Race Report:
Steel City, 2006

After a gloomy Saturday that saw practice cancelled, it was great to wake up to better weather on Sunday morning. Nothing beats the smell of race gas and the sound of finely-tuned factory throttles cracking in the morning. Racing got underway as planned on Sunday, thanks to the hard work of the Steel City Raceway track crew and some help from mother nature. Round eleven of the AMA Toyota National Motocross Championships delivered some great racing for the faithful Pennsylvania fans.

In the Motocross class, Ricky Carmichael claimed his 70th career overall victory. “It’s been fun for me, and I’ve been very fortunate,” said Carmichael when describing his career and numerous victories.

At the end of the day, hometown hero Broc Hepler took top honors in the Motocross Lites class with a 1-1 performance for his third straight overall victory. The Pennsylvania fans were thrilled to see their boy go home with the win. Behind Hepler, Villopoto finished in second overall, strengthening his lead over Mike Alessi in the season points standings to 29 points.

Read on for the moto-by-moto TWMX Race Report, and be sure to wake up early tomorrow morning for Monday Kickstart, to hear more about all that went down at Steel City.

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LITES MOTO ONE

As the Lites class came roaring out of the starting gates, it was Hepler who grabbed the holeshot, and from there he never looked back. The Pennsylvania native led every lap of moto one-a performance he would repeat again in the second moto. The factory Suzuki rider opened a huge gap on the field, leading by as much as twenty seconds. While it was a run away win for Hepler, there was tight racing action with numerous battles and position changes behind him.

Ryan Villopoto had a bad start, and no doubt had the season points lead on his mind as he rode like a man possessed through the field. On lap two Ryan was all the way down in 12th place, but by lap seven had clawed his way to fifth position in the running order. At this point, the top five was Hepler, Mcfarlane, Adams, Grant and Villopoto. Villopoto quickly got past his teammate Troy Adams, and set his sights on Josh Grant. While Ryan did get by Grant briefly, the Sobe/Samsung/Honda rider brought his A-game today, and made sure his ninth lap pass-back on Villopoto stuck. At the end of the moto it was Hepler out front with Grant and Villopoto in second and third, respectively. Boost Mobile/Yamaha teammates Andrew McFarlane and Brett Metcalfe were not far behind in fourth and fifth, followed by Mike Alessi in sixth.

The likable Andrew Short was also running in the top five, but bike problems at the half-way point through the moto dropped him out of the running.

RESULTS
1. Broc Hepler (Suz)
2. Josh Grant (Hon)
3. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
4. Andrew McFarlane (Yam)
5. Brett Metcalfe (Yam)
6. Mike Alessi (KTM)
7. Jason Lawrence (Suz)
8. Troy Adams (Kaw)
9. Kelly Smith (Hon)
10. Steve Boniface (Hon)
11. Michael Willard (KTM)
12. Josh Hansen (KTM)
13. Paul Carpenter (Hon)
14. Robert Kiniry (Hon)
15. Ryan Dungey (Suz)
16. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
17. Chris Gosselaar (Kaw)
18. Tucker Hibbert (Yam)
19. Justin Brayton (Yam)
20. Josh Hill (Yam)

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MOTOCROSS MOTO ONE

“Ricky takes the lead, and checks out for another moto win.” Have you heard that before? Well, it’s time hear it again! RC made easy work of another moto win, and although Stewart was not far behind for the first few laps, Carmichael soon widened the gap between them and checked out.

Behind Ricky and James, Ryan Mills piloted his RMZ450 through the mud and muck to an impressive third place moto finish. Mills was clearly thrilled tget on the podium, dropping his bike to the ground and throwing his hands in the air in celebration, as he pulled off after the finish line.

Behind Mills, Kevin Windham put on a consistent performance in the moto. Coming around lap one in sixth place, K-Dub quickly got by Mills’ teammate, Mike Brown and by lap five had also made it past Michael Byrne. Although he would briefly move into third place, past Ryan Mills, at the checkered flag Windham would ultimately finish in fourth as Mills past him back on the second-to-last lap. Behind Windham, Byrne held off charges from Millsaps to finish in the fifth place with Davi behind him in sixth.

RESULTS
1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)
2. James Stewart (Kaw)
3. Ryan Mills (Suz)
4. Kevin Windham (Hon)
5. Michael Byrne (Kaw)
6. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
7. Nick Wey (Hon)
8. David Vuillemin (Yam)
9. Josh Woods (Suz)
10. Mike Brown (Suz)
11. Broc Oneal Tickle (Hon)
12. Tim Ferry (Hon)
13. Clark Stiles (Yam)
14. Jeff Dement (Suz)
15. Daniel Sani (Hon)
16. Mason Phillips (Hon)
17, Ryan Clark (Hon)
18. Jeff Gibson (Hon)
19. Kyle Partridge (Hon)
20. Kyle Lewis (Hon)

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LITES MOTO TWO

The Lites class is known for inconsistency, as it is often a different rider grabbing the win each week, and points leads are often exchanged back-and-forth. However, today, consistency was seen across the board in the “250F” class. Hepler repeated his moto one show for the fans by taking the holeshot and then proceeding to lead very lap of the 30 minutes + 2 laps moto, securing an impressive third consecutive overall win. In keeping with the consistency them, Ryan Villopoto and Josh Grant again rounded out the top three in moto two, although this time it was Villopoto finishing in second ahead of Grant. Hepler, Villopoto, Grant was also the final order for the overall results at Steel City. Consistency.

