TWMX Race Report: Millville ’05

With Ricky Carmichael continuing his stranglehold on the 250cc division, and stars like Chad Reed and James Stewart still on the sidelines with injuries, it’s been interesting to see who will step up in the 250cc class. But it in the meantime, it’s also been up to the 125 class to provide the best racing, and most drama in the title chase department. Once again, the 125 riders didn’t disappoint.

125cc Moto One

Ryan Mills grabbed the moto one holeshot, and a crash in the first turn took down several riders, including Broc Hepler, Andy Bakken, Paul Carpenter, and Teddy Maier. Honda-mounted Andrew Short quickly assumed the lead ahead of Mills and Mike Alessi, who was celebrating the first anniversary of his pro career. Championship contenders were sprinkled throughout the pack, including Ivan Tedesco (seventh place), Grant Langston (9th), and Mike Brown (14th).

Ryan Hughes had been missing for the last several rounds with an injured wrist, and his luck didn’t improve much at Millville, when he dropped out after lap two. Mike Alessi passed his Red Bull KTM teammate, Ryan Mills, on the same lap to move into second. Meanwhile, Andrew Short had stretched his lead over Alessi to five seconds.

Tommy Hahn was also back in action at Millville after a first moto crash at Washougal, and he passed Ryan Mills to move into third on lap four, and charged past Mike Alessi and into second on lap five.

The top three (Short, Mills, and Alessi) stayed that way through lap ten, with the big jostling going on in the group behind them, with a long duel between Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammates Ivan Tedesco and Matt Walker,

While Hahn and Mills both slipped backward in the standings, Josh Grant was making good forward progress late in the moto, moving from eighth on the first lap, to third spot with three laps to go. Walker stayed ahead of Tedesco throughout, and Billy Laninovich also slipped by the 125 points leader with three laps to go.

At the finish, it was Short with a nine-second gap ahead of Mike Alessi, taking his first National moto win. Josh Grant rounded out the top three. On the podium, Short said, “The last two weekends were pretty close, and it feels good to finally win for myself for the first time. I put myself in better position on the start, and if I won the overall I’d be ecstatic.”

250cc Moto One

Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca and Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael were first into the first turn. Ricky quickly jumped into the lead, had a 6.5-second advantage after one lap, and it only grew from there.

PPG/’s Matt Goerke had slipped by Fonseca, and that pair was being pursued by Amsoil/Factory Connection Honda’s Kevin Windham, and Yamaha’s David Vuillemin, Windham moved by Fonseca who dropped to tenth on the first circuit. Vuillemin had some second-lap troubles and dropped to 14th.

On lap two, Windham passed Goerke for second, but the man on the move was Travis Preston, who went from ninth on the first lap to fourth by lap three. He was followed by John Dowd, who had turned 40 the day before.

After six laps RC had a 17-second lead, and Preston slipped past Goerke at that point. Nick Wey made a moto-long charge, going from 14th on the opening lap to fifth at the end.

At the end, RC had a 24-second lead over Windham. who had a 48-second gap between himself and third-place Preston.

125cc Moto Two

After the intermission, Mike Alessi showed that he hasn’t forgotten his starting skills, as he jumped out front ahead of the Yamaha of Troy duo of Brock Sellards and Kelly Smith. 125 points leader Tedesco was 8th, Mike Brown was 19th, and Broc Hepler was 20th.

Andrew Short moved up to third on the opening lap, and then moved past Sellards on lap two. Meanwhile, Alessi had build a 5.6-second lead.

Grant Langston moved into third spot on lap two, and started pressuring Short a couple laps later. Shorrt and Langston were racing hard, but catching Alessi at the same time. As they crossed the line for lap six, Alessi still had the lead, but Short was starting to pressure him. It took Short another three laps to make a pass stick, and from there he pulled away.

Two laps later, Langston made his own move on Alessi, taking over second position. Mike Alessi was third, followed by Josh Grant, and Davi Millsaps. Both Broc Hepler and Mike Brown dropped out during the moto.

Short finished strong, leading until the end, for another moto win and his first National overall. Afterward, he said, “This is awesome I can’t believe it. I had to dig deep and work for this and it’s an awesome feeling.”

250cc Moto Two

Kevin Windham was the quickest off the line in moto two, followed by Carmichael and Dowd, but RC took over the lead on the first lap in the sand whoops. RC went to work on building his lead, which was 1.7 seconds after one lap, and 3.5 after two.

After finishing third in the first moto, Travis Preston started in 14th for the second moto, while Matt Goerke was in 15th. John Dowd went down in the whoops on the third lap, but kept his bike running and only lost three spots, coming around behind Fonseca, Vuillemin and Reynard.

For several laps, DV was working on getting around Ernesto Fonseca, and finally gets around him on lap 13. Preston charged from 14th to seventh by the end of the moto, and Nick Wey was also impressive, moving from 10th at the start of the moto to fifth.

Unfortunately, a slip by Vuillemin on the last lap allowed Fonseca back by. Fonzy ended up third in the moto, and third overall on the day.

Ricky ended up with another 1-1 moto tally and said, “I just love what I’m doing, and the older I get, the more I appreciate it.” About the AMA National series and the MXdN he said, “I think we’ve got the best riders in the world, and this is where everyone wants to be. I don’t just want to go win, I want to decimate them and send a message.”

125cc Overall

  1. Andrew Short 1-1 (Hon)
  2. Mike Alessi 2-3 (KTM)
  3. Josh Grant 3-4 (Hon)
  4. Grant Langston 10-2 (Kaw)
  5. Ivan Tedesco 6-6 (Kaw)
  6. Billy Laninovich 5-7 (Hon)
  7. Matt Walker 4-9 (Kaw)
  8. Davi Millsaps 12-5 (Suz)
  9. Thomas Hahn 8-14 (Hon)
  10. Ryan Sipes 15-10 (Suz)

250cc Overall

  1. Ricky Carmichael 1-1 (Suz)
  2. Kevin Windham 2-2 (Hon)
  3. Ernesto Fonseca 6-3 (Hon)
  4. Travis Preston 3-7 (Hon)
  5. Nick Wey 5-5 (Hon)
  6. David Vuillemin 8-4 (Yam)
  7. John Dowd 7-6 (Suz)
  8. Robbie Reynard 11-8 (Hon)
  9. Michael Byrne 9-10 (Kaw)
  10. Sean Collier 12-9 (Hon)

125cc Point Standings

  1. Ivan Tedesco 332
  2. Andrew Short 281
  3. Mike Alessi 276
  4. Mike Brown 271
  5. Josh Grant 271
  6. Grant Langston 247
  7. Broc Hepler 226
  8. Davi Millsaps 220
  9. Matt Walker 198
  10. Danny Smith 146

250cc Point Standings

  1. Ricky Carmichael 444
  2. Kevin Windham 355
  3. David Vuillemin 284
  4. Ernesto Fonseca 281
  5. Chad Reed 258
  6. Travis Preston 236
  7. John Dowd 227
  8. Michael Byrne 202
  9. Nick Wey 182
  10. Ryan Clark 124