Race Report: Red Bud
2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Presented by FMF

The fifth round of the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship roared into the small town of Buchanan, Michigan for the 35th Annual Red Bud National. The weather was perfect on the weekend preceding the Fourth of July, and the intense racing brought plenty of fireworks to the track. When the day was over, it was a 1-2 sweep for the Monster Energy/Kawasaki backed Ryan Villopoto and Ben Townley in the Lites Class, with Team Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael clinching another overall win as he bid a final farewell to Red Bud. Read on for the details…

LITES MOTO ONE

As the gate dropped for the first moto of the Lites division, Sobe No Fear/Samsung/Honda pilot Josh Grant pulled out front to grab his fourth holeshot of the season. Following behind was Yamaha mounted Josh Hill, but he quickly came under pressure and was overcome by Ben Townley, who, coming into Red Bud, was looking to close the points gap between himself and teammate Ryan Villopoto. Despite the previous day’s rumors of appendicitis and a trip Saturday night to the hospital, Townley quickly proved that he was in perfect racing form as he stayed in the top of the pack for the first lap. And where was Ryan Dungey in the mix? Due to a crash suffered in the Saturday practice rounds, the Team Makita Suzuki rider did not race the Sunday program (more to come in tomorrow’s Monday Kickstart). Team Yamaha/Boost Mobile’s Jason Lawrence fumbled and went down in a corner after LaRocco’s Leap, leaving Villopoto and Townley firmly pulling away from the field midway through lap two.

The two Monster Energy/Kawasaki riders continued their charge in front of J-Law, as the three pulled a considerable lead ahead of the field. Battles ensued mid-pack with Team Motosport/MDK rider Kyle Chisholm trying to hold off Team Rockstar Suzuki’s Andrew McFarlane, and Honda-mounted Tommy Hahn working hard on overcoming Kelly Smith. The one through four riders were afforded the luxury of preserving their bikes, opting not to jump the famed LaRocco’s Leap, however-spots five through seven were attempting to gain time halfway through the moto by sailing over the obstacle. By this time Grant, Hill and Hahn had settled into the fourth through sixth, respectively.

By lap eight the battles in the back of the pack threatened to slow down the leaders as they finally encountered lapped traffic. However, the two teammates easily maneuvered their way around the congestion without losing any time. Townley eventually made some progress around the 29-minute mark, moving up a second and a half on Villopoto. Perhaps BT can credit the late moto charge with his experience as an FIM rider on the rough tracks his is accustomed to across the pond.

With only ten minutes and two laps to go, Villopoto, Townley and Lawrence were still holding the one through three spots. Townley came within striking distance of Villopoto but got a bit squirrelly in some deep ruts while trying to get around lapped rider Mike Willard. The last lap saw Ryan in the lead with a bit of a cushion on Townley and an impressive 50 seconds on Lawrence in third.

RESULTS:

  1. Ryan Villopoto
  2. Ben Townley
  3. Jason Lawrence
  4. Josh Grant
  5. Tommy Hahn
  6. Josh Hill
  7. Jake Weimer
  8. Ryan Morais
  9. Kyle Chisholm
  10. Chris Gosselaar

MX MOTO ONE

One of the standout performances this weekend was the tremendous ride put on by Red Bull/KTM rider Mike Alessi. Saturday practice rounds had seen Mike showing favorable speed, with him holding the second fastest lap time in practice behind Ricky Carmichael. Continuing on with his steadfast performance, the #800 KTM grabbed the holeshot in MX moto one with Carmichael, James Stewart, Grant Langston and Tim Ferry hot on his tail. The first lap held many surprises, as Langston tried to move into third position around Start, but James did not let him past. Half way through the first lap, Stewart made his way around Carmichael, and on lap two Stewart started to put the heat on Alessi, as he was right on the KTM rider’s back fender. Alessi succumbed to the Kawasaki rider’s threat as Stewart swept around Alessi by going high in a sweeper. Not too soon after, Carmichael aggressively moved Alessi out of the way in an S-Turn section with a pass reminiscent of one we will likely see soon in Carmichael’s four-wheel endeavors. Alessi was now in third with Langston and Ferry in fourth and fifth. Halfway though the moto, Carmichael and Stewart had put a considerable lead on Alessi, with Ricky hot on the back wheel of Stewart before LaRocco’s Leap. Stewart could feel the pressure, resulting in him over jumping the obstacle by a good 20 feet.

