Hitachi ASA KTM UK’s Conrad Mewse had a tough day he probably would like to forget at Blaxhall after being hit with a five-place penalty. But while Mewse will need to put this controversy behind him as gets ready for Kegums this weekend, team owner Roger Magee has been left unhappy with the ACU and is looking for changes to be made.
Mewse was deemed to have jumped a table-top under waved yellow flags at the Blaxhall round of the 2018 Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship and the ACU hit the MX2 championship leader with a five-place penalty.
The former 85cc world champion is adamant there was no waved yellow while Magee is less than happy with the way the incident was handled by the ACU.
We caught up with Magee to get his take on what happened. He doesn’t hold back.
DBR: Moving on to Conrad Mewse, he was again fastest in qualifying but had some problems in the races. In race 2 he hit the gate and came from dead last to win but it’s the penalty in race 1 that everyone is talking about, what can you tell us about that?
Roger Magee: The first that I heard was secondhand from a team member and that was about 45 minutes after the race. Conrad had lost his rear brake on the first lap, so we took the damaged brake cylinder to show the ACU and prove that he didn’t have a rear brake. The race director Steve McCauley didn’t want to know! He said it was a statement of fact.
We didn’t get the statement of fact report until about two o’clock and the time on the report had been changed. He said that two other team managers had approached him but that he had witnessed the incident himself and was not influenced by them. I asked to see any video evidence and he said it wasn’t available, and because it’s a statement of fact there’s no appeal allowed.
It doesn’t seem very democratic that there’s no chance to make any representation or appeal.
Conrad is adamant that there were no flags when he exited the corner and as he was getting roosted he had his head down until he looked up at the table-top. He had no rear brake anyway, and Steve McCauley said he should have used his front brake, so we’re not happy with that assessment.
It also seems like it’s open to abuse if other team managers are trying to influence decisions to benefit their riders, but maybe that’s the only way they think they can win a championship.
DBR: Mel Pocock was also penalised, did you speak to him?
RM: Yes, I went with Mark Yates, Mel’s team manager, to see the race director again and he said Mel had accepted the penalty but on the podcast after the race, Mel said he disagreed with the penalty and that the incident was clear when they jumped.
DBR: What do you think should happen?
RM: Well in football they have a video referee as well as the linesmen and ref to make decisions. How can one man see everything at a motocross race, and get everything right? There needs to be a right to appeal and consider other evidence, and we should get told officially not find out from a third-party.
There’s also the issue of consistency with the marshals. I know they volunteer and do a fantastic job, but some do get a bit carried away, waving the flag when it should be held and that needs to be looked at. Perhaps the ACU should consider a different coloured ‘no jumping’ flag approaching big jumps to remove the interpretation of waved or stationary yellow flags.