TWMX Race Report: ’05 AMA Supercross Series, Round 2, Phoenix, AZ

Round 1 last weekend in Anaheim was without a doubt one of the most highly anticipated Supercross races ever, and although a ton of nasty weather turned the track into a mudbog, the racing action was awesome! Well…at least for the spectators. After the muddy circuit laid claim to a number of top contenders, redemption was undoubtedly the theme in Phoenix.

Sadly, and before the racing program even got under way on Saturday evening, disaster struck for Kawasaki’s James “Bubba Stewart. In a section of the track that only James was putting together as a triple-triple, he came up short during the second practice session and hit the ground hard. After spending nearly five minutes on the ground before being aided onto the Asterisk Mule, the rumors as to the severity of his injuries started to fly. Here’s the official Kawasaki press release…

“Team Kawasaki rider James Stewart will not be competing in round two of the THQ Supercross Series at Bank One Ballpark after suffering a fractured left forearm during a practice crash on Saturday. Stewart was treated and evaluated by physicians on the scene and released for further evaluation. Stewart posted the fasted overall lap times in the final 250 practice session of 51.281 seconds. No additional information is available at this time.

Best of luck to Bubba on a speedy recovery…

Here’s how the racing action unfolded in front of the 49,822 (sell out) Phoenix fans…

125 HEATS

The holeshot in heat number one went to Amsoil Honda’s Billy Laninovich aboard his CRF250R. Billy put in a solid six laps and slowly walked away from the field. Finishing second was Yamaha of Troy’s Danny Smith, and third went to WBR’s Ryan Sipes. Team Suzuki’s Broc Hepler charged back from a terrible start to finish sixth, along the way posting the heat’s fastest lap time.

Defending 125cc West Coast Champ Ivan Tedesco jumped out of the gate first in heat two with last week’s winner, KTM’s Nathan Ramsey, close in tow. Nate Dawg had nothing for Hot Sauce, though, as the Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider piloted his KX250F to the win, posting the fastest lap time in the heat. Team Honda’s Andrew Short came back from a look warm start to finish in the third spot. Ivan’s heat race was a full three seconds faster than heat number one.

250 HEATS

And the heat one holeshot goes to… Ricky Carmichael! RC got a great jump out of the gate and walked away with an easy and uneventful 11-second win over Heath Voss. Heath was still impressive, however, and finished a full nine seconds ahead of third place David Vuillemin. Mr. Voss is definitely taking advantage of his time in the Yamaha rig. Behind DV12 there were a couple decent, short-lived battles, but when the dust settled it was Travis Pastrana who came away with the final transfer spot. MDK’s Nick Wey and Monster/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Sean Hamblin were sent packing for the semis.

At the start of heat two it was Jeremy McGrath and Chad Reed side-by-side in the first turn. Reed edged MC out in turn number three and took control, never looking back. Last week’s winner Kevin Windham moved up quickly after a so-so start and got by McGrath on the second lap. K-Dub began to close the gap on Reed for a short time as the two pulled away from the rest of the field, but Reed proved to have the speed and cruised on to win by a comfortable four second margin. Ernesto Fonseca went down while trying to close in on MC, allowing Jeremy to cruise in for third place ahead of Michael Byrne and Yamaha’s Tim Ferry.

125 LCQ

Chris Gosselaar, aboard his Motoworld Racing.com Suzuki, grabbed the holeshot in the four lap LCQ and led wire-to-wire, but barely beat Team ECC.com’s Jesse Casillas to the checkers. Turbo Reif and Ben Coisy took the final two transfer spots. Akira Narita, who finished on the podium last weekend in Anaheim, had to settle for the Asterisk Medic Card cash.

>250 SEMIS

Unbelievably, Mike LaRocco scored a holeshot…yes…a holeshot in semi number one and led every lap on his way to victory. The Rock had to work for it, however, as MDK’s Nick Wey kept him honest and nearly passed him in the last couple of corners. Erick Vallejo, Sean Hamblin and Kyle Lewis all transferred to the main event.

In semi two it was Subway’s Jeff Gibson who got to the first turn first, but Ernesto Fonseca got by him before the end of lap two. Suzuki’s Sebastian Tortelli also got by Gibson on lap five, and the three finished in that order. Tim Ferry and James Povolny took fourth and fifth respectively, also transferring to the main event.

250 LCQ

Jimmy Wilson got sucked into Jacob Martin’s YZ250 rear wheel during a first turn pileup, forcing the red flags to fly and halting the continuation of the race. Mechanics and medical personnel scrambled to treat Jimmy while removing parts from the bike in order to free him. After about a ten-minute delay they finally got Jimmy’s leg pulled out of the bike, and he was then taken off the track via ambulance for further treatment.

