TWMX Race Report: Colorado ’05

Tedesco gets his first…

250F:

In the six 125cc Nationals run coming into the Colorado round, there were four different winners. The man who has won the most races — Grant Langston — actually sat quite a distance out of the series lead, but his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate — and supposed supercross specialist — Ivan Tedesco was breathing down points leader Mike Brown’s neck, despite not winning a single National.

Tedesco hoped to change that in Colorado — the closest national to his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“I’ve been working on every element, Tedesco said of his sudden outdoor contention. “My fitness, my bike, and all of that is a lot different for me this year, and my training for outdoors is new. It’s been working for me. My trainer Darren’s been working with me and I’ve been getting better and better every weekend. I didn’t start the outdoors too hot — I was like a 6th-place or 7th-place guy. I’ve been working at it and I’m getting better and better every weekend.

Outdoor hero Langston grabbed the moto-one holeshot from the far outside, having picked the spot by virtue of the fact that there was a few feet of dirt past the gate that wasn’t disked really deep. It worked. He led the race for the first couple of laps with his teammate Tedesco chasing him. On lap three, Tedesco made his move past his teammate and took over the lead. He immediately began to put distance between himself and Langston while Team Honda’s local boy Andrew Short started pressuring the former World, National, and Regional SX champ.

Characteristically, Langston gets stronger late in the race, while Short has more frequently been passed in the late-going, but on the 11th of 15 laps, Short zapped Langston for second and then set out after Tedesco — but he ran out of time.

“I was trying really hard, and I could hear the crowd and I was going for it, but I got a little out of control and started making mistakes, and that’s when he’d pull me, Short said. “I was taking chances, and that’s what I had to do to get up there, but I’m excited to finish as good as I did.

Langston hung on for third, but quite a ways behind Short.

Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi got the holeshot to start the second moto, followed by Tedesco, Short, and Team ECC’s Bobby Kiniry. Tedesco passed Alessi for the lead right away, though, and began to put time between himself and first-moto runner-up Short, as Short worked frantically to pass Alessi.

It took Short until lap six to find a way around the KTM youngster, and by then, Tedesco had a comfortable lead. It seemed as though Short was chasing him down, but before long, he began to slip back again. He finished a strong second, behind his childhood rival Tedesco, who achieved his first-ever 125cc National victory via a 1-1 score.

“We’ve raced together since we were on 60s, Short said of Tedesco. “We grew up together, and he’s always been faster than me growing up, and I’ve always been chasing him. He rode good today, and it was kind of like the old days, I guess you could say, because I was chasing him. I think we’re both excited to be in Colorado racing, and it was a good race for me.

Tedesco was pumped to get his first win, and he’s now the AMA 125cc National Championship points leader.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, going 1-1 and taking over the points lead, Tedesco said. “Also, my family was here to watch and it was a good weekend for me. I finally made it to the top and got the points lead, and hopefully I’ll just keep getting better. My confidence is going to be better after this weekend, and I’ll have the pressure of being in the lead in the championship, but I’ve been in this position before and I don’t think it’ll bother me. I feel good outdoors and I like the rest of the tracks on the season. I just need to stay consistent and try and win this championship.

Third overall went to a consistent ungster in Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Josh Grant, who went 4-5 for his second podium of the year. “I actually had two bad starts, and locked my bars with Brown the second moto and didn’t get a good start, but I just charged through the pack and pushed as hard as I could and just hoped for the best, Grant said. “The track this weekend was good, new and different. The only thing I didn’t like was the altitude. But what can we do? But I’m glad to be up here. I’m happy to get in the top five (in points), and that’s what I wanted last year, but I couldn’t quite do it. I’m glad to have it this year and put my head down and keep going.

He knew he had the podium spot if a couple of key things happened on the track. “I read it on the pitboard, Grant said. “All I knew was I had to pass Walker, and then Hepler had to pass Alessi, so I’m glad that happened and I’m lucky to be up here.

450F:

Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael can seem unstoppable at times — especially outdoors. Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Kevin Windham and Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed have been doing their best to end RC’s streak, with Reed winning moto one at Southwick and Windham doing likewise last week at Unadilla, but it seems RC will bend, but not break — meaning he continues to win the second moto, and with it, the overall.

