TWMX Race Report: 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross GP, Anaheim 3

After a hectic week of rebuilding race machines thrashed from the rain and mud at the previous week’s round in San Francisco, everyone was returning to Anaheim for the third and final time in 2006. The track offered up some variety in the form of a set of small, but very fast whoops, and a sand section. There was no shortage of action…though it wasn’t always always what was expected.

LITES HEAT 1

Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Billy Laninovich grabbed the holeshot at the start of the first Lites heat, but Andrew Short took over in the second corner and began to pull away immediately aboard his factory Honda CRF250R, in spite of nearly taking a huge trip over the bars on the opening lap in the sand section. Laninovich, Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi, Two Brothers/KTM privateer Mike Sleeter and Team Green’s Darcy Lange trailed on the first lap, but on the move after a mediocre start was Troy Racing¿s Brett Metcalfe. The Australian moved into fourth quickly, but was unable to close in on the battle for second between Laninovich and Alessi.

The KTM rider moved past Laninovich on the fourth lap to take over the runner-up position, but Alessi could do little to reel in Short, who looked calm, cool and collected in the lead. As the checkers flew, Short enjoyed a four-second lead over Alessi, who in turn led Laninovich by a solid two seconds. Eight seconds back and all alone was Metcalfe, followed at a distance by Lange, Sean Collier, Eric Sorby, Daniel Sani and Ryan Mills.

Results: Supercross Lites Heat 1

  1. Andrew Short
  2. Mike Alessi
  3. Billy Laninovich
  4. Brett Metcalfe
  5. Darcy Lange
  6. Sean Collier
  7. Eric Sorby
  8. Daniel Sani
  9. Ryan Mills

LITES HEAT 2

            When the gate dropped at the start of the second Lites heat race, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki¿s Grant Langston grabbed a huge holeshot and quickly began to open up a commanding lead. Nathan Ramsey trailed on his factory KTM, ahead of Jake Weimer, Justin Brayton and Rodrig Thain. After suffering a mid-pack start, Ryan Villopoto suffered another setback when he crashed not once, but twice on the opening lap. MotoSport Outlet rider Paul Carpenter set a torrid pace from the middle of the pack and quickly began working his way forward, easing up onto the back wheel of Thain¿s privateer Kawasaki by the fourth lap. Carpenter worked past Thain with relative ease in a rhythm section and set out after Brayton, but a bobble on the last lap forced him to settle for and eventual fifth. At the flag, it was Langston with a four-second lead over last week¿s winner Ramsey. Weimer followed at some distance, but was equally our of Brayton¿s reach.

Results: Supercross Lites Heat 2

  1. Grant Langston
  2. Nate Ramsey
  3. Jake Weimer
  4. Justin Brayton
  5. Paul Carpenter
  6. Rodrig Thain
  7. Kyle Partridge
  8. Ryan Morais
  9. Michael LaPaglia

SUPERCROSS HEAT 1

Team Yamaha¿s Chad Reed was the quickest out of the gate in the first Supercross heat race and was shadowed by James Stewart, Ivan Tedesco and Jeremy McGrath on the opening lap. Bubba sped through the whoops on lap two and went past Reed as if he were standing still, and that¿s the last anyone saw of the KX450F rider. Reed bobbled big time in the sand section shortly thereafter and allowed Tedesco to close to his rear wheel. Hot Sauce tried hard to sneak past Reed, but also had to guard his position as McGrath was just as close.

As Stewart began lap six, he had already established a seven-second lead over Reed, who in turn opened up some breathing room between himself and Tedesco. McGrath and Mike LaRocco trailed at a distance. In the end, it was Stewart with over 10 seconds separating him from second-placed Reed. Tedesco and McGrath earned theast two direct transfer positions, while LaRocco and the rest headed for the semis.

