Big E’s Race Report: Round 11, Indianapolis

With 86 years of racing at The Brickyard, what can be said about the racing heritage that Indy has? One thing is for sure, the fans here love their Supercross.

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Pit and Heat Race Notes

I remember two years ago, when Garth covered the race here, there was a picture in TWMX of the track and the amount of brick and trash in the dirt was unbelievable. Maybe the dirt for this race is stored at a brickyard until the Supercross comes to town. This year’s dirt has improved greatly. The dirt used had just tiny traces of debris in it, and was moist and carvable.

Among those who were injured and not racing in Indy were Mike LaRocco, Grant Langston, Ivan Tedesco and Michael Byrne. LaRocco and Langston look to be out for the rest of the SX season while Tedesco is taking it one week at a time. Brock Sellards was sporting lots of tape after a mid-week practice crash, but was racing.

In the first 125cc heat race, Jesseman got the holeshot, but Mike Brown wasn’t letting him get away. About halfway through, Brown was within a second of Jesseman and his bike swapped sideways off of a jump. I couldn’t believe he saved it! Mike Brown looked awesome early on in the night program.

In the second 125 heat race, Kelly Smith got another holeshot, but Sellards quickly passed him. The top four after lap one were Sellards, Smith, Lalloz, Mills and Bentley. Matthieu Lalloz went down pretty hard off the table single. His back wheel had clipped the single and it slammed him to the ground. He got up and he was okay. A lot of riders are having a problem getting their rear wheel to clear this obstacle consistently. Top four in this race was Sellards, Smith, Bentley, and Mills.

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The first 250cc heat race had the desert dweller Travis Preston get the holeshot on his big 450. Second place was Reed and third was Josh Woods. With not even a lap in, Chad Reed fell down. He got right back up in eleventh, and started to attack again. Travis Preston led the heat race for almost five laps before being overtaken by Vuillemin. Then on lap five Chad Reed fell again! Just call him Mr. Butterwheels! Top four were Vuillemin, Preston, Hamblin, and Fonseca.

The second 250cc heat race had Heath Voss holeshotting with Lusk, RC and Ferry in tow. Almost right away Lusk went to the front and began to pull away. After five laps, RC would reel Lusk in and make a pass going under the finish line jump that had RC and his bike almost going down. This was a great race between RC and Lusk, and the crowd went crazy watching them duke it out.

Josh Woods got bucked off hard in the whoops in his 250cc semi, but would eventually get up under his own power.

The Mains

As the 125cc main got underway, Kelly Smith got yet another holeshot! Man if this kid could bottle those things up and sell them, he would make a million dollars. Sellards quickly got by, but he did not open up a big gap on Smith. After lap one, the running order was Sellards, Smith, Carroll, Metcalfe, Bentley, Jesseman and Brown.

Jesseman was on the move, getting past Bentley on lap two, and Metcalfe on lap four, to move into the top three.

On lap five, Kelly Smith clipped that same jump that jacked Lalloz up earlier in the night. It sent him sideways and over the bars and off to the inside of the track. Smith re-entered the track in sixth or seventh position. Too bad for Kelly.

On lap five, Sellards had approximately a six-second lead over second place.

Lap seven, and Jesseman had passed everyone except Sellards. The running order was Sellards, Jesseman, Metcalfe, Bentley and Brown.

Lap eight saw Bentley get by Metcalfe and move into the top three.

Lap nine, and Jesseman looked to be making up at least a second a lap on Sellards. Also, Mike Brown had just ssed Metcalfe for the fourth place spot.

Lap 10, and Jesseman had caught Sellards. He was right on his back tire, patiently waiting to make a move. Bentley was riding a great race. He looked so comfortable on his bike.

Then on lap 12, Jesseman made his move on Sellards, as the two went underneath the finish line jump.

On lap 13, Jesseman all ready began to open up a three-second lead on Sellards. Later in the lap, Mike Brown passed Bentley for third place.

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Then on lap 14, tragedy struck Brock Sellards, as he went down! He remounted but was in seventh place! Too bad for Brock, that could have been the championship for him and YoT. Jesseman won his second 125cc East main in Indy, while Shae Bentley got his first podium in years. There was some good racing for sure tonight in this class.

