Jamie’s Race Report: Las Vegas, NV

Photos by GuyB.

The 2003 Supercross season has come to a close now. As always, it ended with a bang in the city that never sleeps, Las Vegas. For once, the weather was much cooler than normal but the winds were a nuisance as times.

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This was only the fourth time in fifteen years that the 250 championship was decided at the final round. RC had ten points over Reed before the gate dropped in Vegas.

The other half of the night program was the 125 East/West shootout that sees the top riders from both series competing for bragging rights. The biggest event of the weekend was James Stewart’s horrific crash during the third lap of the main. He ended up suffering a concussion and a broken collarbone when he made a mistake after the finish line.

Congratulations to all the champions of the weekend! Here’s how it happened.

Heat Race Notes

125cc

Heat number one was all the 125 East riders, and the second heat was filled with 125 West riders.

Just as the first 125 heat pulled up to the line, a huge windstorm whipped through the track blowing dirt and trash around. When the gate dropped, Kelly Smith took the holeshot and Sellards took over the lead. Brown and Tedesco had a good battle for a couple laps until Tedesco got around. They finished in that order.

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The second 125 heat saw Stewart get the holeshot and win by eight seconds. Stewart was quadding a section of the track that no 250 did all weekend! Billy Laninovich went down in the whoops and was forced to go to the LCQ. He ended up winning the LCQ.

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250cc

Heat one saw Chad Reed take the holeshot and check out. He won by 17 seconds. Arenacross rider Josh Demuth transferred in fourth.

The second heat race started with Ward getting the holeshot. RC made the pass before the green flag and took it to the checkers. Tim Ferry looked really good. He said he was feeling better than in Salt Lake and it showed. He finished second. The first heat was three seconds faster.

Semi one saw Kyle Lewis get the holeshot. Can you say four-stroke power! These bikes are running away with holeshots this year! Ryan Clark and Keith Johnson were both in this semi. They had a great battle, rubbing tires, for a few laps. Clark took over the lead but ended up crashing in the whoops after about three laps. He gave us a great helmet cam shot in the process. Keith Johnson took over and won the semi. This was only his second time on the podium…ever!

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During semi two Tyler Evans came together with Isaiah Johnson and fell off the bike when his bike hooked onto Johnson’s. Nick Wey got out in front immediately and took the win.

The LCQ was not good for “top privateer” hopeful Ryan Clark. Clark went down in the first turn and got up in last. Tyler Evans started in the back and didn’t make the main. Clark Stiles took the win. Ryan Clark failed to make the main.

125cc Main

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James Stewart took his first holeshot of the year. Steve Boniface went down in the first turn. His throttle was stuck and when he pulled the bike up, it flung out and almost took out four people! Boniface ended up pulling off with mechanical problems. As James made his way around the track, a huge group of people sat with pink shirts on and a sign that said, “Real Men Wear Pink, Go Bubba!” He was the crowd favorite in Las Vegas, no doubt.

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Lap three: Stewart made a mistake and went off the track but was able to hang on. He was pushed back to fourth. Eric Sorby took over the lead while Bubba was on a mission. When James came across the finish line he tripled it with a lot of speed and when he set up for the last double, his nose pointed down and he catapulted onto the ground. He was knockedd out and was on the ground a good five minutes before being transported off the track. The crowd was on their feet, concerned for James. It was really emotional and very scary for everyone.

With Bubba out of action, Eric Sorby took over the leads, but later went down in the whoop section, and Andrew Short took over the top spot. He had already built a big lead over Tedesco, Brown, Byrne and Hansen.

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Lap 11: Eric Sorby pulled off the track. He crashed earlier in the race and had mechanical problems that caused him to finally quit. Andrew Short took over the lead. Michael Byrne and Mike Brown had a good battle for a little while until Byrne took over the final podium position.

Short took his first ever supercross win and the bragging rights as the best 125 rider of the East and West. Ivan Tedesco finished a respectable second and Byrner, who returned after ten weeks off, took third.

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125 Main Event

  1. Andrew Short
  2. Ivan Tedesco
  3. Michael Byrne
  4. Joshua Hansen
  5. Christopher Gosselaar
  6. Michael Brown
  7. Steve Mertens
  8. Brock Sellards
  9. Billy Laninovich
  10. Kevin Johnson
  11. Troy Adams
  12. Shane Bess
  13. Kelly Smith
  14. Erick Vallejo
  15. Matthieu Lalloz
  16. Ryan Mills
  17. Joshua Summey
  18. Hans Neel
  19. Eric Sorby
  20. Tiger Lacey
  21. James Stewart
  22. Steve Boniface

250cc Main

Chad Reed and Kyle Lewis got great starts, with Reed grabbing the holeshot! Heath Voss was riding very well as he stayed close to Reed for the first lap. RC started in fourth and moved into second by the second lap.

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Lap four: Tim Ferry was in third but Fonseca was on the move to take it over.

Lap ten: Nick Wey went down in the whoops. Fonseca got around Tim Ferry for third.

The race was kind of uneventful. Reed checked out with at least a five-second lead over RC. RC had about a ten-second lead over Fonseca. Same thing we’d seen for six weeks now.

Reed took home his sixth straight win on the season, for a total of eighth. He dedicated his win to James Stewart and said he’s, “A real champion and I hate to see him get hurt.” RC took the championship for the third straight year by just seven points over Reed. Makes you wonder if this will be his final Supercross championship? Reed and James are next in line.

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250 Main Event

  1. Chad Reed
  2. Ricky Carmichael
  3. Ernesto Fonseca
  4. Tim Ferry
  5. Nick Wey
  6. Josh Demuth
  7. Larry Ward
  8. Heath Voss
  9. Keith Johnson
  10. Clark Stiles
  11. Jason Thomas
  12. Greg Schnell
  13. Casey Lytle
  14. James Povolny
  15. Joe Oehlhof
  16. Brian Mason
  17. Kyle Lewis
  18. Thomas Hofmaster
  19. Isaiah Johnson
  20. Sean Hamblin

Final 250cc Overall Points

  1. Ricky Carmichael 367
  2. Chad Reed 360
  3. Ernesto Fonseca 225
  4. Nick Wey 203
  5. Tim Ferry 195
  6. Heath Voss 179
  7. David Vuillemin 169
  8. Larry Ward 163
  9. Ezra Lusk 149
  10. Keith Johnson 149
  11. Ryan Clark 113
  12. Sean Hamblin 103
  13. Michael Byrne 75
  14. Mike LaRocco 73
  15. Stephane Roncada 70
  16. Greg Schnell 66
  17. Jason Thomas 66
  18. Sebastien Tortelli 63
  19. Casey Lytle 61
  20. Damon Huffman 55

We’ll see you at Glen Helen next weekend! Happy Mother’s Day moms!