Lap five found Alessi and Grant Langston contending for third position. On the same lap, Carmichael finally passed Stewart by taking an outside line. The exciting battle between Alessi and Langston had them putting a good distance between themselves and Ferry, who was still positioned in the fifth spot half way through lap number seven.

Lapped traffic once again came into play by lap number eight, causing Carmichael to lose four seconds to Stewart. The Suzuki rider was able to close up the gap between himself and Stewart as they approached LaRocco’s Leap yet again. Langston was nowhere in sight when Alessi and Ferry, now in fourth, crossed the finish line on lap ten. Carmichael continued to close the gap as his found his feet dragging off the pegs in the deep ruts forming around the track. In the end, Stewart was able to hold off Carmichael for a first moto win, with Alessi in third and Tim Ferry in fourth.

RESULTS:

  1. James Stewart
  2. Ricky Carmichael
  3. Mike Alessi
  4. Tim Ferry
  5. Grant Langston
  6. Andrew Short
  7. Jeff Alessi
  8. David Vullimen
  9. Josh Summey
  10. Kevin Windham

LITES MOTO TWO

Moto two in the Lite’s class featured a Ben Townley holeshot, with Yamaha’s Josh Hill, Ryan Villopoto, and Monster/Pro Circuit/ Kawasaki’s Chris Gosselaar in tow. Early on in the first lap, McFarlane moved into the third spot, followed by Gosselaar and Red Bull KTM rider Joaquim Rodrigues, who easily took the spot away from Gosselar before heading into lap number two.

The racing started to heat up when Villopoto moved up on Townley’s back fender. Several times Ryan tried to take Ben on the outside, but Townley was able to hold him off while the two started pulling away from Team Rockstar Suzuki backed McFarlane, who was still holding onto the number three spot. Josh Grant, who had a strong ride in the first moto, found himself trying to put things together after a poor start. Lawrence had moved up to the 19th spot from the 40th position by lap three.

Villopoto made a try for the lead over LaRocco’s Leap, but failed to put the pass on Townley, and the teammates showed a lot of respect for one another as Ryan tried once again to take the lead in an off camber section. Lap five saw more progress for Lawrence, as he moved up to the 13th place, while Rodrigues ended up loosing a position and falling to sixth. Josh Grant had moved up to fourth, and started putting on a charge as he set his sites on a podium finish.

Lap number seven saw Villopoto finally take the lead from Townley as he took his teammate on the inside of a corner, forcing Townley outside. From this point, Ryan started to put some time between himself and Townley, and at the conclusion of the race it was a 1-2 sweep for Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki riders Villopoto and Townley, with Josh Grant in third.

RESULTS:

  1. Ryan Villopoto
  2. Ben Townley
  3. Josh Grant
  4. Jake Weimer
  5. Andrew McFarlane
  6. Jason Lawrence
  7. Tommy Hahn
  8. Robert Kiniry
  9. Ryan Morais
  10. Matt Lemoine

LITES OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ryan Villopoto 1-1
  2. Ben Townley 2-2
  3. Josh Grant 4-3
  4. Jason Lawrence 3-6
  5. Jake Weimer 7-4
  6. Tommy Hahn 5-7
  7. Ryan Morais 8-9
  8. Andrew McFarlane 13-5
  9. Chris Gosselaar 10-11
  10. Kyle Chisholm 9-15
  11. Joaquim Rodrigues 12-13
  12. Robert Kiniry 18-8
  13. Josh Hill 6-40
  14. Matt Lemoine 19-10
  15. Tucker Hibbert 16-14
  16. Ricky Renner 11-39
  17. Matt Goerke 39-12
  18. Daniel Sani 17-16
  19. Kelly Smith 14-19
  20. Broc Tickle 15-28

