Several Supercross racers are saying track treatments at last weekend’s San Diego races caused chemical burns on their bodies and damage to their motorcycles.
In case you missed the racing, last weekend’s Supercross action was super-soggy, and track staff at Petco Park applied a drying agent made of sand and lime to the track in an attempt to dry it out. This is something you see in motocross—track maintenance crews may treat the track to improve sloppy conditions. It’s been standard practice in Supercross for a long, long time.
But, there was a problem last weekend. Supercross promoter Feld Entertainment said the track crew put the mixture in two places on the track, but the heavy rainfall Saturday prevented the lime from mixing with the track soil. That resulted in riders, and their bikes, being sprayed with a much heavier concentration of lime than they might usually expect in those situations, and the fallout was nasty.
After the race, several riders posted photos of themselves to Instagram, showing off chemical burns. Vann Martin’s post said “I’m all messed up from the weekend. Burns all over my body from the lime in the dirt. … My legs, stomach, chest, shoulders, nipples, butt, and balls are all scraped up. The bottom of my butt cheeks are by far the worst … .” Ken Roczen posted “It’s so bad that i can Barely sit today for real! Nipples are pretty much gone too lol. This sucks.”
Other riders posted photos of bike parts that had been severely corroded by the chemical mixture. Tyler Bowers said his bike was ruined, and his mechanic posted the video below:
Thankfully, organizers do seem to realize there’s a problem, as Feld Entertainment’s statement said they’re reaching out to affected riders “to assess the extent of the impact, ensure their welfare and get them back on their bikes racing.” The statement also said they’re reviewing their process for dealing with excessive water on the track to stop the same thing from happening again.