TWMX Race Report: Glen Helen ’05

The 2005 AMA National Motocross season ended much the same as it began. Just like the first round in Hangtown Team Makita Suzuki¿s Ricky Carmichael and Team Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki¿s Grant Langston both came away victorious.

During round 12 at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, California Carmichael put the icing on the cake of a, once again, nearly flawless season. For Carmichael the win marked his 27th in a row, fifth 250cc class win at the venue, third undefeated season and 61st career National win. When all was said and done, the 25-year-old Suzuki rider finished 109 points ahead of second in the standings, Team Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda¿s Kevin Windham. Simply put, Glen Helen was business as usual for RC.

The 125cc class had all the drama. After being penalized five seconds in the first moto for cutting the course, Langston came back to win the second, and with it the overall. It was Langston¿s fourth victory of the season giving him the most wins in the field; it also bumped him to fourth in the standings.

125 Moto One

When the pack thundered into the first turn at the start of the moto Team Honda¿s Andrew Short was out front with Langston, Team Red Bull KTM¿s Mike Alessi and, in only his third National, Langston¿s young teammate Ryan Villopoto not far behind. Within a few turns all three riders moved around Short and began to pull away. After that the stage was set for a three-way battle for the top three positions.

Behind the front-runners Championship contender Team Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki¿s Ivan Tedesco was busy picking himself up after tangling with Makita Suzuki¿s Broc Hepler. Tedesco was forced to come from behind. In the end, however, the New Mexico native finished 20th, and only earned one point towards the championship. His title hunt would go on to the final moto.

¿Hepler got a little crazy in one of the whoop sections in the back and crashed,¿ Tedesco said. ¿When his bike fell over it landed on the downside of a triple (in the whoops). I was already committed; I landed on his bike and went over the bars pretty good. Luckily I didn¿t get hurt on that one. I actually had to put the chain back on because the chain derailed.¿

As for Hepler, he pulled out of the moto after the first lap, and did not race the second moto.

Just as the pack crossed the finish line for the completion of lap four Alessi moved into the lead. The resilient South African did not give up though. He soon re-passed the KTM rider two laps later. Meanwhile, Villopoto quietly circulated the track in third, trying to inch up on the two riders. At one point Villopoto even got within a bike-length of second.

As the race wore on the top-three riders began to stretch out their lead over the field. At nearly the halfway point they had a ten-second lead over fourth-place Short.

With two laps remaining things got interesting. Alessi took over the lead, and Langston did not want that to happen.

The two riders battled for the final two laps, banging bars and swapping paint.

¿On the second-to-last lap I got him coming down the big downhill,¿ Langston said. ¿I kept it clean up the inside of him. We went over the big step-up double and then he just bonzai¿ed me in the next turn and sent me off the track. I had to cut a section of the track. Obviously I didn¿t want to gain an advantage so I let him by me figuring that should be okay. Then I passed him back and he tried to kick me going up the next hill. For real, watch the video he kicked me.¿

Langston re-entered the track and moved into first. He crossed the line just in front of Alessi. The Kawasaki rider was penalized five seconds, however, for cutting off a portion of the course. According to Langston it was unfair.

¿I got docked five seconds for cutting the track,&quo; Langston said. ¿The way I understand the rule is that you can leave the track but enter at the near safest place without gaining an advantage. I didn¿t gain an advantage. Maybe I could have joined somewhere sooner, but oh well.¿

Finishing third in the moto was Villopoto, while Short quietly crossed the line fourth.

250 Moto One

The start of the first moto was all Carmichael. He took the holeshot ahead of Team Honda¿s Ernesto Fonseca and Windham. From there RC checked out. With each passing lap he extended his lead, and by the halfway mark had nearly a 20-second gap over second.

Behind Carmichael, Windham settled into second and Team Yamaha¿s David Vuillemin took over third. Fonseca settled into fourth after dropping back from his second-place start. From there Windham opened up a large gap over third while Fonseca did all he could to try to catch Vuillemin in third.