Windham had the start dialed in moto one, as he grabbed the holeshot over fellow factory Honda CRF450R pilot Ernesto Fonseca while Carmichael worked his way through a small pack of riders near the front. By lap two, Carmichael was all over Windham, and by lap three, he was by for the lead. Windham put up a fight, but Carmichael wouldn’t be shaken. He pulled away steadily before taking the checkered flag with a few seconds to spare over Windham, who had quite a distance on Reed in third.

The MXdN teammates got going in first and second in moto two, with Windham again getting the holeshot. This time, though, Carmichael had a much harder time getting around his longtime rival.

“At the beginning there, I was trying a whole bunch of things and I just couldn’t make it, Carmichael said of trying to pass Windham. “I could make a run at him, but I couldn’t get around him. Carmichael gave Windham some time back when he hit neutral. “When I hit neutral, it kind of played with my head a little bit and I had to think what I had to do, and then I just tried to sprint by him instead of just following his lines and not being aggressive on the track. There was a little bit there that I was a little nervous, RC said.

Windham was listening for RC’s lines, until he couldn’t hear him anymore. “I was listening to his lines because I wanted to know where he was making time, but I wanted to do the best I could, and all of a sudden I didn’t hear him for a couple laps, and I didn’t know what was going on, Windham said. “I wasn’t looking back. At that point, I was like, ‘All right, just go for it,’ and a couple laps later, I heard him again. I tried to keep him at bay as long as I could and put up as good of a race as I could, and that’s what I did.

It didn’t last forever, though, as Carmichael finally made it by K-Dub at around the halfway point of the 15-lap race. From there, Carmichael went on to score the victory while Windham stayed close for a very long time — eventually settling for an inevitable second place.

It was Windham’s third-consecutive second-place finish to Carmichael overall. “It went pretty good. No complaints, obviously, Windham said. “I had time in the lead in both motos, and the second moto, I felt like I was riding really strong, and he just kept hounding me and staying on me and eventually got by me. I think he had a couple better lines, and I was trying to hear where he was going behind me and I changed them halfway through. He changed them up as well, and he stayed on my heels until he finally got around. That was pretty much it, and after that, he got away from me and I became content with second.

It was Carmichael’s seventh victory in seven races this season, and he now leads the championship by 77 with five races yet to run. “It was a good afternoon for me, RC said. “The team worked hard on the bike to try and get it running as good as they could, and in the first moto, I made some really clean passes to get out in the lead and just worked away and put in really good, consistent laps. The second moto was a lot more fun for me. I got to get up and run with Kevin, and Kevin was running really good — especially the second moto. I was having a hard time to get around him. I could make a run on him but I could never seal the deal. I hit neutral back there when he pulled away, and he got ahead a little bit and I had to think and try to make a good, clean pass and just plan out what I could do. I could run right behind him, but that got old. He made a little mistake on the backside there on the highest part of the track, and I think after that I kind of got a good run on him and was able to put in some good laps and take the overall. It’s great for the sport (having good racing). That’s why NASCAR is so big, because you don’t know who’s going to win any weekend, ever. It’s good. It brings more parity to the class and it makes you feel better when you win it. Sometimes, you work hard to make it easy, but for the sport in general it’s better to have really good racing. I would love to go somewhere not knowing who’s going to win. A coin-toss, that’s fun.

Reed once again finished a distant third, and he was disappointed as he felt great in practice. “I don’t know, I just liked this track, Reed said. “A lot of it was kind of technical and things like that, and I don’t know what happened to me in the races today. I didn’t show up. I left it all out there in practice. It’s kind of disappointing to feel good in practice, and then come to the race and ride horrible. These guys were a step above me today and I had to ride around in third.

125cc O/A Results:

  1. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw, 1-1)
  2. Andrew Short (Hon, 2-2)
  3. Josh Grant (Hon, 4-5)
  4. Mike Alessi (KTM, 6-4)
  5. Broc Hepler (Suz, 9-3)
  6. Tommy Hahn (Hon, 5-7)
  7. Mike Brown (Hon, 7-8)
  8. Grant Langston (Kaw, 3-19)
  9. Ryan Sipes (Suz, 14-9)
  10. Matt Walker (Kaw, 18-6)