LITES SEASON STANDINGS:

  1. Ryan Villopoto (238 points/2 wins)
  2. Ben Townley (218/2 wins)
  3. Josh Grant (184/1 win)
  4. Jason Lawrence (176)
  5. Ryan Dungey (150)
  6. Jake Weimer (110)
  7. Josh Hill (105)
  8. Tommy Hahn (104)
  9. Broc Tickle (86)
  10. Kyle Chisholm (78)
  11. Andrew McFarlane (77)
  12. Matt Goerke (73)
  13. Robert Kiniry (68)
  14. Matt Lemoine (47)
  15. Ryan Morais (44)
  16. Billy Laninovich (44)
  17. Dusty Klatt (44)
  18. Chris Gosselaar (40)
  19. Steve Boniface (40)
  20. Daniel Sani (40)

MX MOTO TWO

As the gate dropped on the final moto of the day, Mike Alessi once again grabbed an impressive holeshot. Ricky Carmichael found himself spinning his back tire on the concrete start pad, leaving him as far back as tenth as the field made their way through the first turn. Carmichael eventually made his way up to fourth by the end of the first lap, following behind Soar Academey/Cycra/TLD rider Gavin Gracyk in the third position and Stewart in second.

The premier class front-runners soon started trading spots, as Stewart took the lead away from Alessi and Carmichael moved into the third spot in front of Gracyk. After riding on Alessi’s tail for a few laps, Carmichael took over the second spot on lap four in a rough section before a deeply rutted corner.

For the next few Carmichael closed in on Stewart, but heavy traffic hindered his efforts to make the pass. It was looking as if Stewart might come out with a 1-1 win at Red Bud, when suddenly the Kawasaki pilot went into a rutted berm too fast and grabbed the front brake, sending himself over the bars and leaving Carmichael wide open to take the lead. Stewart was able to remount in time to save second place. Alessi hung on to the third spot, even though Ferry had closed in considerably by the end of the race.

RESULTS:

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

MX OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael 2-1
  2. James Stewart 1-2
  3. Mike Alessi 3-3
  4. Tim Ferry 4-4
  5. Andrew Short 6-5
  6. Grant Langston 5-7
  7. Jeff Alessi 7-8
  8. Kevin Windham 10-6
  9. David Vullimen 8-11
  10. Michael Byrne 12-10
  11. Josh Summey 9-13
  12. Gavin Gracyk 14-9
  13. Ivan Tedesco 13-12
  14. Kyle Lewis 11-16
  15. Bobby Garrison 15-15
  16. Troy Adams 39-14
  17. Justin Sipes 16-36
  18. Ryan Mills 28-17
  19. Antonio Balbi 17-40
  20. Shaun Skinner 31-18

MX SEASON STANDINGS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (241 points/5 wins)
  2. James Stewart (225)
  3. Tim Ferry (163)
  4. Andrew Short (160)
  5. Grant Langston (159)
  6. Mike Alessi (147)
  7. Kevin Windham (132)
  8. David Vullimen (110)
  9. Tommy Hahn
  10. Robert Kiniry
  11. Ryan Morais
  12. Matt Lemoine

LITES OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ryan Villopoto 1-1
  2. Ben Townley 2-2
  3. Josh Grant 4-3
  4. Jason Lawrence 3-6
  5. Jake Weimer 7-4
  6. Tommy Hahn 5-7
  7. Ryan Morais 8-9
  8. Andrew McFarlane 13-5
  9. Chris Gosselaar 10-11
  10. Kyle Chisholm 9-15
  11. Joaquim Rodrigues 12-13
  12. Robert Kiniry 18-8
  13. Josh Hill 6-40
  14. Matt Lemoine 19-10
  15. Tucker Hibbert 16-14
  16. Ricky Renner 11-39
  17. Matt Goerke 39-12
  18. Daniel Sani 17-16
  19. Kelly Smith 14-19
  20. Broc Tickle 15-28

