TWMX Race Report: ’05 AMA Supercross Series, Round 3, Anaheim (II), CA

Carmichael, Tedesco Take Anaheim II

Sunny skies and ideal track conditions greeted riders as fans as the Supercross Series made its second stop at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, and it was Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael and Monster Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco who came home the big winners.

For Carmichael, it was an easy victory as early pursuer Chad Reed fell off his works Yamaha early on and dropped off the leader’s pace. While Reed was able to remount quickly and salvage second, he was never again a threat for the win throughout the 20-lap main event. Round one winner and series points leader coming into the event, Kevin Windham, struggled all night with a big crash in his heat race and a bad start in the main, but he came through to earn the final podium position by the race’s end.

Tedesco, meanwhile, rode like the champion he is as he came through the pack for his win, displacing all of his major rivals en route to his first win of the series. Last week’s winner, Broc Hepler, suffered a spectacular crash while battling for the lead early in the race and was not a factor. Honda’s Andrew Short and KTM’s Nathan Ramsey rounded out the 125cc class podium.

125 HEATS (Six laps, 20 riders, top nine qualify)

Turbo Reif grabbed the holeshot at the start of the first heat race of the evening and led PPG MotoworldRacing.com’s Chris Gosselaar, Red Bull KTM’s Jay Marmont, Factory Connection’s Billy Laninovich and round one winner Nathan Ramsey. Laninovich was the rider on the move, as he slipped past Marmont and Gosselaar on the second lap and began to pressure Reif heavily. Lano took over the lead at the start of the fourth lap, and Ramsey was the next to challenge the early leader. Nate Dog muscled his way past just before the first baseline triple and into second, while Reif went over the bars half a lap later and dropped to last. Once into second, Ramsey reeled in Laninovich and shadowed the Honda rider as they began the last lap. It was too little too late, however, as the number 132 Honda of Laninovich crossed the finish line first, with Ramsey in tow. Gosselaar was a distant third.

Defending Western Region 125cc SX Champ Ivan Tedesco lined up for the second heat race of the night, but it was the Yamaha of Troy bike piloted by Danny Smith that grabbed the lead. Tedesco gated second, however, and within two corners Hot Sauce was out front and in control Suzuki’s Broc Hepler made the first aggressive move of the night and muscled his way past Smith on the opening lap, while Honda’s Andrew Short also zipped past and into third. Hepler tried to dive underneath Tedesco for the lead on lap four, but a serious bobble saw him forced to roll the next triple, allowing Short to sail over his head and into the runner-up position. As the trio began the last lap, only inches separated them from one another. Hepler made a super-aggressive block pass attempt on Short two corners from the finish, but as no stranger to aggressive contact himself, Shorty held his line—and the position—to the checkered flag. Smith was a distant fourth.

250 HEATS (Eight laps, 20 riders, top four qualify)

Ricky Carmichael led the way at the start of 250 heat one and was pursued by teammate Sebastien Tortelli on the four-stroke Suzuki RM-Z450. RC pulled away immediately, as did Tortelli from the pack battling over third. Clark Stiles, David Vuillemin and Jeremy McGrath vied for third, with MC taking firm control of the spot on lap three. From lap four on, the race was a follow-the-leader affair, as the running order of RC, Tortelli, MC and Vuillemin never changed again. At the checkered flag, RC enjoyed a 15-second margin of victory over Tortelli, who in turn held a solid four-second advantage over McGrath, Vuillemin was another two-seconds behind, and also the last direct qualifier. LaRocco, Byrne and Ferry would all have to go to the semi.

Chad Reed was the quickest off the line the second heat race, but Kevin Windham and his four-stroke Honda were hot on his tail. Defending SX GP World Champion Heath Voss and Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca gave chase, but it was obvious that Reed and K-Dub were the cream of the crop as they pulled away quickly. At the halfway point, Reed led Windham by two seconds and appeared to have found his rhythm, but as the duo started lap five, K-Dub lost control in the whoops and went down hard. The round-one winner appeared shaken as he was slow to get up, and he eventually left the stadium on foot, leaving his mechanic to push the bike back to the pits. At the finish, Reed led Voss across the line by 16 seconds. Fonseca was a distant third, while MDK Motorsports rider Nick Wey earned fourth in a spirited ride from well back in the pack. At the finish, Wey—who was piloting TransWorld Motocross ‘ 2005 Honda CR250R test bike—was less than two bike-lengths behind Fonseca.

125 LCQ (Four laps, 22 riders, top four qualify)

Turbo Reif grabbed his second holeshot of the night in the 125cc LCQ and led the entire way. Keeney, Siebler and Owens rounded out the final transfer positions. Mike Sleeter finished fifth and collected the Asterisk Medic Card.

