Race Report: Hangtown
2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF

By Ryan Cooley and Josh Allen

Summer is officially here, and like you, we enjoy kicking ours off with some good old-fashioned outdoor motocross at Hangtown. The weather in the famous Northern California moto Mecca was warm and incredibly nice all weekend long, but the temperatures weren’t the only thing heated at the track. During Saturday’s practice sessions, Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto got into it several times on the track, and the events eventually escalated into a full-blown brawl. We’ll give you a more detailed report in Monday Kickstart tomorrow, but the actions on the track resulted in penalties, with Lawrence being relegated to 40th-place gate picks in both of Sunday’s motos. How did the two hooligans fair once the gates finally dropped? Read on to find out…

In the premier class, Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart traded moto wins, with RC taking home the overall win. Not bad for a part timer! For more details, passes, crashes, and results, read below for all of your “Race Report needs.

LITES MOTO ONE

With four practice sessions, a ton of drama, and a couple of fines now in the books, the gate finally dropped for moto number one of the 2007 Lites-class National series. Crossing the line with the summer’s first holeshot was Sobe NoFear/Samsung/Honda’s Josh Grant, but reigning National Champ Ryan Villopoto was hot on his heals. Behind the lead two as the field wrapped up lap number one was Ryan Dungey, Ben Townley, and Joaquim Rodrigues. Grant looked extremely good as he piloted his CRF250R around the Hangtown circuit for the first three laps, but Villopoto was just too strong and made a pass for the lead on lap number four. Meanwhile, the battle for third between Dungey and Townley began heating up, but Dungey was riding a near flawless race as he maintained his cushion over the New Zealander. By lap number eight, the lead four began tightening up a bit, when out of nowhere Villopoto tipped over on one of the upper sections of the track. The event resulted in Grant re-inheriting the lead, with Dungey and Townley close behind. Villopoto got back going quickly, however, and closed the gap between himself and the lead trio from the fourth spot. For the next couple of laps, the top four were so close to each other you could have nearly thrown a blanket over them. Townley eventually got by Dungey and Grant to briefly take over the lead at one point, but it was short-lived as his teammate Villopoto made his way back to the front. The two Kawasaki pilots began gapping Dungey and Grant who had settled into third and fourth, respectively, and the moto eventually finished in that order.

How about Jason Lawrence? After starting from one of the furthest outside gates, the Yamaha pilot whipped, scrubbed, and charged his way from outside the top 20 all the way to fifth by moto’s end.

RESULTS

  1. Ryan Villopoto
  2. Ben Townley
  3. Ryan Dungey
  4. Josh Grant
  5. Jason Lawrence
  6. Tommy Hahn
  7. Brett Metcalfe
  8. Broc Tickle
  9. Matt Goerke
  10. Josh Hill

MOTOCROSS MOTO ONE

From the podium at the end of the day, Ricky Carmichael described his race with James Stewart in moto one as an “epic battle,” and anyone who was lucky enough to see the race first hand would have to agree.

The moto started with a big holeshot for James Stewart, but the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider stumbled and yielded the lead to Ricky Carmichael just a few turns into the opening lap. From there, Carmichael began to put some space between himself and the rest of the top five; which at the end of lap one was Mike Alessi, James Stewart, Akira Narita, and Time Ferry.

For several laps, RC would start to pull away in some sections of the track, and then Stewart would slowly stt to reel him in. But the real turning point in the race came at about the halfway point, when Carmichael — who had about a two-second lead on Stewart — fell down in a slow, rutted corner. Ricky remounted quickly and was able to hold onto the lead, but he now had Stewart hot on his heels. Just a few laps later, James made the pass for first place.

James held onto first for the win, but Carmichael definitely didn’t make it easy. The G.O.A.T. stayed right with Stewart, and as they moved through lapped traffic in the final laps, RC came as close as James’ back tire.

Behind all the action out front, Tim Ferry, Kevin Windham, and Davi Millsaps settled into a well-spaced third through fifth place.

RESULTS:

  1. James Stewart
  2. Ricky Carmichael
  3. Tim Ferry
  4. Kevin Windham
  5. Davi Millsaps
  6. Grant Langston
  7. Mike Alessi
  8. Andrew Short
  9. Michael Byrne
  10. Jeff Alessi

LITES MOTO TWO

The start of moto two featured a Ben Townley holeshot, with Dungey, Villopoto, and Grant close in tow. Villopoto got by Dungey early on, and then set his sights on his teammate out front. On lap two, Villopoto lost his front end in a left-hander at the top of an uphill, giving up his position to Dungey. Villo rode his KX250F back by the young Suzuki phenom on the following lap, however, and again set his sights on the leader. Townley proved to be just too damn tough on the rough Hangtown track, however, as the New Zealand native slowly pulled a comfortable lead over the defending National champ. Townley’s 2-1 moto scores treated him to his first U.S. motocross overall win, and Mitch Payton and the rest of the Pro Circuit boys were ecstatic. Villopoto’s 1-2 of course afforded him second place honors, and Dungey’s 3-3 was good for third.