Hepler opened a big gap on Villopoto early on, and in turn Ryan put lots of space between him and Grant in third. Further down in the running order, Mike Alessi fought hard to move up from a seventh place to start, getting past Andrew McFarlane and Ryan Dungey on his way to a fourth place finish in the moto.

Ryan Dungey looked to be running strong, but unfortunately for the rookie Factory Suzuki rider, a tangle with Zach Osborne knocked him out of the race. Osborne was also running with the top five early, but shortly after the tangle with Dungey, dropped out of the race as well. Andrew Mcfarlane held on for fifth place in moto two, giving him fourth overall on the day, with a 4-5 performance.

Heading into the final round of the National season at Glen Helen, Villopoto holds a 29 point lead over Mike Alessi for the Lites season championship. With such a strong lead, the championship would appear to be Ryan’s to lose, although we certainly cannot count Alessi out yet.

RESULTS
1. Broc Hepler (Suz)
2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
3. Josh Grant (Hon)
4. Mike Alessi (KTM)
5. Andrew McFarlane (Yam)
6. Brett Metcalfe (Yam)
7. Josh Hill (Yam)
8. Chris Gosselaar (Kaw)
9. Ryan Sipes (Suz)
10. Nathan Ramsey (KTM)
11. Kelly Smith (Hon)
12. Matt Walker (Yam)
13. Paul Carpenter (Hon)
14. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
15. Troy Adams (Kaw)
16. Robert Kiniry (Hon)
17. Matt Goerke (Yam)
18. Danny Smith (Hon)
19. Tucker Hibbert (Yam)
20. Sean Collier (Yam)

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LITES OVERALL RESULTS

1. Broc Hepler (Suz)
2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
3. Josh Grant (Hon)
4. Andrew McFarlane (Yam)
5. Mike Alessi (KTM)
6. Brett Metcalfe (Yam)
7. Kelly Smith (Hon)
8. Troy Adams (Kaw)
9. Chris Gosselaar (Kaw)
10. Paul Carpenter (Hon)
11. Josh Hill (Yam)
12. Jason Lawrence (Suz)
13. Ryan Sipes (Suz)
14. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
15. Robert Kiniry (Hon)
16. Nathan Ramsey (KTM)
17. Steve Boniface (Hon)
18. Michael Willard (KTM)
19. Matt Walker (Yam)
20. Josh Hansen (KTM)

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LITES CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS

1. Ryan Villopoto (433)
2. Mike Alessi (404)
3. Andrew Short (359)
4. Josh Grant (339)
5. Brett Metcalfe (303)
6. Broc Hepler (273)
7. Andrew McFarlane (269)
8. Troy Adams (191)
9. Matt Goerke (190)
10. Nathan Ramsey (179)

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MOTOCROSS MOTO TWO

In moto two of the motocross class, things were mixed up a bit as James Stewart grabbed the holeshot, with Kevin Windham just behind him in second. On lap one, they came around with Stewart in front, followed by Windham, Brown, Carmichael and privateer Mason Phillips. However, as Ricky is so capable of doing, he quickly picked his way to the front, riding just behind Stewart on lap two. It looked like we may be in for another classic James/Ricky battle, but a bobble by Stewart allowed RC to get by and run away with the moto and overall wins. There’s no doubt James rode hard, and on the podium, again expressed how much he appreciates the fans, saying “it’s the fans that have helped to grow this sport…I am just glad to be a part of it.”

Windham took advantage of his good start, finishing the moto in a solid third, also giving him third place overall on the day.

Although Davi Millsaps had seemed to master the art of the holeshot over the past several races, he did not get great starts at Steel City. This was especially true in the second moto, where Millsaps came around on lap one all the way down in 22nd place. The Georgia-native rode an amazing race as he battled all the way to fourth by the time they waved the checkered flag. Davi had ridden by-among others-Mike Brown and Tim Ferry who finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.