250 SEMIS (six laps, 16 riders, top five qualify)

Mike LaRocco grabbed a rare holeshot at the drop of the gate in semi one and was chased by Ferry, Byrne, Huffman and Isaiah Johnson. Ferry attempted to dive underneath LaRocco towards the end of lap three, but lost traction and allowed Byrne to sneak past. Burner zapped LaRocco on lap five, and the duo had the crowd on its feet as they swapped the lead with no less than three more lead changes. Both The Rock and Burner rode a clean, aggressive race, and it was obvious that the two former teammates had plenty of respect for one another. In the end, it was the Australian who emerged on top, over LaRocco and Ferry.

Windham took control of the second semi on the first lap and ran away with an easy win. Jason Thomas, Tyler Evans, Jeff Gibson and James Povolny battled over the remaining qualifying positions. In the end, it was Evans who came home second, some 10 seconds behind Windham. Subway teammates Thomas, Gibson and Oehlhof earned the last three transfer positions.

250 LCQ (six laps, 22 riders, top two qualify)

Erik Vallejo won the last chance qualifier after a battle with Moto XXX’s Kyle Lewis. Lewis crashed hard on the fourth lap and left Vallejo with an easy win, over Johnson, Stiles and Jake Martin. Only Vallejo and Johnson advanced; Stiles earned the Racer X Gas Card.

125 MAIN (15 laps, 22 riders)

Ryan Sipes holeshot at the start of the main and was chased early on by Marmont, Ramsey, Hepler, Short, Tedesco and Smith. Short was the first rider to make a move towards the front and passed both Ramsey and Hepler as he motored into third behind Owens and Marmont. A miscalculation by Ramsey that kept him from jumping the third base line triple saw him drop to seventh. Hepler came to life on the third lap and charged into second, but he crashed into the back of Sipes in the air over a triple jump and laid on the side of the track in pain for several minutes.

Short inherited the lead in all of the mayhem, and Tedesco somehow emerged from the tangle in the runner-up position. Hepler remounted as the pack started lap six, and at that time the running order was Short, Tedesco, Ramsey, Sipes and Marmont.

Short began to lap riders on the 10 th lap, and Tedesco was hot on his tail. Hot Sauce dove to the inside of Short just as they crossed over the starting line straight and assumed the lead, then put his head down and began to establish an immediate lead. Within one lap, Tedesco had put three seconds between he and Short, while Ramsey appeared to also be gaining.

Save for a near-endo on the penultimate lap, Tedesco’s ride up front was largely uneventful. At the finish, the defending champ enjoyed a two-second lead over Short, who in turn had the same cushion over Ramsey. Factory Connection’s Thomas Hahn was a distant fourth, followed by Sipes, Smith, Marmont, Metcalfe and Richie Owens.

After the race, Thomas Hahn received a five second penalty for jumping a double under a caution flag, which dropped him to fifth spot.

250 MAIN

Carmichael led Reed, Byrne, Ferry, McGrath and Vuillemin off the line. By the start of lap three, RC and Reed were already beginning to pull away from third-place Byrne, while McGrath and Ferry traded fourth place repeatedly. Lap five saw Vuillemin come to life as he passed Ferry and began to pressure MC for fourth. On the sixth lap, the race fell apart for Reed as he lost his front end in the whoops and crashed. The defending champ was quick to remount, however, and got going again before Byrne rode past. Still, the damage was done, and RC enjoyed a nine-second lead as they circled the track for the seventh time. On lap eight, McGrath got the crowd on its feet when he passed Byrne and moved into a podium position. LaRocco came out of nowhere on lap nine and passed both Vuillemin and Byrne, then set his sights on the King of Supercross. Almost immediately, the Rock closed to the rear fender of MC’s Honda, and the veteran made a pass stick in the whoops at the halfway point.

With Windham now gaining as well, McGrath began to look a little rough around the edges as he began to make multiple mistakes and slowed visibly. K-Dub charged past and into fourth on lap 13, leaving MC to fend off the advanced of Byrne, Vuillemin, Wey and Tortelli, who all ran within striking distance.

With five laps to go, RC led Reed by 10 seconds. Windham passed LaRocco for third at the finish line jump, but LaRocco tucked right in behind the series points leader and would not let go. Behind the pair of Factory Connection Hondas, McGrath found himself hounded by Wey, who had stormed through the pack after a mediocre start. Wey made a spirited attempt to displace McGrath on the last lap, but the seven-time SX champ rode him wide in one of the final corners to secure his position.

At the checkered flag, Carmichael threw his Suzuki RM250 completely sideways as he celebrated his second U.S. win of the season, and fourth victory of the SX GP Series. Reed was a distant second, while Windham, LaRocco, McGrath and Wey rounded out the top six.

