TWMX Race Report: Budds Creek

Sure Travis Pastrana made plenty of news last week in Maryland, but this week the big story from the Land of 199 was the wacky results from the fifth round of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship. Budds Creek Motocross Park hosted a weekend full of shakeups, drama and upsets in the National MX scene that saw a new moto winner in the 250cc class as well as a series-first overall winner in the tiddler division, thanks to Bubba’s late arrival in the series.

Prior to the race the state of Maryland received plenty of rain, making for a somewhat slippery and soggy practice on Saturday. The real news from Saturday’s practice occurred just after the second 125cc session, though, when series rivals Mike Brown and Ryan Hughes got into a fist fight immediately following the practice. The two riders made contact a couple of times during the outing, and apparently Hughes (who was already riding with a broken lower leg) felt he got the worst end of it and claimed that Brown was intentionally trying to knock him down while he was injured. As he pulled off the track, a frustrated Hughes ran his KTM into Brown’s KX125 and began hitting him in the head. Before long, Ryno was pulled off and the fight was broken up with neither rider injured. Of course both riders were talked to and warned by the AMA, with Hughes being put on probation for the remainder of the season because he threw the first punch.

Just minutes after practice Saturday, the skies opened up and the rain started falling. A heavy downpour ensued, leaving the hilly circuit sloppy and wet for Sunday’s motos.

By the time the gate dropped on the first 125cc moto, the track workers performed miracles and the course was much drier than expected. Grant Langston rocketed to the lead at the bottom of the downhill following the start, but it didn’t take long for the #259 of James Stewart to smoke past LL Cool G and into the lead where he remained for the rest of the moto. Though Budds Creek was James’ first race back since suffering a broken collarbone at the final round of SX in Las Vegas, the other flying Floridian was running lap times that would later rival the best in the 250cc class motos. This led to a commanding lead for Bubba, but behind him the rest of the class was jockeying for position.

Langston settled into a steady second place spot behind Stewart with Kelly Smith and Steve Boniface in tow. Lap six saw Boniface make his move on Smith, placing the Frenchman in third. The rest of the moto remained the same for the top three riders, and at the checkers it was Bubba in first, Langston in second and Boniface in third. However, unfortunately for Smith a broken bike retired him from the moto. This put privateer hero Michael Brandes into the fourth position, followed by a hard-charging Mike Brown. The series leader was the victim of a terrible start in moto one, but was able to come from 17th position for a top-five finish. As for Hughes, the KTM rider decided to sit Budds Creek out due to the severe pain from the broken leg he suffered last weekend in Southwick.

When the gate dropped on the 250cc class, it was none other than Stephane Roncada with the early lead. Coincidentally, the race marked RonRon’s first ride back on a 250. It didn’t take Honda hero Kevin Windham long to make his way past Roncada, and by the end of the first lap the top three riders were Windham, Roncada and Tim Ferry, with Ricky Carmichael in fourth. On lap two Ferry made his move on Roncada and continued his forward momentum by passing Windham the following lap. That same lap also saw Carmichael go by Roncada for third, and by the next lap RC had moved past Windham as well. This left Ferry and Carmichael to duel for the lead, with Windham and Roncada just behind. Ferry rode the race of his season and kept RC honest. Just after lap 10 as RC was beginning to gain some ground, he made mistake in a slippery off cambered corner and dropped the bike. This gave Ferry a small amount of breathing room, which he would definitely need. With just a few laps remaining, Red Dog’s YZ450F silencer developed a large hole in the side of it. Silencer packing flew everywhere and Ferry was left scrambling to hold onto his lead, but he pulled it off. At the checkers it remained Ferry, Carmichael and Windham.

“I’m really happy with this win,” said an elated Ferry. It’s something I knew I could do for so long, and it all finally came together in that moto. I got off to a good start and knew that Ricky was back there, but I didn’t back down and it paid off. I’m excited!”

The second 125cc moto took off with major threats of severe rain in the forecast. Though most expected first moto winner James Stewart to be leading the pack around turn one, it was none other than Yamaha of Troy’s Ivan Tedesco with the holeshot when the gate dropped. Daryl Hurley cruised through lap one behind Tedesco, with Brock Sellards, David Pingree and Grant Langston close behind.

But what about Bubba? Unfortunately for James but luckily for the crowd of spectators, Stewart went down in the first corner and was stuck there for several seconds while the rest of the pack motored away, forcing him to ride like a man possessed. To make a long story short, Bubba was on a rampage. By the end of lap one, James made his way from 37th position to just outside the top-20, and by lap three he was already in the top 10!