Results: Supercross Heat 1

  1. James Stewart
  2. Chad Reed
  3. Ivan Tedesco
  4. Jeremy McGrath

SUPERCROSS HEAT 2

Heath Voss marked his return to racing with the holeshot in heat two, but a big bobble in the second corner allowed Ernesto Fonseca, Ricky Carmichael and Travis Preston to motor past. RC took the lead from Fonseca in the last corner on lap one, stuffing his way past. Ernie retook the lead on the nest circuit, however, when RC cased the infield triple violently and flew off the track momentarily. Preston also slipped past the champ, but fell victim to Carmichael in the last corner on lap two when the Suzuki pilot sliced underneath him. Half a lap later, RC stormed past Fonseca in the whoops, leaving the Costa Rican to battle with his lanky Honda teammate Preston. As the laps wore down, Fonseca managed to gap Preston, who then came under fire from Voss, aboard his factory Yamaha YZ450F.

At the finish, Carmichael led Fonseca by over 10 seconds. Preston and Voss rounded out the direct qualifiers, which Nick Wey¿who put on a great charge through the field¿led the rest of the field to the semis.

Results: Supercross Heat 2

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Ernesto Fonseca
  3. Travis Preston
  4. Heath Voss

LITES LCQ

No one was surprised when Sleeter powered to the front of the pack aboard his Two Brothers Racing-backed KTM 250SXF, grabbing what seems like his hundredth holeshot of the season. Villopoto, however, made quick work of the privateer and took over the lead early on the opening lap and checked out aboard his factory Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX250F. Canadian rider Colton Faciotti also snuck past Sleeter and into second, where he would stay to the finish. Villopoto scored an easy win, well ahead of Faciotti, Sleeter and Eric Nye.

Results: Supercross Lites LCQ

  1. Ryan Villopoto
  2. Colton Facciotti
  3. Michael Sleeter
  4. Erick Nye

SUPERCROSS SEMI 1

             Team BooKoo Honda;s David Vuillemin holeshot the first semi final and quickly began to distance himself from the pack. The Frenchman looked smooth and comfortable as he pulled away from Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda rider LaRocco, RockStar Suzuki¿s Tyler Evans and Subway¿s Jason Thomas. Team Moto XXX¿s Tim Ferry moved through the pack to secure the fifth and final qualifying position, just behind Thomas and Evans. On the final lap, La Cobra busted out a sweet vintage heel clicker for the crowd, Siiick!

Results: Supercross Semi 1

  1. David Vuillemin
  2. Mike LaRocco
  3. Tyler Evans
  4. Jason Thomas
  5. Tim Ferry

SUPERCROSS SEMI 2

Jacob Saylor holeshot the second semi and celebrated with a great whip over the infield triple on lap one, but Team Kawasaki¿s Michael Byrne cut his party short by passing him on the first lap. Team MDK¿s Nick Wey followed suit, moving into second aboard his privateer Honda. Jeff Dement also motored past the fast-starting Saylor, who looked safe in fourth ahead of Team Solitaire¿s Ryan Clark. No passing occurred in the final five laps of the race and at the finish it was Byrne, Wey, Dement, Saylor and Clark headed for the main. This marked Saylor¿s second time this season qualifying for the main event.

Results: Supercross Semi 2

  1. Michael Byrne
  2. Nick Wey
  3. Jeff Dement
  4. Jacob Saylor
  5. Ryan Clark

SUPERCROSS LCQ

Erick Vallejo grabbed the holeshot at the start of the last chance qualifier and led Team Moto XXX¿s Kyle Lewis and Subway¿s Keith Johnson. Johnson muscled his way past Lewis and closed to the rear wheel of Vallejo, and made the pass for the lead by cutting under the Mexican rider before the infield triple. Things went even further south for the rider from south of the border when Lewis also made his way past. Vallejo clipped the back of Lewis¿ Honda and was spit off the side of his bike, uninjured. Once in front, Johnson rode uncontested to the finish, comfortably ahead of Lewis. Jeff Gibson of the Subway Honda team finished third and was awarded the Racer X gas card.

Results: Supercross LCQ

  1. Keith Johnson
  2. Kyle Lewis

LITES MAIN EVENT

Alessi grabbed the holeshot at the start of the Lites main event ahead of his KTM teammate Ramsey, Langston, Short, Brayton, Carpenter, Metcalfe and WBR Suzuki¿s Ryan Morais. Langston surpassed Ramsey in the double-double section right before the finish line on lap one and immediately set out after the leader. It took Cool G only a half lap more to overtake Alessi in the whoops, and once out front the South African set sail with a clear track ahead of him.

