LaRocco Wins First THQ U.S. Open Championship$100,000 Payday for LaRocco

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Mike LaRocco won his first ever THQ U.S. Open championship and a grand total of $100,000 Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, defeating two-time defending champion Ricky Carmichael in the two days of racing. Team Honda’s Carmichael rebounded after a disappointing fifth place finish in last night’s race to win the main event; however, it was not enough to win the overall title.

Last night’s winner Mike LaRocco placed his Honda in the holeshot positionin front of Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki’s Ezra Lusk and Carmichael. On laptwo Carmichael made the move on LaRocco for the lead. While riding inthird, Lusk went down on lap three allowing Yamaha’s Chad Reed to move intothird, where he would eventually finish.

“I felt very conservative out there tonight,” said LaRocco. “I wanted to letCarmichael set the pace and follow behind him. I felt some pressure on myshoulders tonight.”

“I screwed up yesterday and didn’t get the win,” said Carmichael. “I havehad a great year and I can’t be stingy with the wins.”

Last night’s third place finisher, Michael Byrne, failed to qualify for themain event.

Saturday Night’s Race Results

1) Ricky Carmichael, Havana, Fla., Honda

2) Chad Reed, Menifee, CA, Yamaha

3) Mike LaRocco, South Bend, Ind., Honda

4) Tim Ferry, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha

5) Ivan Tedesco, Albuquerque, N.M., Yamaha

6) Ernesto Fonseca, Lake Elsinore, CA, Honda

7) Ryan Clark, Albuquerque, N.M., Yamaha

8) Ezra Lusk, Acworth, Ga., Kawasaki

9) Grant Langston, Lake Elsinore, CA, KTM

10) Nick Wey, Dewitt, Mich., Yamaha

Friday Night’s Race Results

1) Mike LaRocco, South Bend, Ind., Honda

2) Tim Ferry, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha

3) Michael Byrne, Lake Elsinore, CA, Honda

4) Ivan Tedesco, Albuquerque, N.M., Yamaha

5) Ricky Carmichael, Havana, Fla., Honda

6) Chad Reed, Menifee, CA, Yamaha

7) Ernesto Fonseca, Lake Elsinore, CA, Honda

8) Ryan Clark, Albuquerque, N.M., Yamaha

9) Heath Voss, Mico, Texas, Yamaha

10) Ezra Lusk, Acworth, Ga., Kawasaki

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Overall Results

1) Mike LaRocco, South Bend, Ind., Honda

2) Ricky Carmichael, Havana, Fla., Honda

3) Tim Ferry, Dade City, Fla., Yamaha

4) Chad Reed, Lake Menifee, CA, Yamaha

5) Ivan Tedesco, Albuquerque, N.M., Yamaha

6) Ernesto Fonseca, Lake Elsinore, CA, Honda

7) Ryan Clark, Albuquerque, N.M., Yamaha

8) Ezra Lusk, Acworth, Ga., Kawasaki

9) Michael Byrne, Lake Elsinore, CA, Honda

10) Grant Langston, Lake Elsinore, CA, KTM

Team Suzuki’s Broc Hepler swept four motos en route to his first 125ccEngine Ice Manufacturers Cup. Honda rider Ryan Mills of Clintondale, NY.,finished second and Yamaha rider Nick Adams of Hastings, MI, was thirdoverall.

Honda-supported Mike Alessi won the 85cc Pro Circuit Invitationalchampionship holding off Christophe Pourcel and Josh Hill who finishedsecond and third, respectively. Alessi of Moor Park, CA, earned onemoto win tonight – a total of two on the weekend – and Ryan Villopoto ofPoulebo, Wash., captured the other.

Will Castleberry of Pine Mountain, GA., won the KTM Junior SupercrossChallenge, with Ezra Angelle of Cecilla, LA., finishing second and JesseWentland III of Elk River, MN was third