And how about that Jason Lawrence? J-Law again came from outside the top 20 all the way up to fifth, earning him a hard-fought sixth overall on the day. Lawrence showed great speed all weekend, and was without a doubt capable of battling with the leaders had better gate picks been had.

RESULTS

  1. Ben Townley
  2. Ryan Villopoto
  3. Ryan Dungey
  4. Brett Metcalfe
  5. Jason Lawrence
  6. Josh Grant
  7. Broc Tickle
  8. Tommy Hahn
  9. Jake Weimer
  10. 10. Martin Davalos

LITES OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ben Townley 1-2
  2. Ryan Villopoto 2-1
  3. Ryan Dungey 3-3
  4. Josh Grant 4-6
  5. Brett Metcalfe 7-4
  6. Jason Lawrence 5-5
  7. Tommy Hahn 6-8
  8. Broc Tickle 8-7
  9. Martin Davalos 12-10
  10. Jake Weimer 15-9

LITES SERIES POINTS STANDINGS:

  1. Ben Townley (47 points, 1 win)
  2. Ryan Villopoto (47)
  3. Ryan Dungey (40)
  4. Josh Grant (33)
  5. Brett Metcalfe (32)
  6. Jason Lawrence (32)
  7. Tommy Hahn (28)
  8. Broc Tickle (27)
  9. Martin Davalos (20)
  10. Jake Weimer (18)

MOTOCROSS MOTO TWO

Moto number two in the premiere class saw Honda’s Davi Millsaps grab the holeshot, followed Ricky Carmichael and Andrew Short. But by the time they crossed the finish line to close out the opening lap, Carmichael had the lead, followed closely by James Stewart.

For the first few laps it looked like we might be in for a repeat of the racing action from moto one, but it wasn’t in the cards. James fell early in the race, dropping well behind Carmichael, and then with a few laps left in the moto, Stewart fell again in the rutted straight that lead to the finish line. In the time it took James to restart and straighten out his bike, Millsaps was able to move into second place, and on the following lap, Stewart lost third to his Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate, Tim Ferry.

After James’ second fall, RC seemed to switch into cruise control on way to the eventual moto, and overall, win. After he crossed the finish line to take the checkered flag, Ricky made one final victory lap as throngs of fans rushed to the fence line to cheer for him one last time.

RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Davi Millsaps
  3. Tim Ferry
  4. James Stewart
  5. Grant Langston
  6. Andrew Short
  7. David Vuillemin
  8. Mike Alessi
  9. Kevin Windham
  10. Michael Byrne

MOTOCROSS OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael 1-1
  2. James Stewart 1-4
  3. Tim Ferry 3-3
  4. Davi Millsaps 5-2
  5. Grant Langston 6-5
  6. Kevin Windham 4-9
  7. Andrew Short 7-8
  8. Mike Alessi 7-8
  9. Michael Byrne 9-10
  10. David Vuillemin 15-7

MOTOCROSS SERIES POINT STANDINGS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (47 points, 1 win)
  2. James Stewart (43)
  3. Tim Ferry (40)
  4. Davi Millsaps (38)
  5. Grant Langston (31)
  6. Kevin Windham (30)
  7. Andrew Short (28)
  8. Mike Alessi (27)
  9. Michael Byrne (23)
  10. David Vuillemin (20)

and on the following lap, Stewart lost third to his Monster Energy Kawasaki teammate, Tim Ferry.

After James’ second fall, RC seemed to switch into cruise control on way to the eventual moto, and overall, win. After he crossed the finish line to take the checkered flag, Ricky made one final victory lap as throngs of fans rushed to the fence line to cheer for him one last time.

RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Davi Millsaps
  3. Tim Ferry
  4. James Stewart
  5. Grant Langston
  6. Andrew Short
  7. David Vuillemin
  8. Mike Alessi
  9. Kevin Windham
  10. Michael Byrne

MOTOCROSS OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael 1-1
  2. James Stewart 1-4
  3. Tim Ferry 3-3
  4. Davi Millsaps 5-2
  5. Grant Langston 6-5
  6. Kevin Windham 4-9
  7. Andrew Short 7-8
  8. Mike Alessi 7-8
  9. Michael Byrne 9-10
  10. David Vuillemin 15-7

MOTOCROSS SERIES POINT STANDINGS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (47 points, 1 win)
  2. James Stewart (43)
  3. Tim Ferry (40)
  4. Davi Millsaps (38)
  5. Grant Langston (31)
  6. Kevin Windham (30)
  7. Andrew Short (28)
  8. Mike Alessi (27)
  9. Michael Byrne (23)
  10. David Vuillemin (20)