While Langston began to pull away, Alessi, Ramsey and Short settled into freight train formation, well ahead of Brayton, Carpenter and Metcalfe, who battled over fifth. LCQ winner Villopoto was mired at the start and circulated the track near 15th. Shirt and Ramsey tangled in the rhythm section following the whoops and the KTM rider went down, leaving Short to pursue Alessi and Langston alone.

By the halfway point of the 15-lap race, Langston had settled into a six-second lead over Alessi. After tangling with Ramsey, Short lost time and followed Alessi some three seconds behind, but appeared to start making up time on the number 800 rider on lap 9. As the laps wore down, Short repeatedly used the whoops to gain time on Alessi and with four laps to go the KTM rider began to look back. Short dove underneath Alessi in turn one to take over second, some six seconds behind the leader. Behind Langston, Short and Alessi came Carpenter, enjoying his best ride of the season, Metcalfe, Laninovich and Villopoto, who made a masterful charge through the field.

In the final laps, Short did manage to close slightly on Langston, but in the end it was the South African scoring his second win of the season. Short was second well ahead of Alessi, while Carpenter crossed the finish line in fourth ahead of a dogfight between Metcalfe and Laninovich. Metcalfe edged the panic-revving Laninovich by less than half a bike-length as they crossed the finish line. Villopoto, Morais, Lange and Collier rounded out the top 10.

After finishing 15th the previous weekend in San Francisco, Langston was understandably happy to return to the top of the podium.  “The week after a horrible ride just sucks, because you try not to think about it and focus on the next weekend. You just want the next race to be the next day because it can only be better. I rode all week pissed off and it was a good thing, I was determined to pull back some of those points I lost. This series has been a bit of a rollercoaster, and the points are pretty tight right now. I don¿t think it’s going to be a run away season for anyone.”

Results: Lites West Supercross Main

  1. Grant Langston
  2. Andrew Short
  3. Mike Alessi
  4. Paul Carpenter
  5. Brett Metcalfe
  6. Billy Laninovich
  7. Ryan Villopoto
  8. Ryan Morais
  9. Darcy Lange
  10. Sean Collier
  11. Justin Brayton
  12. Ryan Mills
  13. Nate Ramsey
  14. Colton Facciotti
  15. Michael Sleeter
  16. Rodrig Thain
  17. Eric Sorby
  18. Michael LaPaglia
  19. Kyle Partridge
  20. Jake Weimer
  21. Daniel Sani
  22. Eric Nye

Series Point Standings (After five rounds)

  1. Grant Langston 94
  2. Andrew Short 93
  3. Billy Laninovich 89
  4. Nate Ramsey 87
  5. Ryan Villopoto 78
  6. Mike Alessi 77
  7. Brett Metcalfe 76
  8. Paul Carpenter 67Racer X gas card.

    Results: Supercross LCQ

    1. Keith Johnson
    2. Kyle Lewis

    LITES MAIN EVENT

    Alessi grabbed the holeshot at the start of the Lites main event ahead of his KTM teammate Ramsey, Langston, Short, Brayton, Carpenter, Metcalfe and WBR Suzuki¿s Ryan Morais. Langston surpassed Ramsey in the double-double section right before the finish line on lap one and immediately set out after the leader. It took Cool G only a half lap more to overtake Alessi in the whoops, and once out front the South African set sail with a clear track ahead of him.

    While Langston began to pull away, Alessi, Ramsey and Short settled into freight train formation, well ahead of Brayton, Carpenter and Metcalfe, who battled over fifth. LCQ winner Villopoto was mired at the start and circulated the track near 15th. Shirt and Ramsey tangled in the rhythm section following the whoops and the KTM rider went down, leaving Short to pursue Alessi and Langston alone.

    By the halfway point of the 15-lap race, Langston had settled into a six-second lead over Alessi. After tangling with Ramsey, Short lost time and followed Alessi some three seconds behind, but appeared to start making up time on the number 800 rider on lap 9. As the laps wore down, Short repeatedly used the whoops to gain time on Alessi and with four laps to go the KTM rider began to look back. Short dove underneath Alessi in turn one to take over second, some six seconds behind the leader. Behind Langston, Short and Alessi came Carpenter, enjoying his best ride of the season, Metcalfe, Laninovich and Villopoto, who made a masterful charge through the field.

