250 Words: San Francisco

February 3, 2009 1:57pm | by:
Even when he doesn’t race, it seems Jason Lawrence is somehow the center of attention. On Saturday, just prior to when Jason Lawrence was to take to the track for qualifying practice, a press release came out from his Boost Mobile/ampm/Monster Energy/Troy Racing team, stating: “Jason ‘J-Law’ Lawrence was hit with a gnarly bout of food poisoning and forced to a hospital in San Francisco today where he was administered an IV and, according to AMA rules, is now ineligible to race tonight’s WSX Lites contest at AT&T Park.”

  • Jake Weimer beat Ryan Dungey straight-up twice on Saturday night
The thing is, that’s not actually correct. The AMA rule regarding intravenous treatments is stated thusly on page 29 on the AMA rulebook (emphasis ours):

5.6 Intravenous Hydration
a. At no time during the event will a rider receive any type of intravenous hydration unless such hydration is deemed medically necessary by medical personnel as a result of an emergency medical situation (e.g. heat stroke) encountered by a rider, during, or as a result of competing in, an event, practices, heat races or qualifying sessions that are part of an event.

b. Once a rider receives such hydration during the event, the rider will not be permitted to compete in any further events including, but not limited to, any further practice sessions, heat races, qualifying sessions or final events composing any event in the meet unless and until the rider is released by the medical personnel who treats the rider for the specific emergency medical situation at issue.

So we have two things at play here: First, was the IV administered during the event? It seems not, as the press release claims Lawrence “buckled on Saturday morning due to the severity of the illness.” Practice doesn’t start until the afternoon, and that brings us to number two: He could’ve missed the first practice and still been eligible to ride second practice, which would’ve qualified him for the night program, and according to the AMA rules, even if the IV is given during the event, if the rider gets clearance to ride by the doctor who administered the treatment, they are eligible to ride again.

So what happened? Did Lawrence bow out of the competition without full knowledge of the rules? The AMA was tight-lipped, but according to a source inside the officiating crew, an effort was made to inform Lawrence and his team about his eligibility to race, and this person was told by a representative of the team that Lawrence was not well enough to race regardless of eligibility.

Now, the question becomes, why did the press release claim that it was via AMA rules that Lawrence was out of the race, rather than just stating he was too sick to race? Why put the onus on the AMA when the AMA was not the party that made the decision?

We don’t have an answer for that one just yet, but one thing is for sure, and that is that Jason Lawrence is out of the championship chase. With only four rounds remaining, he trails rival Ryan Dungey by 58 points.

{LINKS}Now, instead of battling Lawrence for the title, Dungey has his hands full with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer, who led all 21 laps that he raced on Saturday night – six in the heat and 15 in the main – all with Dungey right behind him.