TWMX Race Report: Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross GP, Anaheim 1, 2006

January 7, 2006—Anaheim, CA

What a difference a year makes! 2005’s version of the AMA Supercross series opener was a sloppy mud bath thanks to days of uncharacteristic Southern California rain, but the sun gods were shining all day in Anaheim, CA, to kick off what should prove to be the most competitive Supercross series ever—the 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series.

With the sun shining and the usual Friday practice sessions eliminated for the entire ’06 series—and most likely beyond—Saturday’s two rounds of practice were highly anticipated, and went off without a hitch. When the dust settled and the smoke cleared, Team Honda’s Andrew Short sat atop the Supercross Lites list of riders, and winner of both World Supercross rounds in Canada, James “Bubba Stewart, narrowly edged out defending champion Ricky Carmichael in the premier Supercross class with the fastest lap of both practice sessions.

So with nothing more than an extremely technical track lying between each rider and the podium, here’s how night number one at Anaheim Stadium unfolded…

Supercross Lites Heat 1

Both coasts of the Supercross Lites class in 2006 are completely stacked, but we’re in Anaheim, CA, tonight, so nothing excited us more than the drop of the first West Coast gate of the ’06 series. Leading the pack into turn number one was TWMX test rider Michael Sleeter aboard his KTM 250SX-F, but Sleet-Pup was quickly overtaken by Andrew Short on his factory CRF250R. Shorty quickly opened up a huge lead on the rest of the field, running away with the heat win. After making a mistake and not clearing one of the triples on lap one, Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Ramsey made his way into the second spot by the end of lap two, never to be challenged again. Behind Ramsey in third at the checkers was Boost Mobile/Yamaha/YamahaofTroy.com’s Brett Metcalfe.

Results

  1. Andrew Short
  2. Nathan Ramsey
  3. Brett Metcalfe
  4. Danny Smith
  5. Sean Collier
  6. Jake Weimer
  7. Michael Sleeter
  8. Justin Brayton
  9. Kyle Partridge

Supercross Lites Heat 2

The heat two holeshot went to Mike Alessi on his factory KTM250SX-F, with MotoSport Outlet/MDK/MSR Honda’s Paul Carpenter following close in tow. Carpenter, riding like we’ve never seen him before, put a pass on Alessi on lap two for the lead, but Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Grant Langston was hunting them both down in the third spot. Going by Alessi to begin lap three and Carpenter to conclude it, Langston went on to pound out an impressive heat win. Sobe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Billy Laninovich, who got slowed down by a first turn pileup, charged up to finish fourth behind Alessi by the end of the heat.

Results

  1. Grant Langston
  2. Paul Carpenter
  3. Mike Alessi
  4. Billy Laninovich
  5. Eric Sorby
  6. Darcy Lange
  7. Ryan Sipes
  8. Jesse Casillas
  9. Benjamin Coisy

Supercross Heat 1

Kyle Lewis grabbed the first Supercross holeshot of the series, but was passed by Team Kawasaki’s James Stewart to start lap two. Defending series runner-up Chad Reed went down hard in the first turn and was forced to start the heat from dead-last place. Bubba proceeded to make the rest of the field look like a bunch of weekend warriors, and won the heat by two million light years. Behind the mighty number seven, Chad Reed impressively diced his way through the entire field to finish second, with Team Boo-Koo Honda’s David Vuillemin finishing in the third spot. 

Results

  1. James Stewart
  2. Chad Reed
  3. David Vuillemin
  4. Kyle Lewis

Supercross Heat 2

Team Honda’s Travis Preston grabbed the holeshot to start heat number two, but RC quickly grabbed the lead three turns later. Behind them, Michael Byrne and Ernesto Fonseca rounded out the top-four. Fonseca passed Byrner at the end of lap two, ancontinued to move forward, catching his teammate Preston within two laps. Meanwhile, RC checked out just like Bubba did in the heat before, taking an impressive heat win. Ernie inched away to take a comfortable control of second place, but a freight train of riders piled up to duel for the third spot. While challenging for the position, Team Suzuki’s newest member Ivan Tedesco went down hard in a rhythm section, and was forced to retire until his semi. Next to take a dirt nap was Team Honda’s Jeremy McGrath, leaving the third place battle between Preston and Team MDK/MotoSport.com/MSR/Honda’s Nick Wey. In the end, NYK got the better of the exchange, and Presto had to settle for the fourth and final transfer spot.

