TWMX Race Report: Binghamton

On a perfect day with temps in the mid-70s, just over 20,000 fans saw some spectacular racing at the Broome-Tioga Sports Center in Binghamton, NY. The track features rolling hills with big uphill and downhill jumps, and the dirt had been enhanced with lots of wood chips to help retain moisture. There were also enough rocks in the track surface that riders were eager to dodge roost from the riders in front of them, or risk picking up some bike damage.

125cc

Coming into the race, Grant Langston held the series lead with 314 points. Ryan Hughes was in second, 16 points behind. James Stewart was in third spot, and while a title looked out of reach, neither rider in front of him could afford to bobble at the risk of being overtaken by Bubba.

In the first 125cc moto, Grant Langston got the holeshot aboard his Red Bull KTM and held it for exactly two turns. That’s where he was bumped by James Stewart, who was never challenged again for the next 16 laps on his Chevy Trucks Kawasaki. James had about a five second lead at the end of the first lap, and kept building from there, leading by almost a minute in the latter stages of the moto. Grant dropped nearly out of the top 20, but after remounting started a moto-long charge in pursuit of points.

Behind him, Boost/Yamaha of Troy’s Brock Sellards was the best of the rest—at least for the first nine laps—until they got into lapped traffic and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Hughes slipped by. Behind that duo, privateer Kelly Smith also put in some great laps, shadowed by Red Bull KTM’s Josh Woods until the latter stages of the moto, when he slipped into fourth spot ahead of Smith.

At the end of the moto, Bubba cruised in for his 11th consecutive moto win. He was followed by Ryan Hughes, Brock Sellards, and Josh Woods, and Kelly Smith.

Langston finished in 10th spot, scoring 11 points. By finishing in second, Ryan Hughes had scored 22 points, and trailed Langston by only five points. Bubba had also moved into third spot in the standings, passing Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Mike Brown, who was sidelined for the remainder of the season after reinjuring his shoulder at Millville.

At the start of the second 125cc moto, it was Bubba out front once again, followed by Brock Sellards, Kelly Smith, and Josh Woods. Interestingly, the fastest lap Bubba turned in each moto was his first one, which left his competitors to watch him disappear. From there it was out of sight, out of mind.

Brock Sellards was once again running first in the Non-Bubba class, trailed by his future YOT teammate (‘in 04) Kelly Smith, and Josh Woods. Meanwhile, both of the title contenders were running just inside the top 10, with Ryno in eighth and Langston in ninth. The title chase looked like it would get shake up on the second lap, when Hughes went down, which dropped him to around 20th spot.

By the fourth lap, the top four riders were still in the same positions, but Langston had moved into sixth, while Hughes had clawed his way back to 13th. By lap eight, Hughes was one position behind Langston, though about 15 seconds behind him.

Late in the moto, Langston got by Michael Byrne and Josh Woods (who gave Grant a freebie pass), and also got a gift when Brock Sellards’ Yamaha expired on the last lap.

At the finish it was Bubba, taking his 12th moto win of the season. Kelly Smith turned in a stellar ride to grab top privateer honors, and Grant Langston’s third place finish, combined with Ryan Hughes’ sixth, stretched his 125cc series lead back out to 10 points. Even though he missed the first four races of the season while healing from a broken collarbone, Bubba only trails Grant by 45 points.

125cc Results

  1. James Stewart 1-1
  2. Kelly Smith 5-2
  3. Ryan Hughes 2-6
  4. Josh Woods 4-4
  5. Grant Langston 10-3
  6. Michael Byrne 6-5
  7. Andrew Shortt 7-7
  8. Chris Gosselaar 8-8
  9. Brock Sellards 3-17
  10. Brian Gray 11-11
  11. Matthieu Lalloz 12-12
  12. Broc Hepler 15-13
  13. Ryan Mills 39-9
  14. Michael Brandes 9-32
  15. Robbie Reynard 21-10
  16. Troy Adams 16-16
  17. Craig Anderson 14-18
  18. Josh Hansen 18-15
  19. Evan Laughridge 13-20
  20. Richie Owens 27-14

250cc

While the 125cc class has the down-to-the-wire title drama, the big draw in the 250cc class is the heavyweight brawl between Honda’s Ricky Carmichael and Kevin Windham, aboard his Factory Connection Honda. RC has over a full race points lead on K-Dub, so there’s no real tension in the points race, but watching these two battle has made the 250cc class vastly more entertaining in 2003.

RC got the early jump in moto one, though Windham applied plenty of pressure on the reigning 250 champ, who crashed on the third lap, dropping him to fourth spot. That allowed the Yamaha-mounted duo of David Vuillemin and Chad Reed to wedge themselves between RC and K-Dub. Ricky eventually passed both of them, but could never get close to Windham again.

DV led the charge of the Yamaha team, finishing ahead of Chad Reed and Tim Ferry, who limped around with a small rock-induced hole in his header pipe for a portion of the moto.

Ezra Lusk and Mike LaRocco rounded out the top seven.

When the riders took off on their parade lap for moto two, mechanics were making a last-minute rear wheel change on Kevin Windham’s Honda, and he just made it out in time to get his parade lap in. Regardless, he jumped to the early lead, before being passed by Carmichael on the second lap. Once that pass was completed, the top five (Carmichael, Windham, Ferry, Reed, and Vuillemin) remained unchanged for the rest of the moto. Windham stayed close enough to keep things interesting, though RC slowly crept away throughout the moto.

Carmichael grabbed the overall win, and K-Dub ended up second. Interestingly, the Yamaha team riders all ended up with the same score for the day. Ferry went 5-3 for third, Reed scored 4-4 for fourth, and DV tallied 3-5 for fifth.

RC still leads the season standings, with 479 points to Windham’s 416.

Next week the series heads to Steel City, which is traditionally the last race of the nationals, though this year it ends up in the next-to-last position after the Troy, Ohio round was rescheduled due to flooding.

250cc Results

  1. Ricky Carmichael 2-1
  2. Kevin Windham 1-2
  3. Timmy Ferry 5-3
  4. Chad Reed 4-4
  5. David Vuillemin 3-5
  6. Mike LaRocco 7-6
  7. Ezra Lusk 6-7
  8. Ernesto Fonseca 9-9
  9. Nick Wey 13-10
  10. Kyle Lewis 12-11
  11. Paul Carpenter 11-12
  12. Nate Ramsey 10-16
  13. Larry Ward 20-8
  14. Steve Lamson 16-13
  15. Stephane Roncada 8-31
  16. Clark Stiles 17-15
  17. Heath Voss 15-17
  18. Keith Johnson 14-19
  19. Jason Thomas 35-14
  20. Ryan Clark 22-18