RESULTS
1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)
2. James Stewart (Kaw)
3. Kevin Windham (Hon)
4. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
5. Mike Brown (Suz)
6. Tim Ferry (Hon)
7. Michael Byrne (Kaw)
8. Nick Wey (Hon)
9. Travis Preston (Hon)
10. Mason Phillips (Hon)
11. Ryan Clark (Hon)
12. David Vuillemin (Yam)
13. Jeff Dement (Suz)
14. Josh Woods (Suz)
15. Josh Demuth (Hon)
16. Jeff Gibson (Hon)
17. Daniel Sani (Hon)
18. Broc Oneal Tickle (Hon)
19. Kyle Lewis (Hon)
20. Josh Summey (Hon)

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MOTOCROSS OVERALL RESULTS

1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)
2. James Stewart (Kaw)
3. Kevin Windham (Hon)
4. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
5. Michael Byrne (Kaw)
6. Mike Brown (Suz)
7. Nick Wey (Hon)
8. Tim Ferry (Hon)
9. David Vuillemin (Yam)
10. Ryan Mills (Suz)
11. Josh Woods (Suz)
12. Mason Phillips (Hon)
13. Jeff Dement (Suz)
14. Ryan Clark (Hon)
15. Broc Oneal Tickle (Hon)
16. Travis Preston (Hon)
17. Daniel Sani (Hon)
18. Jeff Gibson (Hon)
19. Clark Stiles (Yam)
20. Josh Demuth (Hon)

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MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS

1. Ricky Carmichael (539)
2. Kevin Windham (371)
3. Davi Millsaps (358)
4. Chad Reed (333)
5. James Stewart (331)
6. Travis Preston (296)
7. David Vuillemin (2 Metcalfe (Yam)
7. Kelly Smith (Hon)
8. Troy Adams (Kaw)
9. Chris Gosselaar (Kaw)
10. Paul Carpenter (Hon)
11. Josh Hill (Yam)
12. Jason Lawrence (Suz)
13. Ryan Sipes (Suz)
14. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
15. Robert Kiniry (Hon)
16. Nathan Ramsey (KTM)
17. Steve Boniface (Hon)
18. Michael Willard (KTM)
19. Matt Walker (Yam)
20. Josh Hansen (KTM)

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LITES CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS

1. Ryan Villopoto (433)
2. Mike Alessi (404)
3. Andrew Short (359)
4. Josh Grant (339)
5. Brett Metcalfe (303)
6. Broc Hepler (273)
7. Andrew McFarlane (269)
8. Troy Adams (191)
9. Matt Goerke (190)
10. Nathan Ramsey (179)

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MOTOCROSS MOTO TWO

In moto two of the motocross class, things were mixed up a bit as James Stewart grabbed the holeshot, with Kevin Windham just behind him in second. On lap one, they came around with Stewart in front, followed by Windham, Brown, Carmichael and privateer Mason Phillips. However, as Ricky is so capable of doing, he quickly picked his way to the front, riding just behind Stewart on lap two. It looked like we may be in for another classic James/Ricky battle, but a bobble by Stewart allowed RC to get by and run away with the moto and overall wins. There’s no doubt James rode hard, and on the podium, again expressed how much he appreciates the fans, saying “it’s the fans that have helped to grow this sport…I am just glad to be a part of it.”

Windham took advantage of his good start, finishing the moto in a solid third, also giving him third place overall on the day.

Although Davi Millsaps had seemed to master the art of the holeshot over the past several races, he did not get great starts at Steel City. This was especially true in the second moto, where Millsaps came around on lap one all the way down in 22nd place. The Georgia-native rode an amazing race as he battled all the way to fourth by the time they waved the checkered flag. Davi had ridden by-among others-Mike Brown and Tim Ferry who finished in fifth and sixth place respectively.

RESULTS
1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)
2. James Stewart (Kaw)
3. Kevin Windham (Hon)
4. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
5. Mike Brown (Suz)
6. Tim Ferry (Hon)
7. Michael Byrne (Kaw)
8. Nick Wey (Hon)
9. Travis Preston (Hon)
10. Mason Phillips (Hon)
11. Ryan Clark (Hon)
12. David Vuillemin (Yam)
13. Jeff Dement (Suz)
14. Josh Woods (Suz)
15. Josh Demuth (Hon)
16. Jeff Gibson (Hon)
17. Daniel Sani (Hon)
18. Broc Oneal Tickle (Hon)
19. Kyle Lewis (Hon)
20. Josh Summey (Hon)

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MOTOCROSS OVERALL RESULTS

1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)
2. James Stewart (Kaw)
3. Kevin Windham (Hon)
4. Davi Millsaps (Hon)
5. Michael Byrne (Kaw)
6. Mike Brown (Suz)
7. Nick Wey (Hon)
8. Tim Ferry (Hon)
9. David Vuillemin (Yam)
10. Ryan Mills (Suz)
11. Josh Woods (Suz)
12. Mason Phillips (Hon)
13. Jeff Dement (Suz)
14. Ryan Clark (Hon)
15. Broc Oneal Tickle (Hon)
16. Travis Preston (Hon)
17. Daniel Sani (Hon)
18. Jeff Gibson (Hon)
19. Clark Stiles (Yam)
20. Josh Demuth (Hon)

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MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS

1. Ricky Carmichael (539)
2. Kevin Windham (371)
3. Davi Millsaps (358)
4. Chad Reed (333)
5. James Stewart (331)
6. Travis Preston (296)
7. David Vuillemin (290)
8. Nick Wey (272)
9. Tim Ferry (247)
10. Josh Summey (155)

n (290)
8. Nick Wey (272)
9. Tim Ferry (247)
10. Josh Summey (155)