    In the final laps, Short did manage to close slightly on Langston, but in the end it was the South African scoring his second win of the season. Short was second well ahead of Alessi, while Carpenter crossed the finish line in fourth ahead of a dogfight between Metcalfe and Laninovich. Metcalfe edged the panic-revving Laninovich by less than half a bike-length as they crossed the finish line. Villopoto, Morais, Lange and Collier rounded out the top 10.

    After finishing 15th the previous weekend in San Francisco, Langston was understandably happy to return to the top of the podium.  “The week after a horrible ride just sucks, because you try not to think about it and focus on the next weekend. You just want the next race to be the next day because it can only be better. I rode all week pissed off and it was a good thing, I was determined to pull back some of those points I lost. This series has been a bit of a rollercoaster, and the points are pretty tight right now. I don¿t think it’s going to be a run away season for anyone.”

    Results: Lites West Supercross Main

    1. Grant Langston
    2. Andrew Short
    3. Mike Alessi
    4. Paul Carpenter
    5. Brett Metcalfe
    6. Billy Laninovich
    7. Ryan Villopoto
    8. Ryan Morais
    9. Darcy Lange
    10. Sean Collier
    11. Justin Brayton
    12. Ryan Mills
    13. Nate Ramsey
    14. Colton Facciotti
    15. Michael Sleeter
    16. Rodrig Thain
    17. Eric Sorby
    18. Michael LaPaglia
    19. Kyle Partridge
    20. Jake Weimer
    21. Daniel Sani
    22. Eric Nye

    Series Point Standings (After five rounds)

    1. Grant Langston 94
    2. Andrew Short 93
    3. Billy Laninovich 89
    4. Nate Ramsey 87
    5. Ryan Villopoto 78
    6. Mike Alessi 77
    7. Brett Metcalfe 76
    8. Paul Carpenter 67
    9. Sean Collier 42
    10. Darcy Lange 41

    SUPERCROSS MAIN

    When the gate dropped at the start of the 20-lap Supercross final, holeshot artist Lewis led the way. Entering the first turn, Stewart tucked his front end and went down, remounting in dead last. RC took over the lead in the sand section on lap one and was followed by his Makita Suzuki teammate Ivan Tedesco, Vuillemin,, Preston, Reed, LaRocco, Byrne, Clark, McGrath and Fonseca. On lap two, all hell broke loose when DV flew off the track at the end of the sand section and Bubba fell a second time with McGrath while nearly inside the top 10. Almost unbelievably, Stewart crashed a third time on the third lap, losing control of his Kawasaki at the end of the whoop section.

    Meanwhile, up front, RC began to pull away from Tedesco, who was in turn pulling away from his rival Reed. Preston led a Honda freight train that included laRocco, Vuillemin, Fonseca and Clark, with a little green thrown in the mix in the form of Byrne in sixth.

    Reed began to reel in Tedesco just before the halfway point and the crowd watched in eager anticipation of another Anaheim face off between the two riders. Meanhwhile, LaRocco quietly took control of fourth ahead of Preston and Byrne. On lap 10, Stewart had worked into 11th. As RC lapped MC at the halfway point, he gave the seven-time champ a courtesy wave for moving over the next triple.

    Reed cut underneath Tedesco just before the start of the 12th lap to take over second. At the same time, further back in the track, Vuillemin took his privateer Honda past Preston and into sixth. A bobble by the Frenchman a lap later, however, saw both Preston and Fonseca pass him, dropping him to eighth, some distance ahead of Stewart.

    On the final lap, RC enjoyed a 12-second lead over Reed, who settled into second nicely with a four-second cushion over Tedesco. LaRocco was the last rider to lap McGrath as he crossed the finish line in fourth, while Byrne led Preston, Fonseca and a hugely disappointed Stewart across the finish line.

    Following the race, RC said, “I had a front row seat for James’ crash, I was on the inside of him. I got a really good start, and he closed the door on me just a little bit. I saw him go into the first turn really hot. I think he just wanted to go a little wide so everyone else wouldn¿t cut underneath him. He just went in there and laid his bike over and the rest is history.”

    Ricky was also happy to see his teammate join him on the podium, and said, “It’s great to see a rookie like him come up and get what he has been working for. I know he has been wanting this for a long time now. I’m happy for him.”

