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This rule is obviously a joke. It is rarely enforced (and almost never enforced against a factory star). Every week we see riders in the Supercross series run wide in the first turn and ride down the access lane for 100 feet before rejoining the race in 10th place, when they left the track in 20th. Nothing is ever done to them by the AMA. At Anaheim 2, two guys ran wide and the second guy sped up and passed the first guy while they were off the track. That is wrong on every count. The idea that as long as the rider doesn’t gain an advantage negates the fact that he made a mistake and couldn’t stay on the track. He shouldn’t be rewarded for making a mistake. Had he tried to stay on the track, he would have lost positions or time. To say that just because he didn’t pass anyone, thus there was no foul, is stupid. Everyone else tried to stay on the racing surface and the offending rider should be penalized for leaving the track boundaries. Not enforcing this rule punishes the riders who stay on the track, while rewarding the ones who don’t.
This rule should be rewritten — and any rider who leaves the boundaries of the racing surface should have to give the spot to the rider behind him or be punished 5 seconds at the end of the race. If the “race director or his designee” determines that the rider wasn’t off the surface in an egregious manner, they could lessen the penalty. But, some penalty comes with every infraction of the track’s boundaries. The AMA has never learned that rules are no good if they are not enforced. And this rule is not enforced.