250cc Press Conference Notes

Here are some quick quotes from the 250cc podium inhabitants…

Windham on the track and his heat race crash in a whoop section: “The track today was pretty chewed up. I was doing good, and was just trying to make some time up on Chad. Out of nowhere I overjumped a whoop, and got caught on one where it was kind of cupped out. Blew a hand off, and all hell broke loose after that. I bounced up quick and I was ready to go. Then I got to the bike and kind of realized I wasn’t ready. I dusted the cobwebs off as best I could. I’ve been a little bit dizzy from it. I didn’t get knocked out or anything. I was just a little uneasy all night from that point on.”

Reed on his crash in the main event: “There was kinda one spot that in the heat race I didn’t feel like I was that great there, and tried to change up my line and push a little harder. It seemed like I was coming up to the back of Ricky a little bit there, and I got over the just kind of washed the front end.”

“This week was an interesting week. We changed a lot on the bike. Made things better and more comfortable for me.”

Ricky Carmichael on Chad’s crash, and racing with Chad: “Chad was riding great and he had some good lines. I didn’t like the particular line (where he crashed) because it was all chewed up. He definitely was on my tail. I felt that I had some good parts of the track, and he had some good parts of the track. It’s the same as last weekend. Just trying to handle the pressure, and not make any mistakes. Ijoyed a two-second lead over Short, who in turn had the same cushion over Ramsey. Factory Connection’s Thomas Hahn was a distant fourth, followed by Sipes, Smith, Marmont, Metcalfe and Richie Owens.

After the race, Thomas Hahn received a five second penalty for jumping a double under a caution flag, which dropped him to fifth spot.

250 MAIN

Carmichael led Reed, Byrne, Ferry, McGrath and Vuillemin off the line. By the start of lap three, RC and Reed were already beginning to pull away from third-place Byrne, while McGrath and Ferry traded fourth place repeatedly. Lap five saw Vuillemin come to life as he passed Ferry and began to pressure MC for fourth. On the sixth lap, the race fell apart for Reed as he lost his front end in the whoops and crashed. The defending champ was quick to remount, however, and got going again before Byrne rode past. Still, the damage was done, and RC enjoyed a nine-second lead as they circled the track for the seventh time. On lap eight, McGrath got the crowd on its feet when he passed Byrne and moved into a podium position. LaRocco came out of nowhere on lap nine and passed both Vuillemin and Byrne, then set his sights on the King of Supercross. Almost immediately, the Rock closed to the rear fender of MC’s Honda, and the veteran made a pass stick in the whoops at the halfway point.

With Windham now gaining as well, McGrath began to look a little rough around the edges as he began to make multiple mistakes and slowed visibly. K-Dub charged past and into fourth on lap 13, leaving MC to fend off the advanced of Byrne, Vuillemin, Wey and Tortelli, who all ran within striking distance.

With five laps to go, RC led Reed by 10 seconds. Windham passed LaRocco for third at the finish line jump, but LaRocco tucked right in behind the series points leader and would not let go. Behind the pair of Factory Connection Hondas, McGrath found himself hounded by Wey, who had stormed through the pack after a mediocre start. Wey made a spirited attempt to displace McGrath on the last lap, but the seven-time SX champ rode him wide in one of the final corners to secure his position.

At the checkered flag, Carmichael threw his Suzuki RM250 completely sideways as he celebrated his second U.S. win of the season, and fourth victory of the SX GP Series. Reed was a distant second, while Windham, LaRocco, McGrath and Wey rounded out the top six.

250cc Press Conference Notes

Here are some quick quotes from the 250cc podium inhabitants…

Windham on the track and his heat race crash in a whoop section: “The track today was pretty chewed up. I was doing good, and was just trying to make some time up on Chad. Out of nowhere I overjumped a whoop, and got caught on one where it was kind of cupped out. Blew a hand off, and all hell broke loose after that. I bounced up quick and I was ready to go. Then I got to the bike and kind of realized I wasn’t ready. I dusted the cobwebs off as best I could. I’ve been a little bit dizzy from it. I didn’t get knocked out or anything. I was just a little uneasy all night from that point on.”

Reed on his crash in the main event: “There was kinda one spot that in the heat race I didn’t feel like I was that great there, and tried to change up my line and push a little harder. It seemed like I was coming up to the back of Ricky a little bit there, and I got over the just kind of washed the front end.”

“This week was an interesting week. We changed a lot on the bike. Made things better and more comfortable for me.”

Ricky Carmichael on Chad’s crash, and racing with Chad: “Chad was riding great and he had some good lines. I didn’t like the particular line (where he crashed) because it was all chewed up. He definitely was on my tail. I felt that I had some good parts of the track, and he had some good parts of the track. It’s the same as last weekend. Just trying to handle the pressure, and not make any mistakes. I had fun racing with Chad. It’s a shame that he fell. I don’t like to get it that way. We’re going to have a lot of battles this year. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

s. I had fun racing with Chad. It’s a shame that he fell. I don’t like to get it that way. We’re going to have a lot of battles this year. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”