I spoke at length with John Gallagher yesterday about the decision. Here is what he said, and it makes perfect sense.
John was not in position to see RV, the lights, etc when it happened, but he immediately got a call on his radio from an AMA official who had a perfect view from the scoring tower, saying that "second place was committed" and there was no infraction. After the race, Jeremy Albrecht came to John while he was down by the podium and asked him to review the tape. They went up to the TV booth, where they waited a few minutes for Ralph, RC and Emig to wrap up, after which they reviewed the tape. One of the cameras had a perfect angle and view of the entire incident. Here's the deal:
First, the flashing yellow lights in the corner are programmed to come on when the red light at the top of the jump does. As we all know, the yellow lights require the rider to do nothing, other than proceed with caution. You can pass under a yellow flag. The yellow lights were what RV saw as he entered the turn and went over that little roller going into the turn. Obviously, to clear that jump the riders have to be committed going into the turn and totally on it as they exit, which is exactly what RV did. I made the point to John that technically none of the riders behind RV could have been penalized had they all jumped the triple, because they all could have made the same argument. Thankfully, no one did, because obviously they had more time than RV did to see what was going on and the red lights at the top of the jump etc.
John agreed, and everyone is grateful that there was no pile-up and they are rectifying the situation so it will not happen again. The obvious way to do that is to change the yellow lights in the turn to red, so that the riders will know sooner and have time to slow and roll the jumps. John already talked to Mike LaRocco, Sr, who does the wiring and they will have the change in place this weekend for any similar obstacles.
Another thing to consider is that the riders see flashing yellow lights a lot during a race, especially since the installation of the additional yellow lights that are placed between lanes. They used to have flaggers standing between lanes, but it was too dangerous for them, so those guys have been replaced with yellow lights. So the riders are pretty much numb to the flashing yellow lights, since they see them whenever someone falls in a turn after one of those straights.
So there's no conspiracy, it had nothing to do with who the rider was, or who his sponsor is. The AMA official that made the real-time call didn't even notice who the rider was, referring to him as "second place". Everyone involved understands and is in agreement. The officials were made aware of something that needs to be changed and are doing so. The best part is that no one got hurt in the process. That's how things evolve and are made better, especially safety-related items.