¿The first moto I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning of the moto,¿ Fonseca said. ¿I was tight and not riding very well. From halfway on I started riding a little better and I started catching him (Vuillemin). We were like within a second at the finish line. I wanted to beat him in the first moto but it didn¿t happen. I knew we had another moto again and anything could happen.¿

By the end of the race Carmichael had a massive lead. Behind him Windham rode around by himself, much like he has done for most of the season. Vuillemin continued to hold down third while Fonseca was in fourth. In fifth was Team ECC/Suzuki¿s Ryan Hughes aboard his duel muffler Suzuki RM-Z450.

At the finish Carmichael took the win followed by Windham in second and Vuillemin in third.

¿He (Carmichael) rode his race and I rode mine,¿ Windham said. ¿We just never really got close enough to do a lot of battling.¿

125 Moto Two

When the gate hit the dirt and the pack thundered down the start for the final 125cc moto of the 2005 National season it was Villopoto with the holeshot. The Kawasaki rider got an enormous jump out of the gate and proceeded to turn it into the first holeshot of his young career. ¿I just tried to get the best start that I could,¿ Villopoto said. ¿It helps out a lot if you can get a good start. If you¿re coming from the back it¿s pretty tough.¿ Behind him was his teammate Tedesco and KTM-mounted Alessi. After that things got interesting once again.

Before the first lap was even through Alessi and Tedesco tangled on one of Glen Helen¿s numerous fast rough straights. Both riders went down in a heap, luckily both remounted and continued the race. With the points battle so close Tedesco had to finish in front of Alessi to clinch the title. Tedesco completed the first lap in 31st while Alessi was in 34th.

¿Going down a long straightaway into a right-hander I was in the middle,¿ Tedesco said. ¿I think he went inside, started clicking gears and never shut off. He just aimed for me. He took us both down and I¿m pretty sore from that. When I got up he was standing on top of my bike to try to keep me from getting my bike up. He was trying to push me down and stuff. It took every ounce of what I had to just not uppercut the kid under his helmet.¿

By the end of the race Tedesco worked his was up to 12th, Alessi was not as lucky. He crashed hard with one lap remaining effectively ending his race.

Back at the front Villopoto led Langston for the first six laps. At the beginning of the seventh lap the former National and World Champion made his move on the rookie Villopoto. With that he instantly opened up a lead while Villopoto settled into second. The two riders steadily pulled away from Short in third. Another Kawasaki rider, Paul Carpenter, was enjoying his best moto performance of the season in fourth while Boost Mobile Yamaha of Troy¿s Danny Smith sat in fifth.

When the checkered flag waved Langston crossed the line 9.446 seconds ahead of Villopoto. Short completed the top-three.

Behind them Tedesco finished 11th and clinched his first National Championship. Even after crashing in both motos he still managed to pull it off. Bruised and battered, it was easy to see he was elated to have it all behind him.

¿I just kind of¿not rode around, but my bike was beat up and I was pretty beat up,¿ Tedesco said. ¿I just cruised in for 11th and pulled off the championship.¿

250 Moto Two

The second 250cc moto was much like the first only the holeshot did not go to Carmichael. Instead Fonseca did the honors while RC was forced to follow for the first half of a lap. After that Carmichael moved into first and pulled away. Consistently turning in lap times that were faster than anyone on the track. At one point his time was four seconds faster than the next fastest rider.

Behind him Fonseca rode frantically to stay ahead of a hard-charging Windham in third. Vuillemin sat in fourth. Fonseca knew that if he finished ahead of Vuillemin, and with Windham as a buffer, he would have third in the championship standings. He did all he could to hold on.

¿I was trying to go as hard as I could. The track was super rough and I almost crashed a couple times. I bent my shift lever on the first downhill and took some banners out. I was close. I don¿t think it gets any closer than what I was out there. I was so close to crashing. At the end I was nervous and started making all kinds of mistakes.¿

Fonseca managed to stay ahead of Windham in the moto. Raising the question that there may have been some team tactics involved, since Fonseca and Vuillemin were battling in points.

