NOTICE OF OFFENSE AND PENALTY
Date of Notice: May 27, 2015
Date of Offense: May 23, 2015
Event: Glen Helen National
Crew: Don Leib and Josh Pitts (aka Todd Pitts)
Ruling Official: Roy Janson, Competition Director
On May 23, 2015, Cade Clason was officially entered to compete in the 450 Class at the Glen Helen National in San Bernardino, California, and his motorcycle officially approved during the pre-race Technical Inspection process. Clason’s official registered machine was a 2015 Honda CRF450R. Through the qualifying process Clason made the Final 40 and was slated to compete in the main motos.
Approximately one hour prior to the start of the first moto, Josh Pitts, a technician familiar with Clason’s motorcycle, approached the machine where it was located in Clason’s pit area, and spoke with Clason’s mechanic, John Shelton, about an ongoing problem with the machine. Under the auspices that he could adjust the mapping for better performance, and Shelton gave Pitts access to the machine. Pitts attached a computer to the machine’s ECU, but instead of correcting the problem, disabled the mapping, thereby making the machine inoperable for competition. Pitts then left the area without disclosing to Shelton what he had done. Unbeknownst to Shelton, Don Leib had previously arranged for Pitts to disable the machine at the event in an effort to settle an ongoing dispute regarding an alleged outstanding debt.
Soon thereafter, both Pitts and Leib returned to the Clason pit area to confront the Clason family about the alleged debt. Leib was asked repeatedly to leave the Clason pit area. He refused and informed them what he had done to the bike, as a result of their failure to pay the money that he claimed was owed.
For nearly 30 minutes Leib argued with the family, indicating he could fix the problem if they would agree to pay. Leib admitted that he disabled the bike with the intention to “create leverage to have dialogue”. They refused to pay, and Leib and Pitts left the scene and the event prior to the commencement of the race. Leib recorded the confrontation surreptitiously.
The ownership of the machine and the status of the alleged debt or who owed it are irrelevant for the purposes of this determination. It is clear that the intent of the action was to force the Clason’s to agree to terms of payment under duress, at a time when they were under extreme pressure and time constraints.
This is a civil matter, and by engaging in self-help measures rather than means available through the civil judicial system, the pair intentionally interfered with the performance of a professional racer officially entered and qualified for a national event for the purpose of collecting a debt, and unnecessarily caused a scene in the paddock, requiring security and race officials to respond.
The actions of Leib and Pitts in sabotaging a machine officially entered in competition in an effort to collect a personal debt, were not only egregious and vindictive, but potentially endangered the welfare and safety of Clason in particular, and other riders and spectators in general.
Such conduct is deemed detrimental to the sport of motorcycle racing and thereby subject to disciplinary action, pursuant to Appendix A of the 2015 AMA Pro Racing Motocross Rule Book. Accordingly, the eligibility of Leib and Pitts to obtain an MX Sports Pro Racing credential is suspended indefinitely, and they are hereby prohibited from entering the Pro Paddock at any Lucas Oil Pro Motocross event until further notice. Violation of this prohibition will be deemed trespass and subject to criminal prosecution.
Signature of Official: /s/ Roy Janson