Results

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Ernesto Fonseca
  3. Nick Wey
  4. Travis Preston

Supercross Lites LCQ

Yamaha of Troy’s newest member Andrew McFarlane grabbed the holeshot in the Lites LCQ, but Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki rookie Ryan Villopoto made the pass for the lead on lap two. Villopoto showed awesome speed for a Supercross rookie, and cruised in for an easy win. McFarlane, who’s one of the latest of the World GP transfers, looked to be quite comfortable and at home on a Supercross track, and we expect him to do nothing but improve as the series wears on.

Results

  1. Ryan Villopoto
  2. Andrew McFarlane
  3. Rodrig Thain
  4. Akira Narita

Supercross Semi 1

The Rock, Mike LaRocco snatched the lead on lap two of the first Supercross Semi, and backstroked in for a relatively mindless victory. Behind LaRocco came Jason Thomas and Ryan Clark.

Results

  1. Mike LaRocco
  2. Jason Thomas
  3. Ryan Clark
  4. Jeff Gibson
  5. Justin Buckelew

Supercross Semi 2

Semi number two featured a grip heavy-hitters, and it was Team Yamaha’s Heath Voss who rounded the first turn with the lead. Behind Voss was the factory Kawasaki of Michael Byrne, and Ivan Tedesco and Jeremy McGrath finished lap one in third and fourth, respectively. Just before taking the white flag, a hard-charging Tedesco got by Voss to take the lead, and cruised in for the win. Voss finished a strong second, with Byrne finishing in a close third.

Results

  1. Ivan Tedesco
  2. Heath Voss
  3. Michael Byrne
  4. Jeremy McGrath
  5. Mike Brown

Supercross LCQ

Erick Vallejo took the holeshot to start the Supercross LCQ, and the Honda-mounted rider proceeded to lead every lap, narrowly edging out Clark Stiles to take the win.

Results

  1. Erick Vallejo
  2. Clark Stiles

Supercross Lites Main Event

2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series main event number one—the moment we’ve all been waiting for…  And it was Darcy Lange charging into the lead to start the first Supercross Lites main, with Ryan Villopoto and Andrew McFarlane in second and third, respectively. Defending East Coast champ Grant Langston went down hard in the whoops on the opening lap, forcing him to start the rest of his moto from dead-last place. Team Honda’s Andrew Short also had bad luck on the opening lap and began his search for a main event win from the bottom-half of the pack. Villopoto snatched the lead from Lange on lap two, and quickly cruised out to a comfortable lead. Behind him, Billy Laninovich worked his way through a few riders to take over the second spot, setting his sights on the leader. Shorty quickly and impressively worked his way into the third spot behind Laninovich, and with eight laps to go made the pass for second. Behind them, Langston charged his way through the field like a man possessed, moving into fourth with six laps to go. On the same lap, and just seconds later, Shorty tracked down Villopoto to took over the lead, and the likeable TWMX columnist cruised his way to his first victory of ’06. Villopoto hung tough in second, however, finishing his first Supercross ever on the runner-up step of the podium. Behind the rookie came Laninovich and Langston in third and fourth, respectively.    

Results

  1. Andrew Short
  2. Ryan Villopoto
  3. Billy Laninovich
  4. Grant Langston
  5. Darcy Lange
  6. Paul Carpenter
  7. Jake Weimer
  8. Brett Metcalfe
  9. Mike Alessi
  10. Eric Sorby
  11. Andrew McFarlane
  12. Nathan Ramsey
  13. Jesse Casillas
  14. Justin Brayton
  15. Akira Narita
  16. Michael Sleeter
  17. Kyle Partridge
  18. Danny Smith
  19. Ryan Sipes
  20. Benjamin Coisy
  21. Rodrig Thain
  22. Sean Collier

