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ROAD RACING - Hayes Disqualified From Daytona 200
By Henny Ray Abrams
Photo By Henny Ray Abrams (Photo © Cycle News, Inc. 2007)
Shocker3/8/2008

Daytona 200 winner Josh Hayes was disqualified after his Erion Honda CBR600RR was found to be in violation of AMA technical rules.

In the post-race teardown, the crankshaft on the race-winning Honda was found to be “polished, surface treated and metal was removed from it,” AMA Pro Racing said in a press release announcing the infraction. “This is in violation of the 2008 AMA rulebook section 5.4.”

The release cites a section of the rulebook which states that for multi-cylinder liquid-cooled machines, the homologated crankshaft “may not be altered from the originally homologated model except that the “Bearing surfaces may be polished or surface treated."

Team owner Kevin Erion was told by a team member of the infraction just before flying home to California. Rick Hobbs, Hayes’ crew chief, said the team would appeal.

“We’ve appealed their decision and basically that’s our side of it,” he said in a Saturday evening phone call. He said he was notified just before the team left the track. “We’ve appealed the technical inspection and also the penalty, disqualification.”

Hobbs didn’t dispute the wording of the AMA's charges, saying, “That’s their terminology, the interpretation of what’s the reason for the infraction. At this point we’re not going to make any statement on what our version is until we file the appropriate paperwork with them.”

The appeal process begins with the filing, which “must be received at AMA Racing headquarters by 5:00 p.m. on the third business day after notification to the participant via fax, telephone, or mail of the ruling or incident in question,” according to the AMA Road Race rulebook. The appeal board, which is chosen by the Senior Director of Racing, consists of three people “with no material interest in the matter at hand,” the rulebook states. The appeal will take place within 45 days of the incident.

With Hayes’ disqualification, Attack Kawasaki becomes the winner for the second year in a row. And for the second year in a row, Pirelli tires sweeps the podium.

Attack Kawasaki's Chaz Davies becomes the winner, teammate and 2007 Daytona 200 winner Steve Rapp is second, and Leo Vince Foremost Insurance Ducati Racing’s Larry Pegram is third.

Reached late Saturday night, Davies said he was “absolutely shocked. I’ll believe it a bit more when I see it (the AMA release). I’m shocked, but also gutted for Josh (Hayes)," with whom he's friends. "If Josh isn’t the eventual winner, obviously this stuff is out of his control. He deserved to win the 200. He was on a mission. I feel bad for him. I like Josh and feel bad for him. Just shocked and see what happens.”

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