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I would never take anything away from Mladin, the guy can ride like crazy... And I would never deny that luck plays a significant if inconsistent role in every form of racing...



But regardless of what the rules say, I have a real problem with two factors that allowed Mladin to come away from this with points:

1) A crashed rider re-entering a race by virtue of a red-flag? C'mon - if you're out, you're out. Period.

2) Finishing the race on a different bike? No - I don't think so.... Sure, you may have to use one bike in practice and qualifying and another in the race - but you should finish the race on the machine you started the race on.



Racing is not about how many bikes you have or can afford to crash - racing is about a rider's ability to navigate a course with his equipment better and faster than anyone else on the grid. The AMA needs to recognize this on both the national/Pro level and the sanctioned club level.
 

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I agree. AMA races are getting to be like NASCAR where the officials can impact the results more than the participants. Having a red flag compress the field is one thing but allowing someone that has crashed out to restart with a fresh bike is total bs.
 

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Agreed. If you're out, you're out, no matter waht happens later in the race.



Personally, I think that even compressing the field is way too generous. The riders should line up in the order in which they last crossed the start-finish line and be allowed to leave according to a stop-watch. If you were 27 seconds behind the leader when the red flag came out, you don't leave until the leader has had 27 seconds to get going.



I also agree with the run-what-you-started-with idea. When the red flag comes out, you ride around to the starting grid, park your bike, and wait until the track officials have resolved the situation. No tire changes. No extra fuel. No suspension tweaks. No backup bikes. If you screwed up your setup, or crashed and broke off your clutch lever, that's your problem. Tire warmers, maybe. No changes to the bike, though.



I can just see it now... each factory team enters a lackey into each race, whose job it is to cause a red flag in case the team's lead rider needs to pit.



 

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The stopwatch idea is a good one, but it wouldn't work. The reason it wouldn't work is because at the end of your '27 seconds' the rider would be at a dead stop, and the lead would be running flat out on his bike. Maybe timing them to leave at a measured interval, like 1 every second?
 

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First, I agree with everyone else. I too believe the rules should not allow a restart on a backup bike in the event a red flag occurs. I also think they should use the same timing methods used by the GP's. Too many times a rider gets a huge lead and bang a red flag and it's all for nothing. Didn't this same thing happen to Hacking last year. Same track if memory serves me correctly. He had a huge lead and nobody was going to touch him if he just kept it up right.



All that said we shouldn't be to harsh on Mladin for taking advantage of rules that other riders like N Hayden and Pegram used to their advantage at Daytona back in March. Hats off to Mladin for using the rules (no matter how stupid they may be) to his advantage and doing some great damage control in the 2nd race. I don't believe luck had to much to do with it. The odds of a red flag were in their favor and just about all the factory boys have backup bikes (not all but most) so he didn't do anything that anyone else woudln't have done or already has done in the past.



Once again though I think the AMA should look into some rule changes for the 2002 season. Would have put some added pressure on Matt to make up points had he not been allowed to restart on his backup bike.
 

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It's more like a matter of Priorities. Suzuki like's being the "Big Fish" in the little pond that is AMA. While the rest are putting their big "Push" into the WSB or GP. Rather amusing there are more Ducs in WSB then there are GSXR's in AMA and that's saying a lot. Ben Bostrom sure hates the rain as well...poor guy. What's Yamaha doing now that they've pulled out of Superbike? are we gonna see a new Bike?????
 

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What's wrong with a full course yellow, as in CART?

RA, at 4 miles long could even go to a localized yellow, as they SHOULD be able to get the bike out of the way in the 2+ mins it takes to complete a lap.
 

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Why are some of you about Mladin? The rules are the rules. It isn't Mladin's fault he has benefitted from ridiculous rules.



The simple fact is that the AMA sucks when it comes to racing. I understand they are hiring consultants to revies their rules, so hopefully they will get away from the unsafe tracks, buy more air fence, go to a two race line-up, eliminate the ability for using a second bike to finish the race, change the point setup so you aren't eliminated from the championship for doing poorly at Daytona, institute a time rule for red flags, disqualify a rider from the race that causes a red flag, and allow the racing to rule, rather than a bunch of chowderheads with the oppressive rule book to determine who the champ is.



