While running second in the 250SX East Region main event on Saturday night at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Joey Savatgy crashed while landing on a rutted table top, and fell into the next lane on the race track. Savatgy ended up getting on his bike and riding off through that next lane, instead of reentering the track where he had crashed. He gained significant time with that move, so while he crossed the finish line in third, it seemed pretty certain that some sort of penalty was coming.
On Sunday afternoon, the AMA made the penalty official: Savatgy was pushed from third to eighth in the final official results, a five-position penalty. As a result, the 250SX East Region standings are incredibly close. They look like this:
1. Jordon Smith 160
2. Joey Savatgy 159
3. Zach Osborne 159
As for the AMA's decision, the details are outlined in a press release below:
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.