Supercross Main Event

With a gate stacked full of what could possibly be the most talented field of Supercross riders ever, Ernesto Fonseca snatched the holeshot, with Tedesco, LaRocco, Reed, Lewis, and Preston close behind. RC and Bubba scrambled early on back in eighth and ninth after poor starts. On lap four, Tedesco stalled his RM-Z450, and RC and Bubba moved into third and fourth, respectively. On the very next lap, leader Fonseca went down hard, handing the lead over to Reed. Chad had no time to get comfortable, however, as RC and Bubba were close in tow. With the capacity crowd on their feet, RC made the pass for the lead on lap seven, but went down hard in the whoops just three turns later. With the lead handed back to Reedy, it was Bubba’s turn to mark his spot. After what appeared to be a Sunday stroll behind the speedy Australian, Stewart finally made his move in a whoop section leading up to the triple on lap 10. RC remounted fairly quickly considering the crash, but not before the lead duo had already checked-out. After spending several laps catching and passing LaRocco, Carmichael cruised his way in for third. Up front, Bubba showed great patience and skill as he rolled on to his third-straight Supercross victory (including his two World wins in Canada). Bubba lapped up to sixth place!

Results

  1. James Stewart
  2. Chad Reed
  3. Ricky Carmichael
  4. Mike LaRocco
  5. Ivan Tedesco
  6.  Ernesto Fonseca
  7. Nick Wey
  8. Travis Preston
  9. Michael Byrne
  10. David Vuillemin
  11. Jeremy McGrath
  12. Mike Brown
  13. Kyle Lewis
  14. Jeff Gibson
  15. Justin Buckelew
  16. Ryan Clark
  17. Clark Stiles
  18. Jason Thomas
  19. Erick Vallejo
  20. Heath Voss

’06. Villopoto hung tough in second, however, finishing his first Supercross ever on the runner-up step of the podium. Behind the rookie came Laninovich and Langston in third and fourth, respectively.    

Results

  1. Andrew Short
  2. Ryan Villopoto
  3. Billy Laninovich
  4. Grant Langston
  5. Darcy Lange
  6. Paul Carpenter
  7. Jake Weimer
  8. Brett Metcalfe
  9. Mike Alessi
  10. Eric Sorby
  11. Andrew McFarlane
  12. Nathan Ramsey
  13. Jesse Casillas
  14. Justin Brayton
  15. Akira Narita
  16. Michael Sleeter
  17. Kyle Partridge
  18. Danny Smith
  19. Ryan Sipes
  20. Benjamin Coisy
  21. Rodrig Thain
  22. Sean Collier

Supercross Main Event

With a gate stacked full of what could possibly be the most talented field of Supercross riders ever, Ernesto Fonseca snatched the holeshot, with Tedesco, LaRocco, Reed, Lewis, and Preston close behind. RC and Bubba scrambled early on back in eighth and ninth after poor starts. On lap four, Tedesco stalled his RM-Z450, and RC and Bubba moved into third and fourth, respectively. On the very next lap, leader Fonseca went down hard, handing the lead over to Reed. Chad had no time to get comfortable, however, as RC and Bubba were close in tow. With the capacity crowd on their feet, RC made the pass for the lead on lap seven, but went down hard in the whoops just three turns later. With the lead handed back to Reedy, it was Bubba’s turn to mark his spot. After what appeared to be a Sunday stroll behind the speedy Australian, Stewart finally made his move in a whoop section leading up to the triple on lap 10. RC remounted fairly quickly considering the crash, but not before the lead duo had already checked-out. After spending several laps catching and passing LaRocco, Carmichael cruised his way in for third. Up front, Bubba showed great patience and skill as he rolled on to his third-straight Supercross victory (including his two World wins in Canada). Bubba lapped up to sixth place!

Results

  1. James Stewart
  2. Chad Reed
  3. Ricky Carmichael
  4. Mike LaRocco
  5. Ivan Tedesco
  6.  Ernesto Fonseca
  7. Nick Wey
  8. Travis Preston
  9. Michael Byrne
  10. David Vuillemin
  11. Jeremy McGrath
  12. Mike Brown
  13. Kyle Lewis
  14. Jeff Gibson
  15. Justin Buckelew
  16. Ryan Clark
  17. Clark Stiles
  18. Jason Thomas
  19. Erick Vallejo
  20. Heath Voss