On Sunday, privateer Tyler Bowers released a lengthy statement on his Instagram page detailing his thoughts regarding his disqualification for “overly aggressive riding” in his 450 heat race on Saturday night at round seven of Monster Energy AMA Supercross in Arlington.
The incident occurred in the second heat race on Saturday, when Bowers made a hard pass on Monster Energy Yamaha’s Justin Barcia. The contact sent both riders to the ground and neither were able to finish inside the top nine to advance directly to the main event. (Barcia eventually made it through the LCQ.) After the incident, Bowers was informed that he was disqualified for the rest of the race.
This certainly isn’t the first time Bowers and Barcia have had their moments. Last year in Las Vegas, Bowers barley hit Barcia, but Barcia retaliated hard and Bowers ended up with a broken leg. You can watch the incident here.
Bowers addressed many topics in his post, including what he feels is inconsistency in the decision-making process on incidents like these. He also said he does not feel his DQ has anything to do with his recent efforts to organize riders in communication efforts with Feld Entertainment, the promoters of Monster Energy Supercross. Following the lime incident fall out from San Diego, Bowers has begun forming a collective communication group for riders to voice concerns to Feld. His DQ came from rule-enforcing officials with the FIM and AMA.
You can read his full statement below:
“First off, I would like to apologize for what happened last night to my team and fans. What I am about to say doesn’t excuse my actions entirely, but it will hopefully shed some light on what I feel is a lack of consistency by officials that are supposed to handle these matters. I have been no angel in the past, but I have been overly cautious over the last few years to stay out of issues and not step on any toes. I believe aggressive racing is what makes this sport what it is at its core, I’ve also dished it so I have to be able to take it at times, as well. Howevere, there is a line and we all know as professional racers when it has been crossed. What I tried to do last night was to offer aggressive racing; just as I have receieved in the past. Instead of lying down and taking it, I gave it back. Unfortunately, it caused both of us to go down.
“While I feel the penalty to be extreme, I don’t 100% disagree with AMA or FIM’s (specifically John Gallagher’s) decision. The real problem I have is with the lack of CONSISTENCY in which these multiple sanctioning bodies base their decisions upon in these type of matters. There have already been numerous incidents brought to the officials’ attention by myself and other racers regarding @justinbarcia’s over the top, aggressive racing tactics. For example, I am 200lbs, I don’t move that easy when you hit me. I don’t always go down – even with enough force to fracture my fibula, tear out spokes, put holes in a swingarm, bend rotors, and brake hangers. If I am hit hard enough to cause bodily harm, I can sometimes take it being a heavier guy. Just because I didn’t fall over, doesn’t mean it wasn’t served with ill intent. In the past, the AMA and FIM have done nothing to intervene with said rider when I and/or other riders have brought it to their attention.
“These organizations are supposed to be in place to properly handle matters of this nature. Suddenly, they want to use me as an ‘example’ to enforce a penalty for something that went unpunished before. I told Mr. Gallagher in Oakland this year, “If you don’t do your job, then you will have the ‘Wild West’ out there. Do your job, sir.”
“When I was approached last night, I was barely able to defend myself because I was being interrupted the whole time by an official who has never swung a leg over a bike in professional racing. It bothers me that this official who is in a position of power, emotionally argued facts that I witnessed happening on the race track; facts that he could have no clue about (such as: revving, screaming, cross jumping in the rhythm lane – all before the camera could catch what happened in the corner.) If he had been a police officer behind a gun, he would have been trembling with fear and anger as he pulled the trigger on a hasty decision, before he even made any kind of rational attempt to communicate with me or my team.
“There are too many past coincidental examples where no disciplinary actions were takes. Recently, the most comparable instance happened moments after my penalty was handed out. I’m sorry @freckle66 [Mitchell Oldenburg], but I’m going to use you as an example. In the exact same corner, the exact same situation unfolded moments after my penalty was handed out. Yet no ramifications? Where is the CONSISTENCY! #doyourjob
“For the record, I don’t believe this has anything to with the recent lime incident or with what myself and other riders/teams are trying to accomplish with the promoters of Supercross. We have opened better communication between all parties involved, and will continue to meet each weekend to improve operations and keep one another better informed. I think by continuing these meetings, issues like this will only improve so long as everyone can share their point of view and we can better understand each other (even if we don’t always agree) while working together.”