¿I was fully aware of the points,¿ Windham said. ¿There were not any team orders, but how could you not be aware of it. They had been going back and fourth all season long. I knew that the topic was going to come up, I¿m not stupid, everyone probably buys into it. Ernie definitely rode good.¿

As for Fonseca, he was pleased with his results. ¿It¿s a good accomplishment for myself and the team, I got third to the best two riders in the world,¿ Fonseca said. ¿There is no one better than Ricky and Kevin.¿

At the end of the moto Carmichael crossed the line 7.47 seconds ahead of Fonseca in second. Windham completed the podium while Vuillemin finished fourth.

At the end of the day Carmichael was glad to have put another successful season behind him. He is already looking forward at the Motocross des Nations.

¿I¿m glad it¿s over,¿ Carmichael said. ¿I¿m looking forward to the next couple of weeks. I know we are confident and we have the best team. I¿m just looking forward to going to France. I think that we have the best team.¿

With the way that RC has been dominating it is becoming difficult to see how he continues to stay motivated. He says it¿s simple.

¿There is always something to keep me motivated,¿ Carmichael said. ¿There are always these young bucks coming in. it¿s fun. I enjoy what I am doing and there are always new challenges. I am still motivated and I¿m having a good time.¿  

125 Overall

  1. Grant Langston 2-1 (Kaw)
  2. Ryan Villopoto 3-2 (Kaw)
  3. Andrew Short 4-3 (Hon)
  4. Danny Smith 5-6 (Yam)
  5. Paul Carpenter 12-5 (Kaw)
  6. Ryan Sipes 9-8 (Suz)
  7. Billy Laninovich 7-10 (Hon)
  8. Mike Alessi 1-22 (KTM)
  9. Mike Brown 16-4 (Hon)
  10. Jeff Alessi 11-9 (KTM)

125 Final Points

  1. Ivan Tedesco 412
  2. Mike Alessi 392
  3. Andrew Short 374
  4. Grant Langston 363
  5. Mikamaha of Troy¿s Danny Smith sat in fifth.

    When the checkered flag waved Langston crossed the line 9.446 seconds ahead of Villopoto. Short completed the top-three.

    Behind them Tedesco finished 11th and clinched his first National Championship. Even after crashing in both motos he still managed to pull it off. Bruised and battered, it was easy to see he was elated to have it all behind him.

    ¿I just kind of¿not rode around, but my bike was beat up and I was pretty beat up,¿ Tedesco said. ¿I just cruised in for 11th and pulled off the championship.¿

    250 Moto Two

    The second 250cc moto was much like the first only the holeshot did not go to Carmichael. Instead Fonseca did the honors while RC was forced to follow for the first half of a lap. After that Carmichael moved into first and pulled away. Consistently turning in lap times that were faster than anyone on the track. At one point his time was four seconds faster than the next fastest rider.

    Behind him Fonseca rode frantically to stay ahead of a hard-charging Windham in third. Vuillemin sat in fourth. Fonseca knew that if he finished ahead of Vuillemin, and with Windham as a buffer, he would have third in the championship standings. He did all he could to hold on.

    ¿I was trying to go as hard as I could. The track was super rough and I almost crashed a couple times. I bent my shift lever on the first downhill and took some banners out. I was close. I don¿t think it gets any closer than what I was out there. I was so close to crashing. At the end I was nervous and started making all kinds of mistakes.¿

    Fonseca managed to stay ahead of Windham in the moto. Raising the question that there may have been some team tactics involved, since Fonseca and Vuillemin were battling in points.

