Fuelgate: Public Opinion

After the AMA penalty imposed on Ricky Carmichael for fuel that was over the allowable lead limit, it created nothing short of an uproar. There were no shortage of opinions, both for and against¿and no one seemed at all shy about voicing their side. Of course, this morning produced the joint AMA/FIM resolution of the situation and reinstatement of Ricky’s San Diego points, so here’s a sampling of this week’s opinions (both pre- and post-announcement, visual and verbal), that we received on www.transworldmx.com.

Pre-Annoucement

The AMA has really done it now.  They had to go and ruin the best supercross season in history.  The gas rule is complete garbage, and now it has most likely robbed Ricky of his 2006 title hopes, and it has robbed me of finally seeing an exciting supercross series go down to the wire.  Along with Ricky, I’m sure Chad and James are not happy about this, as whoever does win is going to have a supercross title that will always be tainted by this incident.  Ricky is no cheater and I think he’s the best rider on the planet.  Just wait till the nationals!  Go #4! 

Eli, via www.transworldmx.com

Great mag, RC, face it, you were caught cheating. If you’re such a great champion, you will go out there and prove it. If you quit SX, thank you. Please retire and make everyone happy. No one likes a cheater….

Via www.transworldmx.com

I hate to admit it, but when the Atlanta SX aired I really did not care about the season any longer. I am a life-long fan and had waited eagerly for every event this year as always, but the Leaded Fuel fiasco drained all my desire.

If it hit a grassroots fan this bad I can’t image how badly it hurt the growing number of newly converted and not yet technically-savvy fans drawn in by the added TV coverage and (finally) a title chase that involved more three rounds or one rider.

I feel for those new fans, they had probably just finally figured out why there were two sets of points displayed to confuse them every week and why the classes were named after beer ads only to face this. The top dog being ousted from the battle over a minor technicality. Something everyone agreed, even the people invoking the rule, had no performance benefit whatsoever.

In my opinion, the implication that the AMA was caught off guard by the change to 4 strokes is bull. The 125/250F/Bud Light class has been essentially 4 stroke-only for years. In that class horsepower is always God so surely the AMA has a good idea by now of what fuels are or are not horsepower-cheating for 4 stroke factory racing?

As you may have guessed, I am an RC fan. About the only guy I respect more is DeCoster. And I have always been a Suzuki guy so believe me when it I say it hurts to make this next statement, but…

The worst thing the AMA can do now is reinstate RCs’ points, or go back on this ruling in any way.

Everyone, even the AMA, may agree that the rule is outdated, unfair, and needs revision, but this situation is like that bad argument you had with your former girlfriend. You both may not have meant the things you said in anger, you both may have sincerely apologized, but once it was done and the words had been put out there, you both knew that it was over. There was no way to go back and undo the damage and all attempts just delayed the inevitable.

Unfortunately for RC, Suzuki, and all SX fans out there, any attempt now to go back on this rule will just make our series and the AMA look even more unfair, uneducated, and unprofessional. And all those new fans who had not already changed the channel back to their conventional sports will surely do so instantly.

Listen up AMA, everyone has already noted a billion times, on TV and elsewhere, that this happened to the other big players in years past, and the rules always sck then. To imply you are concerned that this keep happening when there is no performance gain, and to say the riders themselves are not the ones’ directly responsible but still keep penalizing them is not helping. Yes, this may be the first time it hits the title chase so hard and yes that is unfortunate, but it is what it is. It is a cliché, but the rules are the rules.

The mistake was in not addressing this rule back when it was argued about in prior years with other teams. The AMA had more than one off-season to instate a rule change before it ever had a chance to ruin the best SX year in history.

In my opinion, what the AMA needs to do now is what they should have done years ago, finish the season with the same rules you all agreed to start it with, then revise the rulebook  intelligently for next year. Backpedaling is not respected anywhere and will just compound the problems.

via www.transworldmx.com

I was just reading your comments that Brendan wrote about RC and his fuel. I can’t believe that Rger and RC are saying that lead could have gotten in there from a funnel or a lead line. If that was true why have we not seen any problems in three years from the other teams? That aside, I also can’t believe that you said that leaded fuel doesn’t add performance. I have rode bikes with leaded fuel and unleaded fuel and I can tell a gain in performance and yes it was a four stroke. THe motor was smoother and was snappier with leaded fuel. Maybe you should bust out the dyno and do a shootout in your next issue with a two and four stroke using race fuel and unleaded.

~David

Post-Announcement

I will start out by saying that I am in fact an RC fan but this press release that I just read quite honestly is complete B.S.  For years I’ve heard about the AMA being a joke and now they have showed everyone that rumor is true.  How in the world can you give RC his points back after screwing Reed, Stewart, and Byre with the same issue just a few years ago. I understand their point, but to anyone who has a brain it’s going to look as if they rewrote the rulebook for a whining RC.  You want to change the rule fine change the rule, but don’t screw up the whole series now two times in a row.  Give RC the penalty, and change the rule later or next year.  If I were Chad Reed I’d be livid and rightly so.  the AMA might as well have given Chad the fuel penalty for Christ sakes!.  It really bothers me as a SX fan watching for years waiting to see a battle and the AMA has pardon my French but f’d it all to hell!  You can’t penalize three of the best riders one year, and then the next year Let another rider get away with it because RC is in a title race especially when Reed is in that race to.  The rule has been in effect for three years…and like the AMA originally said…the rule sucks yes but the fact that they denied Reed Byrne and Stewart the ability to challenge the rule it should have stayed consistent for the remainder of the year but instead they AMA created a whole circus around RC and rewrote the book for the guy…and left Reed Byrne and Stewart out to dry….to be honest I’m not even sure that i want to watch the rest of the series thanks to the AMA.

Sincerely,
A Disappointed Weekend Warrior

Our take? We just hope everyone can forget about the bitterness, and focus back on the riders and racing. We also hope that if this is a rule that the teams really have a problem with, that they and the AMA can work out the differences (and whether or not a team can appeal) before it becomes an issue again.

Here are the current points:

AMA Supercross

  1. Chad Reed 171
  2. Ricky Carmichael 165
  3. James Stewart 152
  4. Ivan Tedesco 126
  5. Michael Byrne 118
  6. Nick Wey 117
  7. Ernesto Fonseca 110
  8. Mike LaRocco 108
  9. Travis Preston 67
  10. Ryan Clark 65

World Supercross

  1. Ricky Carmichael 217
  2. Chad Reed 211
  3. James Stewart 211
  4. Ivan Tedesco 173
  5. Michael Byrne 164
  6. Nicholas Wey 163
  7. Jeff Gibson 113
  8. Ryan Clark 112
  9. Jason Thomas 110
  10. Tyler Evans 94

Next stop, Daytona…

li>

  • Ernesto Fonseca 110
  • Mike LaRocco 108
  • Travis Preston 67
  • Ryan Clark 65
  • World Supercross

    1. Ricky Carmichael 217
    2. Chad Reed 211
    3. James Stewart 211
    4. Ivan Tedesco 173
    5. Michael Byrne 164
    6. Nicholas Wey 163
    7. Jeff Gibson 113
    8. Ryan Clark 112
    9. Jason Thomas 110
    10. Tyler Evans 94

    Next stop, Daytona…