TWMX Race Report: Daytona ’05

Expect the unexpected…

It really is too bad that Las Vegas doesn’t take odds on the AMA Supercross Series. If they did, one would figure the odds against Chad Reed and Josh Hansen winning the Daytona Supercross, given the race’s reputation and the reputation of those two riders’ chief competition. The race itself is supposed to be the most outdoor-like supercross of the year, and Chad Reed’s main competition, Ricky Carmichael, is undefeated over the course of his career in outdoor national championships. In the 125cc class, Hansen has a reputation for not being tough enough for outdoor-style events, and his projected main competition were Grant Langston (2000 125cc World MX Champion and 2003 125cc National Champion) and Davi Millsaps (second place at the Daytona Supercross last year behind James Stewart).

As they say, that’s why they run the races. Probability has no bearing on actual results — especially at Daytona.

125cc Qualifiers

Ryan Mills got out front early to start the first of two 250F heat races, with his teammate Josh Hansen right on his rear wheel. Hansen worked on Mills for a few laps before a scuffle broke out between Hansen, Mills and Davi Millsaps. Hansen passed Mills, then Mills and Millsaps both passed Hansen, and finally Millsaps made his way into the lead for good. Hansen hung on for second, while Steve Boniface made a late-race pass on Mills for third. Other qualifiers from the first heat included Kelly Smith in fifth, followed by Justin Buckelew, Chad Johnson, Josh Grant and Matt Goerke.

Grant Langston got the start at the beginning of the second heat, but Donnie McGourty quickly squirted by and into the lead. The lead was short-lived, though, as Langston relegated him back to third shortly thereafter. Langston’s teammate Matt Walker did likewise late in the race for second, but McGourty hung on for third, followed by Joaquim Rodrigues, Greg Schnell, Kevin Johnson, Jacob Saylor, Eric Sorby and Brad Ripple.

Troy Adams, Tyson Hadsell, Jeff Dement and Derrick Fisher rounded out the qualifiers in the LCQ.

250cc Qualifiers

Chad Reed got away in the first 250cc heat race right off the start, and he just checked out, putting in some ridiculously fast laptimes in front of the Honda trio of Ernesto Fonseca, Travis Preston and Kevin Windham. Windham worked on Preston for quite a few laps before making the pass stick as Preston (injured from a practice crash) faded somewhat. Windham set out after and passed Fonseca before the finish for second. Late in the race, Tyler Evans sat fourth and looked to have a qualifying position locked up before Sean Hamblin came up and made a clean but aggressive pass on Evans heading toward the finish line, then almost tossed it all away in the very next corner, as he missed the berm and got really out of shape. Hamblin hung on, somehow, and finished fourth.

Ricky Carmichael did his best Reed impression in the second heat race, getting out front and running away as well, racing a ghost for the whole race in Reed’s laptimes. He came up just short, finishing less than three seconds off of Reed’s time. Andrew Short started second and stayed there until the finish, with Mike LaRocco third (after knocking down David Vuillemin, who was looking for a way by when LaRocco jumped out of his rut seemingly unintentionally) and Timmy Ferry fourth.

A pair of Frenchmen dominated the semis, with Sebastien Tortelli and David Vuillemin dominating each of their respective races. Travis Preston, Jason Thomas, Jiri Dostal and Tyler Evans followed Tortelli home, while Damon Huffman, Erick Vallejo, Joe Oehlhof and Isaiah Johnson did likewise to Vuillemin in the second semi.

Damien Plotts led Kyle Lewis from start to finish in the 250cc LCQ for the last two transfers to the main event.

125cc Main

 

Josh Grant got a great jump to start the 125cc main, with McGourt Adams, Hansen and Johnson behind him. Grant Langston rounded lap one seventh, and Millsaps got hung up in the second turn behind some riders and was hit from behind by a fast-moving Rodrigues, with both going down in a heap. Millsaps rounded lap one 15th, with Rodrigues 20th — in front of only Schnell and Walker. Walker fell in the whoops on the opening lap, gathering Schnell in the wreckage. Walker dropped out of the race before the end of the second lap, while Schnell made it three laps before his bike broke.

Josh Grant began to pull a lead out in the opening laps over McGourty before McGourty gave way to Adams and Hansen on the fifth lap. Hansen worked on Adams until lap nine, which allowed Josh Grant to pull out even further. But once Hansen got into second, he set his sights on the fleeting rookie supercrosser. Millsaps made his way inside the top five by the halfway point in the race, and he was working on Adams for third on lap 12 when Adams made a mistake in a rhythm section and crossed into Millsaps’ path. Millsaps went down in a heap, and although he appeared okay, he dropped out of the race immediately with apparent damage to his RM-Z250.