250cc O/A Results:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz, 1-1)
  2. Kevin Windham (Hon, 2-2)
  3. Chad Reed (Yam, 3-3)
  4. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon, 5-4)
  5. David Vuillemin (Yam, 4-5)
  6. Travis Preston (Hon, 7-7)
  7. Michael Byrne (Kaw, 9-6)
  8. John Dowd (Suz, 10-9)
  9. Sean Collier (Hon, 8-13)
  10. Nick Wey (Hon, 11-14)

125cc National Points Standings:

  1. Ivan Tedesco (257/1 win)
  2. Mike Brown (250/1 win)
  3. Mike Alessi (220/1 win)
  4. Josh Grant (202)
  5. Grant Langston (194/3 wins)
  6. Andrew Short (187)
  7. Broc Hepler (185/1 win)
  8. Davi Millsaps (162)
  9. Matt Walker (152)
  10. Danny Smith (126)

250cc National Points Standings:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (344/7 wins)
  2. Kevin Windham (267)
  3. Chad Reed (258)
  4. David Vuillemin (218)
  5. Ernesto Fonseca (208)
  6. Travis Preston (173)
  7. John Dowd (167)
  8. Michael Byrne (148)
  9. Nick Wey (122)
  10. James Stewart (118)

nd.

It was Carmichael’s seventh victory in seven races this season, and he now leads the championship by 77 with five races yet to run. “It was a good afternoon for me, RC said. “The team worked hard on the bike to try and get it running as good as they could, and in the first moto, I made some really clean passes to get out in the lead and just worked away and put in really good, consistent laps. The second moto was a lot more fun for me. I got to get up and run with Kevin, and Kevin was running really good — especially the second moto. I was having a hard time to get around him. I could make a run on him but I could never seal the deal. I hit neutral back there when he pulled away, and he got ahead a little bit and I had to think and try to make a good, clean pass and just plan out what I could do. I could run right behind him, but that got old. He made a little mistake on the backside there on the highest part of the track, and I think after that I kind of got a good run on him and was able to put in some good laps and take the overall. It’s great for the sport (having good racing). That’s why NASCAR is so big, because you don’t know who’s going to win any weekend, ever. It’s good. It brings more parity to the class and it makes you feel better when you win it. Sometimes, you work hard to make it easy, but for the sport in general it’s better to have really good racing. I would love to go somewhere not knowing who’s going to win. A coin-toss, that’s fun.

Reed once again finished a distant third, and he was disappointed as he felt great in practice. “I don’t know, I just liked this track, Reed said. “A lot of it was kind of technical and things like that, and I don’t know what happened to me in the races today. I didn’t show up. I left it all out there in practice. It’s kind of disappointing to feel good in practice, and then come to the race and ride horrible. These guys were a step above me today and I had to ride around in third.

125cc O/A Results:

  1. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw, 1-1)
  2. Andrew Short (Hon, 2-2)
  3. Josh Grant (Hon, 4-5)
  4. Mike Alessi (KTM, 6-4)
  5. Broc Hepler (Suz, 9-3)
  6. Tommy Hahn (Hon, 5-7)
  7. Mike Brown (Hon, 7-8)
  8. Grant Langston (Kaw, 3-19)
  9. Ryan Sipes (Suz, 14-9)
  10. Matt Walker (Kaw, 18-6)

250cc O/A Results:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz, 1-1)
  2. Kevin Windham (Hon, 2-2)
  3. Chad Reed (Yam, 3-3)
  4. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon, 5-4)
  5. David Vuillemin (Yam, 4-5)
  6. Travis Preston (Hon, 7-7)
  7. Michael Byrne (Kaw, 9-6)
  8. John Dowd (Suz, 10-9)
  9. Sean Collier (Hon, 8-13)
  10. Nick Wey (Hon, 11-14)

125cc National Points Standings:

  1. Ivan Tedesco (257/1 win)
  2. Mike Brown (250/1 win)
  3. Mike Alessi (220/1 win)
  4. Josh Grant (202)
  5. Grant Langston (194/3 wins)
  6. Andrew Short (187)
  7. Broc Hepler (185/1 win)
  8. Davi Millsaps (162)
  9. Matt Walker (152)
  10. Danny Smith (126)

250cc National Points Standings:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (344/7 wins)
  2. Kevin Windham (267)
  3. Chad Reed (258)
  4. David Vuillemin (218)
  5. Ernesto Fonseca (208)
  6. Travis Preston (173)
  7. John Dowd (167)
  8. Michael Byrne (148)
  9. Nick Wey (122)
  10. James Stewart (118)