    Results: Supercross Main

    1. Ricky Carmichael
    2. Chad Reed
    3. Ivan Tedesco
    4. Mike LaRocco
    5. Michael Byrne
    6. Travis Preston
    7. Ernesto Fonseca
    8. James Stewart
    9. David Vuillemin
    10. Nick Wey
    11. Heath Voss
    12. Tim Ferry
    13. Ryan Clark
    14. Jeff Dement
    15. Jason Thomas
    16. Jeremy McGrath
    17. Keith Johnson

    Series Point Standings (After five rounds)

    1. Rick Carmichael 117
    2. Chad Reed 104
    3. James Stewart 103
    4. Michael Byrne 74
    5. Mike LaRocco 73
    6. Nick Wey 72
    7. Ivan Tedesco 71
    8. Ernesto Fonseca 62
    9. Travis Preston 62
    10. Jeremy McGrath 49

    7

  9. Sean Collier 42
  10. Darcy Lange 41

SUPERCROSS MAIN

When the gate dropped at the start of the 20-lap Supercross final, holeshot artist Lewis led the way. Entering the first turn, Stewart tucked his front end and went down, remounting in dead last. RC took over the lead in the sand section on lap one and was followed by his Makita Suzuki teammate Ivan Tedesco, Vuillemin,, Preston, Reed, LaRocco, Byrne, Clark, McGrath and Fonseca. On lap two, all hell broke loose when DV flew off the track at the end of the sand section and Bubba fell a second time with McGrath while nearly inside the top 10. Almost unbelievably, Stewart crashed a third time on the third lap, losing control of his Kawasaki at the end of the whoop section.

Meanwhile, up front, RC began to pull away from Tedesco, who was in turn pulling awway from his rival Reed. Preston led a Honda freight train that included laRocco, Vuillemin, Fonseca and Clark, with a little green thrown in the mix in the form of Byrne in sixth.

Reed began to reel in Tedesco just before the halfway point and the crowd watched in eager anticipation of another Anaheim face off between the two riders. Meanhwhile, LaRocco quietly took control of fourth ahead of Preston and Byrne. On lap 10, Stewart had worked into 11th. As RC lapped MC at the halfway point, he gave the seven-time champ a courtesy wave for moving over the next triple.

Reed cut underneath Tedesco just before the start of the 12th lap to take over second. At the same time, further back in the track, Vuillemin took his privateer Honda past Preston and into sixth. A bobble by the Frenchman a lap later, however, saw both Preston and Fonseca pass him, dropping him to eighth, some distance ahead of Stewart.

On the final lap, RC enjoyed a 12-second lead over Reed, who settled into second nicely with a four-second cushion over Tedesco. LaRocco was the last rider to lap McGrath as he crossed the finish line in fourth, while Byrne led Preston, Fonseca and a hugely disappointed Stewart across the finish line.

Following the race, RC said, “I had a front row seat for James’ crash, I was on the inside of him. I got a really good start, and he closed the door on me just a little bit. I saw him go into the first turn really hot. I think he just wanted to go a little wide so everyone else wouldn¿t cut underneath him. He just went in there and laid his bike over and the rest is history.”

Ricky was also happy to see his teammate join him on the podium, and said, “It’s great to see a rookie like him come up and get what he has been working for. I know he has been wanting this for a long time now. I’m happy for him.”

Results: Supercross Main

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Chad Reed
  3. Ivan Tedesco
  4. Mike LaRocco
  5. Michael Byrne
  6. Travis Preston
  7. Ernesto Fonseca
  8. James Stewart
  9. David Vuillemin
  10. Nick Wey
  11. Heath Voss
  12. Tim Ferry
  13. Ryan Clark
  14. Jeff Dement
  15. Jason Thomas
  16. Jeremy McGrath
  17. Keith Johnson

Series Point Standings (After five rounds)

  1. Rick Carmichael 117
  2. Chad Reed 104
  3. James Stewart 103
  4. Michael Byrne 74
  5. Mike LaRocco 73
  6. Nick Wey 72
  7. Ivan Tedesco 71
  8. Ernesto Fonseca 62
  9. Travis Preston 62
  10. Jeremy McGrath 49