Steel City National

Steel City was a real nail-biter this year, as Mike Brown and Grant Langston went head-to head for the 125 National Championship. To make things interesting, Ricky Carmichael hopped on a 125 and got in the mix too. So what happened? Let’s just say that it was a good weekend for Kawasaki. Ricky Carmichael walked away with the overall win, beating Mark Barnett’s all-time 125 National win record. This win also put Carmichael past the record of wins in a season. RC has 22 wint this year. He earned 14 in Supercross, and won 8 Nationals. Mike Brown won the first moto, bringing him within six points of Grant Langston. Grant finished second, and Ricky Carmichael charged back from a first lap crash to third. We must note that RC was logging lap times 2-seconds a lap faster than Brown or Langston, and had faster times than the 250 class.

In the second moto, Ricky pulled out to an early lead, and cruised to an easy win. The action behind him was intense, though. Brown had crashed early on, and was a little ways back from the front of the pack. Langston was near the front of the pack, and it appeared that he was set to win the Championship. With two laps to go, Grant’s rear wheel exploded, and he was forced to pull off. Brown was in second place, and was set to win the overall and the Championship, but let Branden Jesseman by him, so that Ricky would win the overall and beat Mark Barnett’s record. From there, Brownie cruised in to claim the 2001 125cc Outdoor National Championship.

It may seem unfair to Grant Langston, but when the season was broken down, both Brown and Langston had each suffered three DNFs this season. Langston’s happened at the worst possible time, though.

125 Results:

1. Ricky Carmichael – KAW – 3/1

2. Mike Brown – KAW – 1/3

3. Branden Jesseman – HON – 7/2

4. Ernesto Fonseca – YAM – 4/4

5. Nate Ramsey – YAM – 5/5

6. Brock Sellards – KTM – 8/6

7. Nick Wey – YAM – 11/7

8. Rodrig Thain – SUZ – 6/14

9. Grant Langston – KTM – 2/32

10. Damon Huffman – YAM – 9/12

125 Point Standings:

1. Mike Brown – 458

2. Grant Langston – 444

3. Ernesto Fonseca – 335

4. Larry Ward – 332

5. Brock Sellards – 312

6. Travis Pastrana – 311

7. Nate Ramsey – 249

8. Rodrig Thain – 223

9. Branden Jesseman – 207

10. Scott Sheak – 201

The 250 race wasn’t as exciting as the 125’s, though. It was all about Kevin Windham both motos. With RC racing the 125’s, Kevin ran away with the win each moto, followed by Tim Ferry and Mike LaRocco. Judging by his results, it appears that Mike LaRocco is taking a liking to the CRF450. He has the option of riding it next year in Supercross and in the Nationals, but we’ll have to wait and see if he sticks with the two or four-stroke for ’02.

Sebastien Tortelli didn’t ride this weekend, after crashing hard last weekend at Binghamton. Ryan Hughes also didn’t ride, after suffering a fall in Saturday’s practice.

250 Results:

1. Kevin Windham – SUZ – 1/1

2. Tim Ferry – YAM – 3/2

3. Mike LaRocco – HON – 2/3

4. David Vuillemin – YAM – 5/4

5. John Dowd – KTM – 7/5

6. Steve Lamson – HUS – 9/6

7. Stephane Roncada – KAW – 4/12

8. Travis Preston – HUS – 8/8

9. Clark Stiles – KTM – 10/9

10. Kyle Lewis – YAM – 12/10

250 Point Standings:

1. Ricky Carmichael – 490

2. Kevin Windham – 482

3. Tim Ferry – 439

4. Mike LaRocco – 411

5. David Vuillemin – 346

6. Sebastien Tortelli – 339

7. John Dowd – 326

8. Stephane Roncada – 305

9. Kyle Lewis – 228

10. Robbie Reynard – 227