TWMX Race Report: Millville

It was a hot and steamy day in the Midwest, but that didn’t stop Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart from absolutely dominating their respective classes at this weekend’s AMA/Chevy Trucks Motocross Nationals. The pair put on a riding school for the rest of the pack, both collecting seemingly effortless 1-1 moto scores at the beautiful Spring Creek facility.

What appeared easy to the crowd was no walk in the park, though, according to 250cc winner Ricky Carmichael after moto number two. “I may be covering it up well, but I’m a whipped dog,” said an exhausted RC at the podium. High humidity and a full day of sun left Spring Creek in such a searing state that some riders were forced to pull off due to heat exhaustion, including Factory Yamaha star David Vuillemin. Enough about the temperature, though, let’s get right down to the action!

The first 125cc moto saw Kawasaki’s teenage superstar James “Bubba” Stewart rocket around corner number one in the first position, and you can probably guess what happened next. Bubba proceeded to school the field worse than ever, and by the end of lap one the seventeen-year-old was enjoying nearly a two-corner lead over second-place rider and Midwest local Brock Sellards. The bright orange KTM of Ryan Hughes was in tow, and behind Ryno were Craig Anderson and Michael Brandes.

Besides one slight mishap in a corner just before the legendary Millville whoop section (a soft and sandy berm blew out under his tires and caused him to lay the bike down), Bubba checked out like a supermarket employee-of-the-month. The biggest action behind him was a brief but tight battle between Hughes and Sellards, with Hughes making the pass stick on lap number three. To Sellards’ credit, just after the moto ended a quick push on the rear end of the bike revealed that Brock was riding on a completely blown-out shock. This allowed Hughes to eventually pull out to a substantial lead in the “non-Bubba class.” That’s how the moto ended; Bubba, Ryno and Sellards, but behind Brock at the checkers was a hard-charging Grant Langston who came from mid-pack. Grant’s teammate Joaquim Rodrigues rode his first-ever 125cc moto and captured an impressive fifth-place finish in his rookie outing in the moto.

In the 250cc division, Yamaha hero Chad Reed decided to trade in his two-stroke 250cc machine for a thumping YZ450F four-stroke, and he looked comfortable from the start as he pulled off a sizeable holeshot on the beast. He even led an entire lap before finally succumbing to series dominator Ricky Carmichael.

Once RC grabbed the lead from Reed on lap number two, it was bye-bye for Ricky. Behind him remained a smooth and consistent Reed, but the hardest charger on the track proved to be Chad’s Yamaha teammate Tim Ferry. Red Dog started the moto outside of the top ten after a poor start, but that didn’t stop Ferry from standing on the podium at moto’s end with a third-place finish. Ezra Lusk made a late-moto pass on Ernesto Fonseca to grab fourth, relegating Ernie back to fifth.

So what happened to K-Dub? Second-place points holder Kevin Windham tried a hairy pass on Fonseca in the early stages of the race over a huge uphill triple that Ernie wasn’t jumping, but Kevin went a bit long and landed hard. Beyond that, Windham later admitted to getting a piece of dirt stuck in his throat, causing the 450 pilot to throw up during half of the moto before eventually finishing ninth. “I couldn’t get the clod out, and before long I found myself throwing up all over the place. It got so bad I had to pull off in the back part of the track and let it all out. I’ve got nothing left in my stomach, I’m on empty,” said Windham afterwards. Yuck!

Back to the125cc class for moto two, it was once again a Bubba riding clinic as Stewart soared to a commanding victory from the beginning. Though he barely missed the holeshot, it didn’t take hiim long to steal the thunder from early race leader Brock Sellards. Sellards remained in second for most of the moto, when Ryan Hughes made his move on lap thirteen and snuck into the second position where he would stay to collect a second overall on the day. An admittedly tired Brock held on for third, while Rodrigues raced to an amazing fourth in his debut 125cc ride. Andrew Short finished in the fifth position, but due to a 20th place finish in moto one it was Grant Langston who collected the fifth overall position for the day.

The last moto of the day was another Carmichael runaway. RC laid major wood on the rest of the field, pulling a large holeshot that led to an even larger lead by moto’s end. The battle behind him was between Reed and Windham in the first half of the race, with Windham eventually getting the better of Reed at the checkers. Reed’s teammate Tim Ferry also snuck by in the closing laps, which would be good enough for a second-overall finish for Red Dog. Reed remained in fourth for the moto, with Mike LaRocco behind him in fifth when the flag waved.

125cc Class

  1. James Stewart; 1-1
  2. Ryan Hughes; 2-2
  3. Brock Sellards; 3-3
  4. Joaquim Rodrigues; 5-4
  5. Grant Langston; 4-7
  6. Robbie Reynard; 12-6
  7. Chris Gosselaar; 10-8
  8. Ryan Mills; 9-9
  9. Craig Anderson; 8-10
  10. Michael Byrne; 6-14

250cc Class

  1. Ricky Carmichael; 1-1
  2. Tim Ferry; 3-3
  3. Chad Reed; 2-4
  4. Kevin Windham; 9-2
  5. Ezra Lusk; 4-6
  6. Mike LaRocco; 6-5
  7. Ernesto Fonseca; 5-7
  8. Nick Wey; 8-10
  9. Stephane Roncada; 12-9
  10. Kyle Lewis; 10-13