TWMX Race Report: Anaheim 2

Story and photos by GuyB

After all the controversy of the Kevin Windham/David Vuillemin incident(s) from last weekend, and the debate over the points deduction penalty handed out to K-Dub by the AMA, the best cure was to get back to racing, which is exactly what they did on Saturday night.

The track design for A2 featured a couple interesting sections. A sand section (which was continually reshaped throughout the night to provide multi-line racing) was preceded by a pyramid-shaped series of tabletops. The tabletops offered multiple options including step-on/step-off, or big air, and they were definitely interesting to watch.

125cc Heats

Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Stephane Roncada is a perfect three for three in 125cc heat races this season, after he took another one Saturday night. Motoworldracing.com’s Andrew Short provided some increasingly rare two-stroke sound effects as he rode home for second, followed by Team VRM.com/Gomez Racing’s Johnny Marley.

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Boost Mobile/Yamaha/Troy Racing’s Josh Hansen holeshot the second heat, but was passed by a trio of riders, including Honda’s Nate Ramsey, Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco, and Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda’s Travis Preston.

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After a pair of crashes in last week’s main event (and an 11th place finish) Ramsey was showing some blazing speed in the whoop sections, and took the win while serving notice that he’d be among the leaders for the main event.

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250cc Heats

Even though the start straight was fairly short, and everyone dubbed it more of a two-stroke track, Kevin Windham disappeared in the first 250cc heat. Robbie Reynard (who’s running Planet Honda graphics and pitting out of his van) put on another good showing, earning his ticket to the main, along with Red Bull KTM’s Grant Langston and Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca. The interesting thing here was the number of factory riders from this one who had to go to the semi, including David Vuillemin, Mike LaRocco, Michael Byrne, Sean Hamblin, and Nick Wey.

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Yamaha’s Chad Reed showed blazing speed in the second heat, with Star Racing/Bobby J’s Yamaha/O’Neal rider Erick Vallejo making a strong showing off the gate and early in the heat. Mach 1 Yamaha’s Ezra Lusk was also looking strong, until a hard crash left him motionless on the track for an extended period of time. Vallejo and Evans both transferred, along with Boost Mobile/Yamaha/Troy Racing’s Mike Brown, who picked up his first direct-to-the-main transfer of the season

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125 LCQ

Akira Narita nailed this one, ahead of Michael Sleeter, Michael Blose, and Stephan Demartis, who was riding for Team ECC in place of the injured Johnny Aubert.

250cc Semis

David Vuillemin made quick work of the first semi and said he used the extra track time to work on clearing a triple that followed a whoop section. He was accompanied by Mike LaRocco, Michael Byrne, Nick Wey, and Team MotoSport Outlet’s Craig Anderson, whose injured shoulder has healed enough to allow him to race. Unfortunately, a pair of crashes sidelined Sean Hamblin for the remainder of the night, and kept him out of the main.

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Amazingly (after his heat race crash), Ezra Lusk returned to easily win the other 250 semi. Damon Huffman, Heath Voss, Keith Johnson and Daryl Hurley also avoided the dreaded LCQ by transferring.

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125cc Main

At the drop of the gate, Star Racing’s Bryan Johnson pulled out the Butterfinger Holeshot but was immediately passed by several riders, including Travis Preston, Nate Ramsey, and Ivan Tedesco.

Early on the main looked like the race everyone had been waiting for, with the two top dogs from Honda (Preston and Ramsey), followed by the top two guys from Kawasaki (Ivan Tedesco and Stephane Roncada) settling in out front.

Whhile Preston opened up a small gap, Tedesco went to work on Ramsey and moved into second spot. A few laps later, Roncada went by as well, but contact with Ramsey’s front wheel sent the Honda rider down for the second straight week.

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Meanwhile, both Tedesco and Roncada were reeling in Preston, and on lap 12 Tedesco took over the lead. Roncada also got by Preston shortly afterward, but Preston was able to battle back and hold onto second place.

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At the checkered flag, it was Tedesco with his third straight 125cc West win, and a 13-point lead in the title chase. Preston and Roncada reversed their spots from last week and finished second and third, respectively.

125cc Main Event Results

  1. Ivan Tedesco
  2. Travis Preston
  3. Stephane Roncada
  4. Nathan Ramsey
  5. Andrew Short
  6. Troy Adams
  7. Ryan Morais
  8. Brock Sellards
  9. Greg Schnell
  10. Joshua Summey
  11. Cole Siebler
  12. Brian Gray
  13. Eric Nye
  14. Akira Narita
  15. Stephan Demartis
  16. Michael Sleeter
  17. Justin Buckelew
  18. Jeff Gibson
  19. Josh Hansen
  20. Bryan Johnson
  21. Michael Blose

250cc Main

With just enough time for the fans in the seats to catch their breath, the 250s blasted off the line, and Nick Wey grabbed his own Butterfinger Holeshot check, but the lead was quickly taken over by Kevin Windham. Behind him was Ernesto Fonseca, and David Vuillemin, and Damon Huffman. DV quickly went by Ernie and latched himself onto K-Dub’s rear fender, and the rematch everyone wanted to see from last weekend was on. But…by the end of the first lap, Chad Reed had worked his way to fourth, and was charging forward.

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On the second and third laps, it was a red/blue/blue freight train, with Windham in the lead, but Vuillemin or Reed in behind him and they raced between themselves. At one point, it looked like the Yamaha team guys would lose contact with Windham as they raced between themselves, but they were both clearing a section as a triple-single that Windham was doing as a double-double, and would catch him there each lap.

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That’s how it went through lap 10 when Reed finally edged by Windham and eased away. By then Reed and Windham had opened a gap on Vuillemin that he was unable to close. At that point, the biggest race for position was between Mike LaRocco and Ernesto Fonseca, with Mike reeling in and passing Ernie for fourth.

250cc Main Event Results

  1. Chad Reed
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. David Vuillemin
  4. Mike LaRocco
  5. Ernesto Fonseca
  6. Nicholas Wey
  7. Damon Huffman
  8. Michael Byrne
  9. Grant Langston
  10. Robbie Reynard
  11. Ryan Clark
  12. Keith Johnson
  13. Heath Voss
  14. Erick Vallejo
  15. Daryl Hurley
  16. Tyler Evans
  17. Craig Anderson
  18. Isaiah Johnson
  19. Mike Brown
  20. Ezra Lusk