Race Head #15 – Racer X

Since we’re on Lucas Oil Pro Motocross, I have to go back to the Evgeny Bobryshev issue, because there’s a lot of misinformation suddenly circulating – just like there was after Grant Langston decided to quit doing the shows television last summer for NBC Sports and MAVTV, and it kind of became my fault to a few very misinformed people.

The question of whether Evgeny should participate in the national championships this summer is already a question that has already been discussed several weeks ago by others in independent international sports authority positions. There’s no doubt that with the attrition rate as it is, we can use all the fast guys we can get. However, this issue has already been addressed by the FIM, with its suspension of anything related to the Russian Motorcycling Federation, which was announced on March 5 and which WADA must adhere to.

Somehow someone turned everything upside down, as if it was my personal decision, or my idea, or my choice.

It’s not.

I have absolutely nothing to do with Evgeny Bobryshev’s eligibility to race in America or anywhere else at this time, nor do I have a say in anyone else’s FIM eligibility. (and that includes both Antonio Cairoli and Jeffrey Herlings, for what that’s worth). I simply explained the situation here to Racerhead, as well as to Evgeny directly, and to members of the team he was hoping to ride for this summer. Although very disappointed, they all seemed to understand. And yet, it continues to be entirely on me for a few who don’t understand or just don’t want to understand, seemingly because it’s me, and it affects their ability to see things with a clear mind.

Again, here’s the announcement made by FIM North America on March 10 – literally five weeks ago – and long before we even knew Bobryshev had an interest in racing in America (I thought he was going to race in the British National Championships, but this FIM proclamation also overruled it).

On March 5, 2022, the Board of Directors of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) announced its condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its decision to suspend the Russian Motorcycling Federation (MFR) and the Belarusian Motorcycling Federation. Sport Motocycliste (BFMS ) therefore. The FIM Bureau also recommended that all affiliated members of the FIM and the FIM Continental Unions take similar measures.

In accordance with this decision and the recommendation of the FIM Bureau, the FIM North America Board of Directors has unanimously approved the action of the FIM Bureau and will honor its request by prohibiting riders from the Russian and Belarusian motorcycling federations from participating in the activities of FIM North America.

In accordance with this measure, riders from these federations will also be prohibited from participating in the activities of the two member federations of FIM North America, the Canadian Motorcyclist Association and the American Motorcyclist Association.

Riders are generally required to obtain departure permits from their home federation to race in a foreign country or to be released from their home federation to the federation of the country hosting the event. Since the rights and privileges of the Russian and Belarusian federations have been suspended by the FIM, neither can grant start permission or provide permission. In practice, riders from these federations are already banned from riding in other countries by the original action of the FIM.

Bobryshev was released to run from the MFR on March 30, well after the restrictions were announced. The FIM hasn’t recognized it and won’t recognize it, and there’s nothing WADA can do. Period.

But there is something I was wrong – and thankfully – that I didn’t realize until Wednesday night as I drove home, and it just might give Bobryshev a place to race this summer after all. . It turns out that the Canadian National Motocross Championships are not sanctioned by the FIM-affiliated CMA, but rather by the non-aligned, independent offshoot CMRC, which has no connection to the FIM or FIM North America ( and, by proxy, the AMA) and really can do whatever they want. I didn’t realize this loophole until it was pointed out to me that this is how Cade Clason was able to race in Canada during his FIM/AMA suspension, and I’m sure Bobryshev knows that now too. Maybe he will find his way up there to run, at least until this tragic war in Ukraine is over and the world can return to normal, and then the MTF will free him and some other Russian pilots, so that they can participate again wherever they wish.

As for people calling me a ‘xenophobe’ and a ‘dictator’ or whatever in this whole situation, while I’m flattered that someone thinks I have so much influence in the process of decision making of anything is as laughable as it is misinformed. We’ve hosted international riders from all over the planet – that’s what makes AMA Pro Motocross and AMA Supercross such an exciting sport on a global scale. But what can you do about people who want more attention than the simple, honest truth? A very smart person once told me that you can’t make sense of nonsense, so don’t waste your time trying and keep going.

An eventful day this afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway, with 250 drivers from both regions together, an oversized track, and the return of drivers that we had not seen for a long time, like Austin Forkner. Once everyone hit the track, the key phrase was “big jumps,” and it was clear once the riders started doing laps. There was a massive, massive triple — over 100 feet — that generated a shocking hang time. We’ve all seen dirt bikes jump 100 feet, but seeing it over a steep, supercross-style obstacle feels different. As with any supercross obstacle, you need to land it perfectly. The 450s hit him first and Justin Barcia passed him, then when the 250s hit him, Hunter Lawrence got short, boxed and went over the bars. Luckily he was fine and came back to ride the second session later. Jason Anderson, however, decided not to return and race the second session, and soon they started leading riders around that massive jump. I have the impression that it will be changed for tomorrow. There’s also a big double after the whoops, which almost feels like throwing a wall jump. I don’t think the riders were thrilled about that too, so I would expect some changes.

Speaking of changes, tomorrow’s daytime schedule meant a track walk at 5:30. I think that’s changing too. Also, everyone is worried about the chances of a mud race. If you know me, you know I never predict slimes in advance. We will see.

The 250 East/West Showdown is the hottest topic here. Christian Craig told me that his goal, of course, was to care about the big picture and points in 250SX West, but he would also like to win the race. “There’s a lot of hype and building,” Craig said. “That’s part of it. So of course I want to do well, but the most important thing is to finish ahead of 29 and 96.”

I also joked with Hunter Lawrence and Michael Mosiman that most of the buzz is Christian Craig vs. Jett Lawrence, but this race is totally winnable by others, and often we see wild-card winners. Mosiman said he was absolutely motivated to go out and get this one.

Then there’s the return of Forkner, who actually wanted to come back last week from his broken collarbone, but the team told him to wait. He now has five days of supercross and doesn’t feel like he’s lost that much in his short time. Forkner just wants to get in the gates, because he decided not to come back and race supercross after a collarbone injury last year, and his outdoor season went badly. So he just takes the opposite approach this time.

About Frances R. Smith

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