Friday, January 22, 2016

Blue Flags

Imagine that your in the heat of a battle. I don't really care what position its for. All the hard work and dedication to the sport is put on the line on a Saturday night, under the lights and in front of thousands of fans. Your focused on your goals and then, blue flags.
Flaggers at races like Supercross bring order to the chaos. Photo: Chris Ganz (browndogwilson.net)
 Blue flags in the sport of motocross are used to symbolize that you are a rider who is about to be lapped. The leaders are coming and now you should just get out of the way. They are waived aggressively at riders who "are not in the race." But, aren't all the riders on the track "in the race?" Whether it's for first and second or fourteenth and fifteenth, it's still a race for position. 

Although the leaders are turning lap times that are on occasion a couple of seconds quicker than the riders deeper in the field, those riders are still fighting for position and a difference of a couple hundred dollars in their purse money. A couple hundred dollars that could be the difference in getting to the next round. 

The cream will always rise to the top. It's a line that most have used or heard. It's not any different in this sport. The leaders will find a way around and deal with lappers as a part of the race. Their should be a respect that every guy who makes the main gate has the skill to be there. The ability to hold their line and race clean. 

I'm not a NASCAR guy by any means, but I do know that those guys lap guys like crazy and not once is a car not on the lead lap warned to yield to the coming traffic. Hell, they are encouraged to fight for their position and get back to that lead lap. 

So maybe blue flags are needed in qualifying, but are they needed in race situations? Does yielding to the leaders better the race for the win or ruin the chances at a career best finish for a privateer? 

-Kyle Pesci

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