The industry was rocked at the seventh round of 2019 Monster Energy Supercross on Saturday night. Tyler Bowers made an aggressive move on Justin Barcia, which soon became a video that went viral on social media, and was later disqualified from the event by the AMA. It was a baffling decision and one that hasn't been explained by the powers that be yet. Bowers, however, has voiced his concerns. Although one would think that he would be irrational and driven by emotion, he actually sees both sides of the situation and offers up some thought-provoking points.
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"First off, I would like to apologise for what happened last night to my teams 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 angle 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. However, 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 received 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) decision. The real problem I have is with the lack of consistency in which these multiple sanctioning bodies base their decisions upon in these types of matters. There have already been numerous incidents brought to the officials' attention by me and other racers regarding @JustinBarcia's over-the-top and aggressive racing tactics.
"For example, I am 200Ibs and 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 organisations 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 unfinished 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 gear 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 taken. Recently, the most comparable instance happened moments after my penalty was handed out. I'm sorry @Freckle66, but I'm going to use you as an example. In the exact same corner, the exact same action 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 do 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."
Words: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX