TWMX Race Report: ’05 AMA Supercross Series, Round 5; Anaheim (III), CA

Five races into the new Supercross season, both Ivan Tedesco and Ricky Carmichael solidified their respective points leads with wins at the third (and final) visit to Angel Stadium for ’05. Both riders had relatively easy times of it this week. Ivan only had to displace early leader Danny Smith, while RC did the same to Michael Byrne. Both riders were unchallenged once they moved into the lead, and here’s the play-by-play…

125 HEATS (20 Riders, 6 laps, top 9 transfer)

Team Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Ramsey nabbed the holeshot at the start of the first heat race from the right side of the starting gate and immediately began to pull away. Steve Lamson of the Motosport Outlet team, Pro Circuit’s Paul Carpenter, Lamson’s teammate Akira Narita and Yamaha privateer Steve Mertens gave chase, but it was to no avail as Ramsey ran away with an easy win aboard his KTM 250 four-stroke. After the split start, most of the riders favored the right side of the “choose-or-lose option section, though the occasional rider opted to go left. Carpenter blasted past Lamson on the third lap in the whoops and took over second for good. Last weekend’s main event winner, Billy Laninovich, was the rider on the move, as he charged up from a mediocre start to finish an eventual fourth, behind winner Ramsey, Carpenter and Lamson. Japanese rider Narita held on to an impressive fifth at the checkered flag.

When the gate dropped at the start of the second 125 heat race, defending 125cc Western Region Champion Ivan Tedesco squirted out into the lead from the right side of the starting gate and began to put distance between himself and Yamaha of Troy’s Brett Metcalfe almost immediately. Behind the lone two-stroke rider was Factory Connection’s Tommy Hahn, Honda’s Andrew Short and KTM’s Jay Marmont. The two Honda pilots were quick to displace Metcalfe, doling so on the first lap. Short got aggressive with Hahn on lap two and raced past, then set out to close the gap on Tedesco. Though Short and Hahn were able to match Tedesco’s rapid pace throughout the remainder of the race, the gap he established early on stuck and he crossed the finish line about two seconds ahead. Samsung’s Josh Summey was fourth, some 12 seconds back.

250 HEATS (20 riders, 8 laps, top 4 transfer)

Kawasaki’s Michael Byrne grabbed the holeshot in the opening 250 heat race and became the first rider to do so from the left side of the split starting gate. Defending Supercross Champion Chad Reed gated second ahead of Kevin Windham, Tyler Evans and Ernesto Fonseca. Reed motored into the lead at the start of lap two and looked good as he pulled away, in spite of a nasty crash he suffered earlier in the day during the first practice session. Windham hounded Byrne and found his way past on lap two in the whoops, though it must be noted that the Australian was riding his best race of the year as he shadowed the Honda rider for two more laps before settling into a comfortable third. Fonseca, meanwhile, struggled to find his way past Bloodshot/Skaterade rider Evans, aboard his privateer Suzuki RM250. Try as he might, Fonseca could not sneak past the heavily tattooed rider until he made a last-ditch block pass with only two turns to go before the white flag. Evans retaliated and put the Costa Rican down when he returned the favor half a lap later and brought the crowd to its feet. At the finish, it was Reed with an easy win over Windham and Byrne, while the Metal Mulisha’s Evans literally beat out Fonseca for the last direct transfer.

Ricky Carmichael led the charge on the right side of the gate at the start of heat two, while Mike LaRocco rounded turn two after spanking the entire left side of the gate off the line. (Wow!) Heath Voss moved past The Rock on lap one and left the veteran to fend off the charges of crowd favorite Jeremy McGrath, and the two traded paint in more than one section of the track. MC used the optional left side to repeatedly pull ongside LaRocco, but he lost touch with the former 250 and 500cc National Champion when he was forced to double the third baseline triple jump on lap five, allowing Subway’s Jeff Gibson and Yamaha’s David Vuillemin past. The Cobra was quick to displace Gibson, and he set out to strike at LaRocco next. DV12 came close to passing LaRocco just before the white flag, but at the checkers it was RC with a 19-second margin of victory over Voss, LaRocco and Vuillemin. McGrath would have to race in the semi final to earn a transfer to the main event.

125 LCQ (22 riders, 4 laps, top 4 transfer)

Yamaha of Troy’s Danny Smith and MotoWorldRacing.com’s Chris Gosselaar were the premier riders in the 125 LCQ, and it was no surprise to see the two of them take over the top two positions right off the start. Star Racing’s Bryan Johnson displaced Smith on the first lap, though, and began to apply pressure to Lil’ Goose. Johnson moved past at the end of lap two, obviously filled with confidence after his San Francisco heat race win. A big bobble in the whoops on lap three, however, saw both Smith and Gosselaar move past, but Johnson retaliated quickly with an aggressive pass on Gosselaar a few corners later. At the finish, it was Smith with a slight advantage over Johnson, followed by Gosselaar and Motosport Outlet’s Ryan Abrigo, who earned the last transfer to the main event. Justin Keeney finished fifth aboard his Kawasaki Team Green ride and earned the Asterisk Medic Card, worth $250.

250 SEMIS (16 riders, 6 laps, top 5 qualify)

Fonseca and Sebastien Tortelli were the biggest names in the first semi, and it was The Fonz who left the starting line quickest and nabbed the holeshot, while Tortelli was mired at the start aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450. Keith Johnson held down the runner-up position early on and was pressured by Team ECC’s Damon Huffman, Erick Vallejo, TWMX test rider Michael Young and Tortelli. While Fonseca pulled away up front, Tortelli’s charge through the pack was the only thing worth watching. After starting horribly, the likable French rider motored up to an eventual second, just ahead of Huffman. Johnson earned the fourth and final transfer to the main, leaving his Star Racing teammate Vallejo and the rest to race in the LCQ.

All eyes were on McGrath when the gate dropped to start the second semi, and the seven-time champ didn’t disappoint as he grabbed the lead from the left side of the starting gate. Nick Wey shadowed MC and was followed by Team Moto XXX’s Kyle Lewis, Jiri Dostal and Honda’s Travis Preston, who was competing for the first time this season after suffering a busted collarbone in December. Presto motored into fourth and applied to pressure to Lewis, and found his way past on lap five when Lewis bobbled and dropped back to fourth. Up front, Wey pressured McGrath in a battle reminiscent of their Anaheim 2 duel for fifth place. It seemed odd to see McGrath riding defensively, and we’ve all become accustomed to seeing him pull away with ease, but still it was the popular part-time Honda factory rider who scored the win. Wey had the crowd on its feet as he slammed into MC in the final two turns in an attempt to score the win, but in the end he was second, well ahead of Preston, Gibson and Lewis.

250 LCQ (22 riders, 6 laps, top 2 transfer)

A pile-up on the right side of the gate allowed Justin Buckelew to storm into the lead at the start of the LCQ, leading Doug DeHaan, Clark Stiles and Ryan Clark in the six-lap sprint. Buckelew maintained control of the race, pulling out a four-second lead while the others battled for the last transfer position. Clark came to life on lap four, passing both DeHaan and Stiles and putting his Team Solitaire Yamaha into the main event with an eventual runner-up finish. DeHaan earned the $750 Racer X Gas Card and the $250 Samsung consolation prize.

125 MAIN (22 riders, 15 laps)

When the gate dropped at the start of the 15-lap 125 main, Smith led the way through turn one and was shadowed by Laninovich, Tedesco and Ramsey. Hot Sauce took control within two corners however, and led Laninovich, Smith, Ramsey, Abrigo and Metcalfe to start lap two. Last week’s runner-up, Short, suffered a horrendous start and began lap two in 16 th place. Short, however, moved through the pack well, and thanks to a collision between Metcalfe and Abrigo on lap nine, found himself up into fifth with five laps to go. It was on the very next lap, though, that Short lost control in the whoops and crashed out of the race.

Out front, Tedesco rode a masterful race as he began to pull away from the persistent Laninovich as the laps wore down, extending his once-scant lead to a full six-seconds by the 11 th lap. Ramsey held tough in third another six seconds behind, while Smith finally gained control over fourth after spending much of the race battling with no less than three other riders. At the checkered flag, Tedesco celebrated with a three-second margin over Laninovich. Ramsey, Smith and Metcalfe rounded out the top five, while Timmy Weigand led a pack of riders across the finish line to post a super-impressive sixth. Aboard his Hahm Motorsports privateer Honda.

250 MAIN (20 riders, 20 laps)

Byrne grabbed the holeshot at the start of the main, but RC was right on his tail. Reed lost his balance behind RC in the first corner and went down, effectively ending any hopes for a great battle for the lead. As the pack completed lap one, the defending champ led only five riders, sitting in 15 th , Carmichael displaced Byrne at the start of lap two with ease, right about the same time that Windham hit a Tuff Block, caught neutral and swapped in a technical rhythm section, crashing out of the race. The running order at the start of lap three was RC, Byrne, Fonseca, Vallejo, McGrath, Preston, Vuillemin, Evans, Voss, Reed, Wey and LaRocco. MC went down big time on a tricky section on the third lap, and he did not remount and retired for the evening. This left Fonseca in control of third ahead of Preston, Vallejo and DV12.

Once up into sixth, Reed found himself with a five-second gap between he and fifth-placed Vuillemin on lap seven, but the champ was riding like a man possessed as he blistered the slick Anaheim circuit. Cobra cut under Preston towards the end of lap nine and took over fourth, and Reed was next to displace the High Desert dweller, who self-admittedly had “12 laps of fury in him after so much time off with injuries. Vuillemin bobbled in the whoops at the halfway point and allowed Reed to scoot into fourth, and it was only a matter of time after that before Reedy zapped Fonseca for third. The champ blew into third, passing Fonseca in the whoops with an incredibly smooth charge through the treacherous obstacles, and Vuillemin was next to rail past the flustered Fonseca.

With six laps to go, RC enjoyed a 13-second lead over Byrne, who had Reed breathing down his jersey. As Reed opted to go left in the optional section, it seemed as if Byrne’s speed through the right side was identical. No matter, though, as Reed outfoxed his fellow Australian just before the finish line jump and moved into second place; remarkable, considering that he fell in turn one. From this point on, the question was whether or not Byrne could maintain his grasp on the third and final podium position. Villy and Byrne came together briefly before the third-baseline triple, but the momentary loss in momentum didn’t seen to faze the Frenchman as he continued in his unrelenting challenge for third. Vuillemin’s effort went unrewarded, however, as Byrne held his position to the finish and scored his first-ever 250cc class podium finish.

Be sure to check Monday Kickstart on www.transworldmx.com for post-race quotes, and all the inside scoop from Anaheim III.

125cc Results

  1. Ivan Tedesco
  2. Bilte dropped at the start of the 15-lap 125 main, Smith led the way through turn one and was shadowed by Laninovich, Tedesco and Ramsey. Hot Sauce took control within two corners however, and led Laninovich, Smith, Ramsey, Abrigo and Metcalfe to start lap two. Last week’s runner-up, Short, suffered a horrendous start and began lap two in 16 th place. Short, however, moved through the pack well, and thanks to a collision between Metcalfe and Abrigo on lap nine, found himself up into fifth with five laps to go. It was on the very next lap, though, that Short lost control in the whoops and crashed out of the race.