For the last three laps, Hansen and Josh Grant went at it. Hansen made the pass with a couple laps to go, only to get hung up behind a lapper and hand the lead back to Josh Grant. On the last lap, the race came to a head. Hansen followed Josh Grant over the finish line to get the white flag, and coming out of the ensuing whoop section, he took the inside and came together with Josh Grant. Both riders went down in a heap, but they both kept their high-strung four-strokes running. They got up together, bikes bent, and Hansen held Josh Grant off going into the track’s triple, and Josh Grant doubled it as Hansen tripled. That was it. Hansen took his second 125cc supercross win, followed by Josh Grant and Adams. Then came arenacrosser Chad Johnson and Smith. Rodrigues made it up to ninth at the finish, and Langston finished 15th, one lap down.

 

250cc Main

Reed got a rare main-event holeshot to start the 250cc main event from the far inside of the gate, with Fonseca, LaRocco and Windham behind him and Carmichael mired well back in the pack. Carmichael made a smart move around the inside of the first couple of turns and then saved a spectacular near crash in the whoops on his way by the three Hondas and into second. LaRocco settled into third. For the rest of the race, Carmichael chased Reed, getting really close to the Aussie around the halfway point, but after a couple key bobbles and getting hung up behind a couple key lappers, he lost ground to Reed and lost touch with him. With four laps to go, in a last-ditch effort to close the gap, Carmichael went down in a heap in the whoops, sliding along the asphalt and into the fence separating the track from the spectators. He got up with banners wrapped in his rear wheel and no rear brake, but it wasn’t significant, as the race had already been won.

Chad Reed beat Ricky Carmichael at his own game.

LaRocco hung on for third, 39 seconds behind Reed (and five behind Carmichael), Vuillemin finished fourth and Windham fifth. Preston scored his best finish of the season, despite his sore muscles, taking sixth in front of his Team Honda teammates Fonseca and Short. Ferry and Hamblin rounded out the top 10.

125cc Main Results:

  1. Josh Hansen (KTM)
  2. Josh Grant (Hon)
  3. Troy Adams (Hon)
  4. Chad Johnson (Yam)
  5. Kelly Smith (Yam)
  6. Ryan Mills (KTM)
  7. Steve Boniface (Hon)
  8. Donnie McGourty (Hon)
  9. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hon)
  10. Justin Buckelew (Hon)

250cc Main Results:

  1. Chad Reed (Yam)
  2. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)
  3. Mike LaRocco (Hon)
  4. David Vuillemin (Yam)
  5. Kevin Windham (Hon)
  6. Travis Preston (Hon)
  7. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon)
  8. Andrew Short (Hon)
  9. Timmy Ferry (Yam)
  10. Sean Hamblin (Kaw)

125cc Eastern Regional Points Standings:

  1. Josh Hansen (80/1 win)
  2. Grant Langston (78/2 wins)
  3. Davi Millsaps (68/1 win)
  4. Kelly Smith (53)
  5. Troy Adams (51)
  6. Josh Grant (50)
  7. Steve Boniface (49)
  8. Joaquim Rodrigues (45)
  9. Brock Sellards (40)
  10. Matt Walker (38)

THQ/AMA 250cc Supercross Points Standings:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (239/7 wins)
  2. Chad Reed (207/2 wins)
  3. Kevin Windham (172/1 win)
  4. Mike LaRocco (169)
  5. David Vuillemin (150)
  6. Ernesto Fonseca (137)
  7. Sebastien Tortelli (129)
  8. Michael Byrne (103)
  9. Heath Voss (95)
  10. Tyler Evans (81)
  • Ernesto Fonseca (Hon)
  • Andrew Short (Hon)
  • Timmy Ferry (Yam)
  • Sean Hamblin (Kaw)
  • 125cc Eastern Regional Points Standings:

    1. Josh Hansen (80/1 win)
    2. Grant Langston (78/2 wins)
    3. Davi Millsaps (68/1 win)
    4. Kelly Smith (53)
    5. Troy Adams (51)
    6. Josh Grant (50)
    7. Steve Boniface (49)
    8. Joaquim Rodrigues (45)
    9. Brock Sellards (40)
    10. Matt Walker (38)

    THQ/AMA 250cc Supercross Points Standings:

    1. Ricky Carmichael (239/7 wins)
    2. Chad Reed (207/2 wins)
    3. Kevin Windham (172/1 win)
    4. Mike LaRocco (169)
    5. David Vuillemin (150)
    6. Ernesto Fonseca (137)
    7. Sebastien Tortelli (129)
    8. Michael Byrne (103)
    9. Heath Voss (95)
    10. Tyler Evans (81)