British Arenacross Pro rider Gradie Featherstone has admitted he was wrong in his actions after fellow AX competitor Ashley Greedy took out Featherstone on track in the head-to-head race in Birmingham last Saturday.
Shortly after the event, Ashley Greedy was banned for 18 months and Gradie Featherstone for 12 months.
Publicly, both riders have kept schtum about the incident. That is until last night when Featherstone broke his silence.
In a long, well-considered and heartfelt statement released on his Facebook Page Featherstone took a deep dive into the emotions of that night in Birmingham, his Arenacross past, why he has fallen out of love with the sport in the UK, his passion for racing, his disappointment with the MCF and why he doesn’t blame Ashley Greedy.
Despite his ban, Featherstone is still keen to race the next round at Wembley and holding his hands up and admitting his actions were wrong is a step in the right direction.
If you have time, read the statement in full and see what you think. As always, you can hit us up on social media with your own thoughts and observations. When will we see Featherstone and Greedy line-up for AX again? I don’t know but should they be punished for a year or more? Read below and then let us know…
Here is Gradie Featherstone’s statement:
After the weekends activities and behaviour shown in our sport. I finally wanted to say my bit and address my feelings and attitude towards racing not just on the weekend and the incident between myself and Ashley Greedy but the whole entirety of racing in the UK.
But I’ll begin with the current news, firstly I am not blaming Ashley Greedy for any of what went down on Saturday, Ashley rode the way I would only expect him to ride. My upset and disappointment solely lies with the MCF. I have travelled across the world and the only events I have found to be close to some of what we can see in other countries are events run by Matt Bates and the MCF team. To receive this punishment for Saturday nights event has left me feeling completely disconnected from the last possible series that I felt like I could be excited to line up on a gate in the UK.
Yes I do believe the attempted pass by Ashley was something that could have ended a whole lot worse and maybe I was wrong to then stand in front of his bike after the take down. But emotions were extremely high and adrenaline was pumping, with that said if we didn’t have emotion in racing then we shouldn’t be on the gate! I have made some mistakes over the years when emotion has got the better of me, but this was not the case here. You can clearly see from the video after picking my bike up I then made my own decision to not continue or wait for Greedy, a small amount of words were had in the pits by both parties. Would you expect none to be had? But, for the situation it was minimal and I personally tried my hardest to not escalate this situation further.
I am tired of being completely alienated by the sport I love in the country I am from. Decisions were made up by many people some time ago about me, but anyone who has taken a moment to get to know me for who I really am, knows the truth. I am a racer! I am passionate about everything I do, I train hard, I focus and appreciate every bit of help I receive from anyone to get me to the races! But, the most important thing to me is when I line up on a gate I want to win, always! It’s simple, that’s how I am and I will always be proud of that.
The UK motocross/supercross scene has become nothing short of a popularity contest and riders are blown up for all the wrong reasons. We all know I had an incident with Ashley Greedy the weekend. But who wrote about me or supported me when I qualified for 6 AMA supercross main events? You type my name in on youtube and you see another well known AX rider kicking me in the head when we went down, where at? A MCF Arenacross event! Was he banned for 12 months? No!
This was posted by one of the UK’s biggest Moto media platforms [and] not a fan! Promoters and the media are happy to promote this kind of behaviour on social media and online but now for some reason it’s different.
We are all racers at the end of the day, when I line up on the gate I do not want to feel like I have a target on my back. Yes I want to win, but I don’t want for anyone to get hurt. It’s about time we all grew up! The best thing Matt Bates and the MCF could have done is make a real example of the behaviour and call a meeting of all us riders and lay down some actual rules and responsibilities that we are held too. You can’t promote a rider in a certain light to draw in ticket sales and then punish them when they live up to that.
I am a racer, Ashley is a racer, everyone on that gate is a racer! I want to be on the gate at Wembley and prove I deserve to be there just like anyone else. Let’s just race our bikes and leave this rubbish behind. It’s about time all this anger was dropped and we promote this sport we all love.
I’d also like to take the time to thank everyone who has supported me and followed my racing, I truly appreciate it.