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                                          AMA Claiming rule

   The AMA claiming rule was originally written for dirt track racing to keep the equipment fair in a sport that was relatively static as far as equipment was concerned at that time. It was written long before motocross had arrived and long before the Japanese factories were developing very expensive works bikes for research and development that was supposed to filter down to the companies production bikes.  AMA Championships equaled increased sales and while motocross in the US was relatively young at this time, it was growing at an exponential rate. During the seventies motocross was in a hyper-evolution phase with engine, chassis and suspension design.  The factories were not only trying to win on Sunday and sell on Monday with their factory teams, they were competing against each other to build the best production bike to sell to the public.  It was not uncommon for a production bike to be outdated in six months after it was released and at the works bike level this could occur on a week by week basis.  The price of some of the Japanese works bikes in 1976 was approaching the price of the National median home value of $44,000.00. The Type 2 Honda's probably exceeded that while a production 125 sold for less than $1000.00.  While all this was going on the claiming rule in the AMA rule book remained, in fact it was virtually forgotten until May 23rd 1976.

   The rule stated that any rider in the race with another rider could purchase the bike the other rider was riding for a sum. In 1976 the sum for a 125 was $2500.00. If rider A wanted to own rider B's bike, both riders had to compete against each other in the same race. Rider A had 30 minutes from the time the checkered flag fell on the first place rider to notify the AMA referee of the claim of rider B's bike. He then had to give the Ref the required funds in the form of a Certified Check or Cash. If rider B wanted to keep his bike he could also file a claim on the bike, put up the cash and then there would be a lottery or drawing to decide who would get the bike.  In 1976 the factories worked together to counter claim any bike that might be claimed by having all of their riders that were in the same race as the bike being claimed, file a claim on the bike.  The mistake both riders made in 1976 was filing too soon.  Had Boone waited till the last minute to file the claim on Hannah's OW27, He would have owned it.