Around noon on Wednesday, the AMA and FIM came down with a bombshell of an announcement. This involved set penalties on four 450 class riders for a red cross flag violation Tuesday night in Houston.
The four riders that have received penalties include Vince Friese, Martin Davalos, Jason Anderson, and most notably now-former points leader Ken Roczen. The violation in question is that each of the four riders was alleged by race control to intentionally jump through a section where a downed rider needed medical attention (Chase Sexton). The penalty for the four riders is a loss of two positions, also the deduction of two extra points. However, one rider has taken to Instagram to plead his case that his penalty was unjustified.
As stated, the penalty is for intentionally jumping through a section with an injured rider. Roczen, via his Instagram, has some photographic evidence that helps his case. In his post, he shows that Dylan Ferrandis, who was in front of him at the time, was blocking the track staffer holding up the red cross flag from his line of sight. This forced Roczen to miss the flag and continuing as if everything was fine. There is an article in the rulebook that states if race control determines a rider unintentionally jumps through a section with a red cross flag active, a warning or fine would be issued as opposed to a points deduction. It feels like the powers-at-be made a mistake in their ruling here. Unfortunately, this penalty could come back to bite Roczen down the road.
In the aftermath of this penalty, he has dropped from first-place in points to fifth. Thankfully, he only finds himself back of the now new points leader, Justin Barcia, by a meager three points. As for the other three riders concerning the points standings, Anderson fell from 11th to 13th, Friese fell from 15th to 17th, and Davalos fell from 19th to 21st.
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