    Out front, Tedesco rode a masterful race as he began to pull away from the persistent Laninovich as the laps wore down, extending his once-scant lead to a full six-seconds by the 11 th lap. Ramsey held tough in third another six seconds behind, while Smith finally gained control over fourth after spending much of the race battling with no less than three other riders. At the checkered flag, Tedesco celebrated with a three-second margin over Laninovich. Ramsey, Smith and Metcalfe rounded out the top five, while Timmy Weigand led a pack of riders across the finish line to post a super-impressive sixth. Aboard his Hahm Motorsports privateer Honda.

    250 MAIN (20 riders, 20 laps)

    Byrne grabbed the holeshot at the start of the main, but RC was right on his tail. Reed lost his balance behind RC in the first corner and went down, effectively ending any hopes for a great battle for the lead. As the pack completed lap one, the defending champ led only five riders, sitting in 15 th , Carmichael displaced Byrne at the start of lap two with ease, right about the same time that Windham hit a Tuff Block, caught neutral and swapped in a technical rhythm section, crashing out of the race. The running order at the start of lap three was RC, Byrne, Fonseca, Vallejo, McGrath, Preston, Vuillemin, Evans, Voss, Reed, Wey and LaRocco. MC went down big time on a tricky section on the third lap, and he did not remount and retired for the evening. This left Fonseca in control of third ahead of Preston, Vallejo and DV12.

    Once up into sixth, Reed found himself with a five-second gap between he and fifth-placed Vuillemin on lap seven, but the champ was riding like a man possessed as he blistered the slick Anaheim circuit. Cobra cut under Preston towards the end of lap nine and took over fourth, and Reed was next to displace the High Desert dweller, who self-admittedly had “12 laps of fury in him after so much time off with injuries. Vuillemin bobbled in the whoops at the halfway point and allowed Reed to scoot into fourth, and it was only a matter of time after that before Reedy zapped Fonseca for third. The champ blew into third, passing Fonseca in the whoops with an incredibly smooth charge through the treacherous obstacles, and Vuillemin was next to rail past the flustered Fonseca.

    With six laps to go, RC enjoyed a 13-second lead over Byrne, who had Reed breathing down his jersey. As Reed opted to go left in the optional section, it seemed as if Byrne’s speed through the right side was identical. No matter, though, as Reed outfoxed his fellow Australian just before the finish line jump and moved into second place; remarkable, considering that he fell in turn one. From this point on, the question was whether or not Byrne could maintain his grasp on the third and final podium position. Villy and Byrne came together briefly before the third-baseline triple, but the momentary loss in momentum didn’t seen to faze the Frenchman as he continued in his unrelenting challenge for third. Vuillemin’s effort went unrewarded, however, as Byrne held his position to the finish and scored his first-ever 250cc class podium finish.

    Be sure to check Monday Kickstart on www.transworldmx.com for post-race quotes, and all the inside scoop from Anaheim III.

    125cc Results

    1. Ivan Tedesco
    2. Billy Laninovich
    3. Nathan Ramsey
    4. Danny Smith
    5. Brett Metcalfe
    6. Tim Weigand
    7. Joshua Woods
    8. Bryan Johnson
    9. Ryan Morais
    10. Jay Marmont

    250cc Results

    1. Ricky Carmichael
    2. Chad Reed
    3. Michael Byrne
    4. David Vuillemin
    5. Ernesto Fonseca
    6. Mike Larocco
    7. Nicholas Wey
    8. Travis Preston
    9. Tyler Evans
    10. Ryan Clark

     

    >Billy Laninovich

  3. Nathan Ramsey
  4. Danny Smith
  5. Brett Metcalfe
  6. Tim Weigand
  7. Joshua Woods
  8. Bryan Johnson
  9. Ryan Morais
  10. Jay Marmont

250cc Results

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Chad Reed
  3. Michael Byrne
  4. David Vuillemin
  5. Ernesto Fonseca
  6. Mike Larocco
  7. Nicholas Wey
  8. Travis Preston
  9. Tyler Evans
  10. Ryan Clark