News 18 Apr 2017

West wins, disqualified amid ARRC controversy

Versatile Queenslander denied of race two victory in Thailand.

Source: Supplied.

Ex-grand prix campaigner Anthony West has labelled the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) as ‘corrupt’ after being disqualified from both races at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand over the weekend.

West charged to third in the opening race and then broke through to win the second with Akeno Speed Racing aboard a Yamaha, but was later disqualified from both results following a controversial political dispute.

“The biggest proof about the politics in racing!” West wrote on social media. “After winning the race here in Thailand, as always all the bikes go to a holding area after the race. The top three bikes were told to check the cam-shafts. As we have nothing to hide, my mechanics took out the cams and showed the FIM scrutineer. Our cam passed the test as being a standard Yamaha part. Then the organisers and Thai Yamaha tried to push the FIM scrutineer to make my team pull out the motor.

“Motors can only be pulled out with a formal protest and a payment from another team. As this was never done by Thai Yamaha, they had no power to pull out our motors, so together the organisers and Thai Yamaha got the FIM scrutineer fired from his job! Without any FIM scrutineer they tried to take over the situation and make us pull the motor out. As we could see nothing was done in the correct way and following the rules, we could see they were trying to cheat us.

“We never pull out our motor and also Thai Yamaha refused to take out their motor, but because we are in Thailand they tried to use their power together with the organisers of ARRC to control the situation. It’s disappointing to be so badly treated here just because we are a private team with no power. I won the race fairly. They are being bad losers and not following the rules of racing, so I’m sorry to say I have been disqualified from yesterday and today’s ARRC race here in Thailand.

“I know my bike was not the fastest on the track, I’m confident in my team and the work they do and I’m sad for this situation. I know how hard they work and how happy they were for our results this weekend, also for my hard work in the race. I rode that bike as hard as I could from seventh to first and I didn’t win it easy. I’m sad to see the ARRC is full of this type of politics and will make a decision this week if I will continue in this corrupt Asia Road Racing Championship.”

A statement from FIM Asia explained the situation from their perspective, adamant that West’s team didn’t remove the cams as West claimed: “SuperSports 600cc bike number 13, Anthony West (Akeno Speed Racing), was excluded from the results of race one and race two in round two of the 2017 FIM Asia Road Racing Championship that took place at the Chang International Circuit in Thailand on April 14 and 15, 2017.

“Team Akeno Speed Racing had refused to strip the motorcycle at parc ferme for post-race scrutineering. This was an infringement of the technical procedures and was the cause for the disqualification. After the SuperSports 600cc race two, the top three bikes were told to provide various parts of their engine for post-race scrutineering, a common procedure done at the end of every race weekend. There was no protest made by any of the teams with regards to the post-race scrutineering. Team mechanics for bike number 13 were against the order to do so.

“At the end of the time stipulated to strip their engines, team mechanics for bike number 13 rolled the bike out of the scrutineering area in full comprehension that if they do so without stripping their engine, they will be disqualified. Throughout the hour-long stipulated time, not a single bolt was removed from bike number 13. Post-race scrutineering finished with bike number 25 and bike number 24 – both teams had provided the necessary parts for inspection.

“An amended result was issued at 1723 hrs ICT for race two at round two. Subsequently, an amended result for race one at round two was also made, because the post-race scrutineering affects both races as the engines are sealed. Hence, any infringement on the technical side would affect results in both race one and race two. When the amended results were issued at 1723 hrs ICT, no protest were made against the amended results.

“The technical director walked out, therefore resigning his position at 1350 ICT during the post-race scrutineering for the Underbone 150cc motorcycles and prior to the SuperSports 600cc race. He was not present during the SuperSports 600cc race two. His duties were continued by Mr. Somchow Thanawin, a licensed FIM Technical Steward (license number 11344) for the remainder of the races.

“The FIM Asia Road Racing Championship is organised to the standards as laid down by the FIM and the FIM Asia. There was no injustice caused in any way to any participant or team. It is equally disappointing when accusations and assumptions were made without full understanding of the facts and proper processes of the rules laid in motorsports that emphasises the highest standards for sportsmanship and professionalism.”

Following West’s disqualification, opening race winner Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman (Manual Tech KYT Kawasaki Racing) was also awarded the race two victory and now holds a commanding championship lead following two rounds.