Daytona Supercross… A Shooter’s View

What Happened to "The Shot"?

Winter is over and spring break got a lot of bikers down to Florida to celebrate Daytona Bike Week 2010, as well as the traditional Daytona Supercross. Daytona Supercross is always the last resort for good action images, because this one is not run by the same image-restrictive organization as the rest of the SX races are.

Hence, all the real good shooters look forward to the race every year, and so do I. Daytona is the last real SX left to get "The Shot."

This year a mandatory media meeting before the race put an end to that era, pretty much forcing all the amateur photo rules onto photo professionals, which results in having pro photo work look like amateur work. Only a few spots were assigned to shoot from, the rest was off limits. Shooters not obeying these will get kicked out and never are allowed to come back, we were told. Some photographers had just been in too dangerous places.

While saying all the bad things the, great-action-shot-terminator (aka field marshal) was looking always at me, and I agree that he had darn good reasons for that from the past. I always say we only last for 80-100 years, but a great photo lasts forever! Lets go for it.

All right, that was a joke, but the issue is still alive. The organizations do kill the sport by not getting out images that tell the amazing excitement SX and MX has! Why bother doing to these events if they look boring, right? Fellow professional shooter Kinney Jones asked the right question during that meeting: "Are these new rules coming from the same people who ruined road racing too?" He almost was asked to leave after that.

True, I understand this is America with lots of starving lawyers and the organizations do to have to protect themselves from a non-professional trying to sue them for their own stupidity. The solution is on the road. You can only legally hit the highway if you have a driver license and proof of insurance.

Do the same here. Let only pros in with insurance, which real pros do have, and let us do our work. If killing ourselves is part of it, so it is (makes great action, too). It will leave the non-pro shooters out of the track and will Darwin-eliminate the stupid ones after a few good rounds.

The rules do not make sense, nor do they protect the guys who do not know too much about the sport. See this accompanying shot above from Millsaps crashing and almost taking a shooter out. He was following the rules and shot from an approved position. But, he was not a MX pro, who knows what to look and hear for.

FELD, AMA and whoever is listening: Change these rules and help us show what the sport is really about! No shooters have been killed in 25 years of SX, but how many CNN shooters do? Nobody is holding them back.

Frank Hoppen


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