reviewed the tape of the incident after the race and has docked Savatgy 5 positions.

Savatgy Docked by AMA

Savatgy Docked by AMA
Joey Savatgy has officially lost the points lead and trails by one point going into the Las Vegas finale, per AMA rules. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KOY

From the AMA today:

Decision of the Race Director,
East Rutherford, N.J., Supercross

On April 29, 2017, after the 250SX main event, a protest was filed with regards to an on track incident involving rider #17 Joey Savatgy. After a complete review of the incident, including video and eyewitness accounts, it was determined by the Race Director that rider #17 did exit the track and re-enter in a different location. In doing so, rider #17 did gain positions and an advantage while cutting a section of the race track. This is in violation of rule 4.16.i.

4.16 On-Track Regulations
i. A rider leaving the course may continue the race by properly re-entering the track at the closest safe point to where the rider left the course without gaining an advantage.
While off course, the rider may not accelerate in an unsafe manner.

If a rider accelerates in an unsafe manner while off course or cuts part of the race course, the rider may be determined to have gained an advantage without gaining a position.

It will be the duty of the Race Director or his designee to make the determination as to whether a rider gained an advantage by leaving the racecourse and re-entering.

The penalty for gaining an advantage while off course during a race will be the loss of number of positions gained plus one additional position in the final results for that race. If no positions were gained, the penalty will be the loss of one position in the final results for that race.

The penalty for gaining an advantage while off course during qualifying will be the loss of the rider’s fastest lap time during that session.

It was determined that by not re-entering the track in the lane where the rider left the track, he gained 4 positions and an advantage. As per the 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross an FIM World Championship rulebook, the penalty for this infraction is a loss of 5 positions in the final results.

An appeal was presented by the rider and an appeals hearing was convened. After reviewing all evidence presented by both parties it was determined by the appeals panel that the infraction did occur and the penalty was justified. The decision of the Race Director was confirmed. The decision of the appeals panel is final; no further appeal is possible.

While the original points standings following the main event had Savatgy leading Zach Osborne by 7 points, and Jordon Smith by 8 points, going into the Vegas finale next weekend, this penalty represents a four-point swing for Smith, who gains a spot and officially finishes third in the New Jersey main event, and the points break down as follows:

Smith: 160
Osborne: 159
Savatgy: 159

It seems likely that the 250cc East will literally become a “winner takes all” event, as the racer among those three who finishes in front of the other two will likely win the championship, with the only caveat being that any tie in the points standings involving Osborne would favor Osborne, as he has won more main events than anybody else this season.

Vegas is set to be a barn-burner.

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Steve Cox