    ¿I was fully aware of the points,¿ Windham said. ¿There were not any team orders, but how could you not be aware of it. They had been going back and fourth all season long. I knew that the topic was going to come up, I¿m not stupid, everyone probably buys into it. Ernie definitely rode good.¿

    As for Fonseca, he was pleased with his results. ¿It¿s a good accomplishment for myself and the team, I got third to the best two riders in the world,¿ Fonseca said. ¿There is no one better than Ricky and Kevin.¿

    At the end of the moto Carmichael crossed the line 7.47 seconds ahead of Fonseca in second. Windham completed the podium while Vuillemin finished fourth.

    At the end of the day Carmichael was glad to have put another successful season behind him. He is already looking forward at the Motocross des Nations.

    ¿I¿m glad it¿s over,¿ Carmichael said. ¿I¿m looking forward to the next couple of weeks. I know we are confident and we have the best team. I¿m just looking forward to going to France. I think that we have the best team.¿

    With the way that RC has been dominating it is becoming difficult to see how he continues to stay motivated. He says it¿s simple.

    ¿There is always something to keep me motivated,¿ Carmichael said. ¿There are always these young bucks coming in. it¿s fun. I enjoy what I am doing and there are always new challenges. I am still motivated and I¿m having a good time.¿  

    125 Overall

    1. Grant Langston 2-1 (Kaw)
    2. Ryan Villopoto 3-2 (Kaw)
    3. Andrew Short 4-3 (Hon)
    4. Danny Smith 5-6 (Yam)
    5. Paul Carpenter 12-5 (Kaw)
    6. Ryan Sipes 9-8 (Suz)
    7. Billy Laninovich 7-10 (Hon)
    8. Mike Alessi 1-22 (KTM)
    9. Mike Brown 16-4 (Hon)
    10. Jeff Alessi 11-9 (KTM)

    125 Final Points

    1. Ivan Tedesco 412
    2. Mike Alessi 392
    3. Andrew Short 374
    4. Grant Langston 363
    5. Mike Brown 335
    6. Broc Hepler 321
    7. Josh Grant 302
    8. Davi Millsaps 268
    9. Matt Walker 239
    10. Danny Smith 194

    250 Overall

    1. Ricky Carmichael 1-1 (Suz)
    2. Kevin Windham 2-3 (Hon)
    3. Ernesto Fonseca 3-2 (Hon)
    4. David Vuillemin 3-4 (Yam)
    5. Michael Byrne 8-5 (Kaw)
    6. Travis Preston 7-6 (Hon)
    7. Sebastien Tortelli 6-8 (Suz)
    8. Ryan Hughes 5-9 (Suz)
    9. Kyle Lewis 11-7 (Hon)
    10. Jeff Dement 10-11 (Suz)

    250 Final Points

    1. Ricky Carmichael 594
    2. Kevin Windham 485
    3. Ernesto Fonseca 392
    4. David Vuillemin 390
    5. Travis Preston 308
    6. Michael Byrne 294
    7. John Dowd 273
    8. Chad Reed 273
    9. Nick Wey 233
    10. Jeff Dement 152

    >Mike Brown 335

  6. Broc Hepler 321
  7. Josh Grant 302
  8. Davi Millsaps 268
  9. Matt Walker 239
  10. Danny Smith 194

250 Overall

  1. Ricky Carmichael 1-1 (Suz)
  2. Kevin Windham 2-3 (Hon)
  3. Ernesto Fonseca 3-2 (Hon)
  4. David Vuillemin 3-4 (Yam)
  5. Michael Byrne 8-5 (Kaw)
  6. Travis Preston 7-6 (Hon)
  7. Sebastien Tortelli 6-8 (Suz)
  8. Ryan Hughes 5-9 (Suz)
  9. Kyle Lewis 11-7 (Hon)
  10. Jeff Dement 10-11 (Suz)

250 Final Points

  1. Ricky Carmichael 594
  2. Kevin Windham 485
  3. Ernesto Fonseca 392
  4. David Vuillemin 390
  5. Travis Preston 308
  6. Michael Byrne 294
  7. John Dowd 273
  8. Chad Reed 273
  9. Nick Wey 233
  10. Jeff Dement 152