Kawasaki’s New KX250F Four-Stroke Wins In Debut; Tedesco Takes 125 Opener

Team Pro Circuit/Kawasaki/Chevy Trucks riders finish 1-3; Byrne brings home 5th in 250s

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Jan. 3, 2003) ¿ Team Pro Circuit/Kawasaki/Chevy Trucks¿ Ivan Tedesco debuted Kawasaki¿s new KX250F four-stroke bike at the AMA THQ Supercross Series opener on Saturday night, and the 22-year-old piloted the powerful machine to a wire-to-wire victory in the 125 class before a sold-out crowd at Edison Field in Anaheim, Calif.

After winning his heat race earlier in the evening, Tedesco lined up on the gate with teammate Stephane Roncada, both riding the new four-stroke bikes. As the gate dropped, it was clear they had enough power to shoot them to the front, as Tedesco grabbed the holeshot and the instant lead. Roncada would move into second place just moments later.

Tedesco had ridden smoothly the entire day, registering the fastest lap times during practice. He built a two-second lead by the end of the first lap, but Roncada kept it close until about the halfway point.

Roncada began to receive pressure from Nathan Ramsey on Lap 8, and the two riders would battle for the next two laps before Ramsey finally moved into second place. By the time Ramsey moved up, Tedesco had built a ten-second lead.

Ramsey would close the gap down the stretch, but could not catch Tedesco, who went on to win by a 2.909-second margin. Ramsey was second, while Roncada finished third.

“I feel really comfortable on the bike and I think it showed out there tonight,” said Tedesco from the Team Pro Circuit/Kawasaki/Chevy Trucks paddock area after the race.”

With the win, Tedesco holds a three-point advantage (25 to 22) over Ramsey, with Roncada sitting just five points back with 20.

Team Pro Circuit/Kawasaki/Chevy Trucks¿ Matt Walker did not qualify for the main event after a mechanical failure dropped him out of the second heat race and a late-race crash eliminated his chances in the LCQ.

Chevy Trucks Kawasaki Team Green¿ rider Troy Adams may have put in the most impressive ride of the evening. Not included as one of the industry experts pre-season hopefuls, Adams went out and proved that he belongs with a fifth place finish in the main event.

In the 250 action, Australian Michael Byrne was making his debut for Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki. The talented 24-year-old was looking to kick start his season with a solid and consistent ride in the opener after having shoulder surgery just six weeks ago.

Byrne qualified for the main event with a win in his semi race, a near flawless ride that saw him lead the six-lap race from wire-to-wire.

He shot off the line to start the 20-lap feature and was running in second place at the end of the first lap. It took Byrne a couple of laps to settle in and find his pace, but by Lap 5 he seemed to have found a rhythm. He locked up with Mike LaRocco for a couple of laps and battled with Ezra Lusk. He would ultimately finish one spot behind LaRocco in fifth place, but walked away from his first factory-backed 250 race knowing he accomplished what he set out to do.

“I was a little too anxious the entire day but I fought my through it and wound up feeling pretty good about how things turned out,” said Byrne. “I think the win in the semi really helped to smooth things out for the main. The track was pretty technical and I was making little mistakes that end up costing you valuable time.

My shoulder really wasn¿t a factor. I just need to continue to build up my stamina and work on getting better each week. It¿s a long season and I¿m looking forward to being in the hunt each week.”

Chad Reed took the win and leads the points by three over David Vuillemin, 25 to 22. Byrne sits in fifth with 16 points.

The AMA THQ Supercross Series headss to Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix this Saturday for the next stop on the 16-race circuit.

125 Western Regional Supercross Results:

  1. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki
  2. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Honda
  3. Stephan Roncada, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Kawasaki
  4. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., Suzuki
  5. Troy Adams, Brooksville, Fla., Kawasaki
  6. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Yamaha
  7. Brock Sellards, Sherrodsville, Ohio, Yamaha
  8. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Honda
  9. Greg Schnell, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Yamaha
  10. Christopher Gosselaar, Victorville, Calif., Honda

125 Western Regional Supercross Season Standings ¿ Rnd. 1 of 8:

  1. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki, 25
  2. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, Calif., Honda, 22
  3. Stephane Roncada, Lake Elsinore, Calif., Kawasaki, 20
  4. Andrew Short, Colorado Springs, Colo., Suzuki, 18
  5. Troy Adams, Brooksville, Fla., Kawasaki, 16
  6. Josh Hansen, Elbert, Colo., Yamaha, 15
  7. Brock Sellards, Sherrodsville, Ohio, Yamaha, 14
  8. Travis Preston, Hesperia, Calif., Honda, 13
  9. Greg Schnell, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Yamaha, 12
  10. Christopher Gosselaar, Victorville, Calif., Honda, 11

250cc THQ AMA Supercross Event Results:

  1. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha
  2. David Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha
  3. Tim Ferry, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha
  4. Mike LaRocco, Corona, Calif., Honda
  5. Michael Byrne, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki
  6. Tyler Evans, Canyon Lake, Calif., Suzuki
  7. Damon Huffman, Valencia, Calif., Honda
  8. Ezra Lusk, Bainbridge, Ga., Yamaha
  9. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda
  10. Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, Calif., Honda

250cc THQ AMA Supercross Series Season Standings – Rnd. 1 of 16:

  1. Chad Reed, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha, 25
  2. David Vuillemin, Murrieta, Calif., Yamaha, 22
  3. Tim Ferry, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha, 20
  4. Mike LaRocco, Corona, Calif., Honda, 18
  5. Michael Byrne, Temecula, Calif., Kawasaki, 16
  6. Tyler Evans, Canyon Lake, Calif., Suzuki, 15
  7. Damon Huffman, Valencia, Calif., Honda, 14
  8. Ezra Lusk, Bainbridge, Ga., Yamaha, 13
  9. Kevin Windham, Centerville, Miss., Honda, 12
  10. Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, Calif., Honda, 11