LITES SEASON STANDINGS:

  1. Ryan Villopoto (238 points/2 wins)
  2. Ben Townley (218/2 wins)
  3. Josh Grant (184/1 win)
  4. Jason Lawrence (176)
  5. Ryan Dungey (150)
  6. Jake Weimer (110)
  7. Josh Hill (105)
  8. Tommy Hahn (104)
  9. Broc Tickle (86)
  10. Kyle Chisholm (78)
  11. Andrew McFarlane (77)
  12. Matt Goerke (73)
  13. Robert Kiniry (68)
  14. Matt Lemoine (47)
  15. Ryan Morais (44)
  16. Billy Laninovich (44)
  17. Dusty Klatt (44)
  18. Chris Gosselaar (40)
  19. Steve Boniface (40)
  20. Daniel Sani (40)

MX MOTO TWO

As the gate dropped on the final moto of the day, Mike Alessi once again grabbed an impressive holeshot. Ricky Carmichael found himself spinning his back tire on the concrete start pad, leaving him as far back as tenth as the field made their way through the first turn. Carmichael eventually made his way up to fourth by the end of the first lap, following behind Soar Academey/Cycra/TLD rider Gavin Gracyk in the third position and Stewart in second.

The premier class front-runners soon started trading spots, as Stewart took the lead away from Alessi and Carmichael moved into the third spot in front of Gracyk. After riding on Alessi’s tail for a few laps, Carmichael took over the second spot on lap four in a rough section before a deeply rutted corner.

For the next few Carmichael closed in on Stewart, but heavy traffic hindered his efforts to make the pass. It was looking as if Stewart might come out with a 1-1 win at Red Bud, when suddenly the Kawasaki pilot went into a rutted berm too fast and grabbed the front brake, sending himself over the bars and leaving Carmichael wide open to take the lead. Stewart was able to remount in time to save second place. Alessi hung on to the third spot, even though Ferry had closed in considerably by the end of the race.

RESULTS:

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

MX OVERALL RESULTS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael 2-1
  2. James Stewart 1-2
  3. Mike Alessi 3-3
  4. Tim Ferry 4-4
  5. Andrew Short 6-5
  6. Grant Langston 5-7
  7. Jeff Alessi 7-8
  8. Kevin Windham 10-6
  9. David Vullimen 8-11
  10. Michael Byrne 12-10
  11. Josh Summey 9-13
  12. Gavin Gracyk 14-9
  13. Ivan Tedesco 13-12
  14. Kyle Lewis 11-16
  15. Bobby Garrison 15-15
  16. Troy Adams 39-14
  17. Justin Sipes 16-36
  18. Ryan Mills 28-17
  19. Antonio Balbi 17-40
  20. Shaun Skinner 31-18

MX SEASON STANDINGS:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (241 points/5 wins)
  2. James Stewart (225)
  3. Tim Ferry (163)
  4. Andrew Short (160)
  5. Grant Langston (159)
  6. Mike Alessi (147)
  7. Kevin Windham (132)
  8. David Vullimen (110)
  9. Davey Millsaps (102)
  10. Michael Byrne (100)
  11. Gavin Gracyk (78)
  12. Jeff Alessi (68)
  13. Josh Summey (45)
  14. Ivan Tedesco (41)
  15. Kyle Lewis (41)
  16. Troy Adams (39)
  17. Jason Thomas (39)
  18. Chad Reed (38)
  19. Antonio Balbi (31)
  20. Nick Wey (29)
  • Davey Millsaps (102)
  • Michael Byrne (100)
  • Gavin Gracyk (78)
  • Jeff Alessi (68)
  • Josh Summey (45)
  • Ivan Tedesco (41)
  • Kyle Lewis (41)
  • Troy Adams (39)
  • Jason Thomas (39)
  • Chad Reed (38)
  • Antonio Balbi (31)
  • Nick Wey (29)