“Man, I was pissed!” said James at the post-race press conference. “The only thing that went through my mind when I was stuck in that first turn was how mad I was. I got pinched off on the start, so once I finally got back up and running I was ready to give those guys a piece of me and let them know that I wasn’t going to let them off that easily.”

And give it he did. Stewart rode what was debatably the race of his life. Starting from just ahead of dead last, at the two-thirds mark James had gotten by early race leader Ivan Tedesco and sailed on to a relatively easy and unchallenged victory. Obviously he was going fast to accomplish the feat, but most people were in shock to learn that his lap times were consistently four seconds faster than his competitors’. Behind Bubba at the checkers was Tedesco with a solid second-place ride that was good for third overall on the day, and Grant Langston, who took the second overall position. Sellards and Brown rounded out the top five.

After narrowly escaping the rain in the second 125cc moto, the skies looked like they were ready to open up and pour down as Nathan Ramsey snared the holeshot in the second 250cc race of the day. It didn’t take long, however, for Stephane Roncada and Ricky Carmichael to make their way past N8 Dawg, with Nick Wey and Ernesto Fonseca directly behind. The top two remained the same for the entire moto, but Wey and his Mach 1 Yamaha got by Ramsey to take the final spot in the top three. Wey ran an incredible pace and looked to have the third position nailed down until a rock hit the side of his clutch cover. Oil and steam spewed out, along with Wey’s chances at a top three position. Chad Reed took over where Wey left off, setting his sights on RC and Roncada. Unfortunately there was little time left, and that’s how the race ended; RC swept the moto, Roncada held on for an impressive second, Reed remained in the third spot, and Kevin Windham and David Vuillemin rounded out the top five.

OVERALL RACE RESULTS-125cc

  1. James Stewart, 1-1
  2. Grant Langston, 2-3
  3. Ivan Tedesco, 6-2
  4. Mike Brown, 5-5
  5. Eric Sorby, 7-6
  6. Steve Boniface, 3-12
  7. Brian Gray, 11-8
  8. Daryl Hurley, 14-7
  9. Andrew Short, 9-14
  10. Steve Lamson, 13-11
  11. Mike Brandes, 4-37
  12. Brock Sellards, 38-4
  13. Matthieu Lalloz, 12-13
  14. Brett Metcalfe, 17-9
  15. Craig Anderson, 8-21
  16. Michael Byrne, 21-10
  17. Bobby Kiniry, 15-16
  18. Steve Mertens, 10-36
  19. Kevin Johnson, 18-15
  20. Chris Gosselaar, 16-39

OVERALL RACE RESULTS-250cc

  1. Ricky Carmichael, 2-1
  2. Stephane Roncada, 4-2
  3. Kevin Windham, 3-4
  4. Chad Reed, 5-3
  5. David Vuillemin, 6-5
  6. Ernesto Fonseca, 9-8
  7. Tim Ferry, 1-35
  8. Nathan Ramsey, 14-6
  9. John Dowd, 13-7
  10. Ezra Lusk, 12-9
  11. Joaquim Rodrigues, 10-14
  12. Clark Stiles, 16-10
  13. Mike LaRocco, 7-21
  14. Larry Ward, 8-39
  15. Kyle Lewis, 19-13
  16. Jeremias Israel, 22-11
  17. Nick Wey, 11-34
  18. Josh Demuth, 23-12
  19. Keith S. Johnson, 15-19
  20. Jason Thomas, 20-15

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  • Brock Sellards, 38-4
  • Matthieu Lalloz, 12-13
  • Brett Metcalfe, 17-9
  • Craig Anderson, 8-21
  • Michael Byrne, 21-10
  • Bobby Kiniry, 15-16
  • Steve Mertens, 10-36
  • Kevin Johnson, 18-15
  • Chris Gosselaar, 16-39
  • OVERALL RACE RESULTS-250cc

    1. Ricky Carmichael, 2-1
    2. Stephane Roncada, 4-2
    3. Kevin Windham, 3-4
    4. Chad Reed, 5-3
    5. David Vuillemin, 6-5
    6. Ernesto Fonseca, 9-8
    7. Tim Ferry, 1-35
    8. Nathan Ramsey, 14-6
    9. John Dowd, 13-7
    10. Ezra Lusk, 12-9
    11. Joaquim Rodrigues, 10-14
    12. Clark Stiles, 16-10
    13. Mike LaRocco, 7-21
    14. Larry Ward, 8-39
    15. Kyle Lewis, 19-13
    16. Jeremias Israel, 22-11
    17. Nick Wey, 11-34
    18. Josh Demuth, 23-12
    19. Keith S. Johnson, 15-19
    20. Jason Thomas, 20-15