The sport of motocross is no doubt one of the most emotionally charged sports on earth and it takes some real maturity to take a tough loss on the chin quietly, so it is no surprise when we hear the usually younger 250 riders vocalizing their emotions after the races during the podium interviews or at the post-race press conferences.
Last weekend we heard a little exchange in the post-race press conference between Star Racing / Monster Energy / Yamaha’s Dylan Ferrandis and Monster Energy / Pro Circuit / Kawasaki’s Adam Cianciarulo due to a first lap exchange at Fox Raceway where the two came together and this weekend Dylan’s teammate Justin Cooper had a go at Cianciarulo over a second moto incident that Justin felt cost him the overall win. One problem: Justin has nobody to blame but himself.
During the second moto while Justin was leading and Adam was on his heels, Adam made a mistake that sent him off the track and with advertising banners lining that entire section of the track he simply had no way of reentering the track safely according to the rule book until after the next turn. Adam rode along the inside of the advertising banners before finally finding a safe spot to enter after the next turn. Adam reentered the track just as Justin made the turn, but he slowed down to make sure he did not gain an advantage. He then went back to chasing down the #32 Yamaha.
The racing continued at that point, but Justin made a big mistake soon after the incident that allowed the #92 to secure the pass, the moto two win and his third overall win in a row. It was Justin’s mistake that cost him the first overall win of his career, but he definitely was not seeing it that way. Justin said on the podium after the race, “I don’t know what’s going to happen with that. Adam cut that corner and came in behind me. If they’re going to let that slide, there’s really no rules on the table. I saw it and believed I still had the overall, but I wanted to make a statement and go back after him. I don’t think they’re going to let that slide, but if they do, that’s a shame. I earned this one and we’ll see what happens.”
Here’s a screenshot from the AMA Pro Rulebook of the rule that will apply here
I in no way blame Justin for feeling that way when he saw AC cutting the track there, but expressing that on the podium was not a good look for him. Especially since he had not seen the tape and had no way of knowing what was going on with Adam behind him. I honestly figured Justin would see the tape, realize AC really had no better option in that situation and later back down on what he said, but instead he doubled down on that statement with more venting later in the press conference. I like Justin and I 100% understand his frustrations but according to the rules, I do not think AC should be penalized.
Feature photo by: Octopi – Monster Energy