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125cc Main-Indianapolis (East round 3)

  1. Branden Jesseman (Suz)
  2. Mike Brown (Kaw)
  3. Shae Bentley (Suz)
  4. Brett Metcalfe (KTM)
  5. Kelly Smith (Yam)
  6. Erick Vallejo (Yam)
  7. Brock Sellards (Yam)
  8. Matthieu Lalloz (Suz)
  9. Ryan Morais (Suz)
  10. Ryan Mills (Hon)
  11. Paul Currie (Yam)
  12. Troy Carroll (Yam)
  13. Kevin Johnson (Yam)
  14. Tiger Lacey (Yam)
  15. Michael Blose (Yam)
  16. Steve Boniface (KTM)
  17. Tyson Hadsell (YAM)
  18. Josh Summey (Yam)
  19. Jeff Gibson (Suz)
  20. Barry Carsten (Suz)
  21. Shane Bess (Suz)
  22. Scott Metz (KTM)

As the 250cc main got underway, it saw Big Bird Larry Ward get his second straight holeshot in two weeks, but he went down in the first turn that was nearly 100 yards away from the starting gate.

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Travis Preston took over the lead with RC in tow. Then, RC and Fonseca passed Preston almost at the same time, as the track crosses over the first straight.

Lap two, and it shook out with RC, Fonseca, Preston, Vuillemin, Short, Reed and Lusk.

Lap three saw Vuillemin and Short get by Preston. Vuillemin went by Fonseca under the finish line jump.

As they start lap four, RC was getting away from Vuillemin a little bit with Fonseca, Preston, Short, Lusk and Hamblin. Vuillemin was just four seconds in back of RC at this point.

As the group started lap six, Reed got by Short and Lusk got by Preston.

On lap seven, Chad Reed got by Fonseca.

As lap nine started, Vuillemin is less than two seconds in back of RC.

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Lap 10 started and Sean Hamblin is pulling up on Lusk. Hammy is riding a great race and looked to have no problem running the pace with the seasoned factory riders.

On lap 12, Lusk went over the bars! Poor Ezra, he has been having some bad luck as of late.

Lap 14, and Short and Hamblin were having a great duel for the fifth place spot.

Lap 17 and Vuillemin did not gain any more time on RC. Hamblin finally got by Short and started to pull up on Fonseca. If Hammy had gotten by Short sooner, he might have been able to catch Fonseca.

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As the race came to an end, RC won his sixth 250 SX for 2003, followed by Vuillemin and Reed. This was a great ride for Team Sobe Suzuki’s Sean Hamblin and Motoworldracing.com’s Andrew Short. Both of the 125cc riders proved they have what it takes to be in the premiere class of Supercross. Vuillemin looked to have some newfound fire here in Indy, but is it too little too late?

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250cc Main-Indianapolis (Round 11)

  1. Ricky Carmichael (Hon)
  2. David Vuillemin (Yam)
  3. Chad Reed (Yam)
  4. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon)
  5. Sean Hamblin (Suz)
  6. Andrew Short (Suz)
  7. Heath Voss (Yam)
  8. Tim Ferry (Yam)
  9. Damon Huffman (Hon)
  10. Travis Preston (Hon)
  11. Keith Johnson (Yam)
  12. Nick Wey (Yam)
  13. Ryan Clark (Yam)
  14. Danny Smith (Suz)
  15. Paul Carpenter (Hon)
  16. Tyler Evans (Suz)
  17. Larry Ward (Hon)
  18. Greg Schnell (Yam)
  19. Clark Stiles (Hon)
  20. Ezra Lusk (Kaw)

Talk to you next week from Daytona!

n (Hon)

  • Keith Johnson (Yam)
  • Nick Wey (Yam)
  • Ryan Clark (Yam)
  • Danny Smith (Suz)
  • Paul Carpenter (Hon)
  • Tyler Evans (Suz)
  • Larry Ward (Hon)
  • Greg Schnell (Yam)
  • Clark Stiles (Hon)
  • Ezra Lusk (Kaw)
  • Talk to you next week from Daytona!