The only thing AMA has done lately that I am glad for (in racing) is that contrary to their history, they have not yet changed the rules to give Harley the advantage.
 

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They let Nickey Hayden get back in the race at Daytona. If you are good enough to get a sponser and can afford more bikes so be it. He HAD TO RESTART FROM THE BACK. I am no fan of Mladins and I don't like gixxers but I would rather see Mladin racing Hayden, Roberts,Duhammel or Bostrom. Than somebody that doesn't even belong on the same track as them.

 

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Jeez what a tosser comment this one is. I don't think Mat has anything to be afraid of. In fact the word afraid as used here is so out of context with what this guy is doing it is utter garbage.Maladin has gone on record as to why he prefers the AMA as opposed to the european scene. Maladin has turned down several offers (on public record) because he has a great life style where he is, he has a great team supporting him and this is the main reason why he prefers racing in the states, the team behind him. RRocket you really show your ignorance by making comments like this.
 

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This is the exact same reason as to why Aaron Slight decided not to ride AMA. After the Daytona debacle where the crashing rider can get on another bike and finish in the points, regardless of the fact that several other riders who fell as a result of the accident couldn't restart to finish.The rules are crazy and should be bought into line with international standards
 

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What a bunch of whining BS'ers.



Let the rest of the world follow AMA rules. The idea that restarting on a different bike allows big money teams an advantage: get real. Only factory backed teams can win in Superbike and that is fine with me - it is Superbike, not Supersport.



As for compressing the field, look at it this way: racing exists for the excitement of fans. The restarts resulted in a much more exciting race. We got to see more starts, more passes more Goshow action, etc. It was really cool.



Lastly, to those of you diss Mladin: what is your problem? The guy is a connsummate champion. did you actually listen to his red flag interview? He was gracious at a time when most people would be all spooled up. He repeatedly took the blame for the crash. When asked about the conditions he said "No excuses, I went down, it was my fault. That said, the track is slick and some patches are ugly, but that is racing." When asked if he would go to WSB, he said "Not without my team." He ALWAYS credits his team. He NEVER makes excuses and he always performs.



Luck? Is it luck that this was Mladin's first mcrash in over two years? No. He's just great.
 

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Oh yeah, howcome nobody mentions Gobert's freaking excellent ride? The man can really rip it up. It is good to see Goshow getting his act together. Legend has it that he is a really nice guy. Add a stable life and he'll turn out OK.



Aaaand in this corner, we have the Hacking Crash Express. Why does Yosh put up with this doorknob? The guy is a rolling hazard. Sure, he is fast occasionally, but at what price?
 

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I agree that the AMA probably won't change the fact that a red flag compresses the field, because of the theory that it makes he racing more exciting (although this particular race was a rather poor example of that, since the same few that were fast before the red flag ran away from the field afterwards, too).



Like most, I enjoy watching close racing more than watching races where everyone is spaced out by 5 seconds and just cruising to the finish line. However, I still think staggered starts is better because I would rather see the best man/machine combo win any given race than have the rules decide the finishing order.



The GP-style "best combined time" thing is ok, but it's pretty confusing to watch even on TV, and you often have people competing on the track that are not competing in the race, and vice versa. I'd rather see the timed staggered start because then you preserve the racing situation on the track (first one to the finish line wins).



I don't think that too many people are deluding themselves thinking that a privateer is likely to win the AMA Superbike season championship any time soon. But that doesn't mean that you should be allowed to restart on a fresh bike with virtually no time penalty in the case of a red flag. If you want to change bikes, you're welcome to ride into the pits *after* the race has been restarted, and hop on your backup bike. The bottom line is that the time you spend in the pits should be counting against you on the track.



Just so there's no confusion... I think that the AMA should fix their rules, I don't think that Mladin should be penalized or even dissed for working within the rules to his best advantage. He and other racers have and will continue to do so. Their job is to win races and championships, not to debate the rules.

 

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All good points.



The whole "Let's be like the FIM" thing bugs me though - who elected them the supreme brain trust? I know you didn't say that and my comments were therefore not aimed at people thinking as you do.



In any event, the AMA should manage its rules by looking at their own series and at other moto and car racing orgs. The aim is to be better than the FIM, not follow them.



As is, one could argue that the talent is better in the AMA than WSB.
 
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