When the race restarted it was Justin Buckelew leading the charge through turn one. Tyler Evans made a great move in turn two, passing four guys to take over second. Evans got by Buckelew on the second lap and then nearly crashed on the same straightaway, allowing both Buckelew and Damon Huffman to pull up next to him. In an impressively aggressive move, though, Evans managed to hold them both off and reclaimed the lead. Huffman got close and diced it out with old “One Punch for the remainder of the race, but Evans edged him out in the end to take the win.

125 MAIN

In the first “real (non-mud) start of the ’05 125cc West Coast series, Ryan Sipes grabbed the holeshot, but Broc Hepler quickly passed him for the lead. Ivan Tedesco found himself buried in the pack off the start, but began moving through the pack quickly. Hepler opened up a three second lead almost immediately, while favorites Nathan Ramsey, who also got a mediocre start, and Tedesco continued moving through the field. Tedesco threw down an amazing pass, getting Ramsey and Short almost simultaneously. By lap number nine Hot Sauce blew by Sipes to take over the second spot, and he set out after Hepler who had built a seven-second lead. On lap 11 Ramsey went down while trying to pass Sipes, and by the time he got his KTM restarted he found himself in last place. Hepler continued to slowly extend his lead and took a very impressive win in front of the sellout Phoenix crowd. Tedesco finished second some eight seconds back, and Ryan Sipes finished third, scoring the first podium of his young career. Ramsey’s crash and resulting 22nd place finish will have a severe impact and turnaround on the championship points chase.

125cc Main Event Results

  1. Broc Hepler
  2. Ivan Tedesco
  3. Ryan Sipes
  4. Turbo Reif
  5. Danny Smith
  6. Tommy Hahn
  7. Jesse Casillas
  8. Jay Marmont
  9. Chris Gosselaar
  10. Andrew Short
  11. Billy Laninovich
  12. Steve Mertens
  13. Sean Collier
  14. Ryan Morais
  15. Tim Weigand
  16. Richie Owens
  17. Tiger Lacy
  18. Johnny Marley
  19. Ben Coisy
  20. Paul Carpenter
  21. Ryan Abrigo
  22. Nathan Ramsey

250 MAIN

When the gate finally dropped for the 250cc main event the crowd went absolutely nuts as Ricky Carmichael snuck through turn one in the lead, collecting the $1,500 holeshot award. At the end of lap one it was RC, Windham, Voss, Fonseca, and Reed out front. RC and Windham pulled a quick lead, and K-Dub was giving Ricky all he wanted for the first few laps. It wasn’t until lap six that Reed was finally able to get by Voss for the third spot, at which point RC had already opened up a nine second gap. Ricky rode incredibly well and continued extending his lead, never to be challenged. K-Dub put in a solid effort to hang with Ricky, but it was clearly Ricky’s show. RC pumped a fist in the air over both triples on the last lap in celebration, and cruised on in for a 10 second win over Windham. Reed closed the gap a bit on K Dub, finishing four seconds behind him and 14 seconds behind RC.

250cc Main Event Results

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. Chad Reed
  4. Ernesto Fonseca
  5. Heath Voss
  6. Sebastian Tortelli
  7. Nick Wey
  8. David Vuillemin
  9. Jeremy McGrath
  10. Damon Huffman
  11. Michael Byrne
  12. Tim Ferry
  13. Erick Vallejo
  14. Kyle Lewis
  15. Mike LaRocco
  16. Sean Hamblin
  17. James Povolny
  18. Jeff Gibson
  19. Tyler Evans
  20. Travis Pastrana

y well and continued extending his lead, never to be challenged. K-Dub put in a solid effort to hang with Ricky, but it was clearly Ricky’s show. RC pumped a fist in the air over both triples on the last lap in celebration, and cruised on in for a 10 second win over Windham. Reed closed the gap a bit on K Dub, finishing four seconds behind him and 14 seconds behind RC.

250cc Main Event Results

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. Chad Reed
  4. Ernesto Fonseca
  5. Heath Voss
  6. Sebastian Tortelli
  7. Nick Wey
  8. David Vuillemin
  9. Jeremy McGrath
  10. Damon Huffman
  11. Michael Byrne
  12. Tim Ferry
  13. Erick Vallejo
  14. Kyle Lewis
  15. Mike LaRocco
  16. Sean Hamblin
  17. James Povolny
  18. Jeff Gibson
  19. Tyler Evans
  20. Travis Pastrana