TWMX Race Report: Mt. Morris, PA

The weather Sunday at High Point Raceway might have been the best-ever for the national there…or at least in recent memory. Traditionally, rain has dictated that at least part of the weekend be mud-filled, but this year it didn’t include Saturday or Sunday. However, rain earlier in the week (including Friday night) seriously hampered the amateur portion of the program, but by the time the pros hit the track on Saturday, conditions had already improved considerably. By the time Saturday afternoon’s second practice rolled around, the track was drying and getting extremely fast. Conditions were even better on Sunday, enough so that sections of the track actually required water between motos.

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A few features on the track make it extremely interesting, including some seriously off-camber sections, and long ruts in the g-outs that the East Coast guys seem to handle with ease, while some of the West Coast riders struggled in them.

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Team Chevy Truck Kawasaki’s James “Bubba” Stewart was still MIA from 125cc class action, awaiting a thumbs-up from his doctor to a return to racing after his collarbone surgery. Sobe Suzuki’s Branden Jesseman was still on the mend as well, and hoping for a return to racing by Red Bud. However, the good news for the fans is that the racing so far this season has been incredible, with Mike Brown, Ryan Hughes, Grant Langston and Eric Sorby duking it out.

Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy’s Brock Sellards got the jump in the first 125cc moto, before being passed by Mike Brown aboard his Pro Circuit Kawasaki. Shortly afterward, Sellards (who was still suffering from a thumb injury he sustained in a second moto crash at Glen Helen) got picked off by last week’s winner, Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Hughes. Ryno wasted no time in quickly taking off in pursuit of Brown.

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The lead duo remained in close contact throughout the first half of the moto, until Brown went off course, picking up some stray course marking ribbon in his front wheel. Hughes took advantage of that, moving up front until the finish. Brown finished second, with his Pro Circuit Kawasaki teammate, Eric Sorby, finishing a distant third.

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In the second moto, it was more of the same. Ryan Hughes jumped out to the early lead, followed by Brown and Sorby. Michael Brandes continued his string of good starts, and was sitting in fourth by the second turn aboard his Yamaha 250F.

Brown and Hughes took off by themselves, and the two veterans put on a heated yet gentlemanly battle, repeatedly trading plastic in the corners. We even saw Brownie wave as sort of an apology to let Hughes know he was sorry for stuffing it into a corner rather hard.

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Further back in the pack, Eric Sorby was riding by himself in third spot. He had one of the more creative lines through a section that had a descending series of three steps. He’d wheelie while approaching it, set the front end down justs before the lip, and use the rebound to help launch him cleanly over the second drop. We saw him do it several laps in a row, even late in the moto. Remove the two veteran riders from the standings, and Sorby would be leading the points.

In the end, however, it was Mike Brown crossing the line in front, with Ryan Hughes not far behind. Sorby was third.

Grant Langston had sprained a wrist in Saturday’s practice, and was taking it easy over most of the jumps. Even still, he finished fourth on the day with 4-4 moto scores.

When Ryno met the press after the race, he said, “It was tough. Talking with Brownie here, we’re both tired. In that second moto, I don’t think we ever let up, any lap, any corner, any jump, the whole time. We pushed as hard as we could. It’s kind of ironic that we’re both 30 years old and putting a whuppin’ on some young guys. I have all the respect in the world f Brownie, because he’s had the same kind of career I’ve had. We came up together. We were out there slamming each other, ramming each other, but that’s racing. On a track like this you almost can’t pass unless you do that. You get pissed at first, but after the race, you’re like, ‘Hey, that’s racing, and that’s the way it’s going to go.’ It’s probably going to be that way for the rest of the year, as long as we can do it on the track, and stay friends off the track.”

“(In the second moto) I pulled the biggest holeshot. Me and Brownie were going through the first turn and there was no way I was letting off.”

“He had some good lines. I could hear him behind me, and I was kind of holding him up a little bit. So he had a good line around the outside and I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to let him go and see if I can learn from him and maybe try to push him.’ Finally, he made a little mistake and I got by him, and we started ramming each other. That’s the way it goes. If you want to win bad enough, you’ll do anything you can to win.”

“That’s just racing, there was nothing deliberate. Yeah, if he came in and t-boned me, I’d be pissed. I know how bad Brownie wants it, and it’s not just some stupid move. If somebody else out there that’s not even in the point standings comes up and did that, yeah, I’d be pissed off. But we’re battling for the championship, so what do you expect? If we didn’t do that, there’d be something wrong with us.”

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The overall here was Mike Brown’s second win of the season, and first win at High Point. Mike said, “If I win or he wins, we know we had a good race. He’s not out there to kill me, and I’m not out there to kill him. It’s good racing.”

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In 250cc action, Honda’s Ricky Carmichael and Yamaha’s Chad Reed had the fast reflexes at the start of moto one. By the time they’d made it to the second corner, RC stuffed it inside Chad, and grabbed the lead. Factory Connection/Lee Dungarees/Honda’s Kevin Windham made it by Reed as well, and took off in pursuit of RC. A few laps later, and RC pushed into a corner too hard. When the back wheel jumped out of the berm, he layed it down, but kept the bike running, while Windham snuck by. RC eventually reeled in and re-passed Kevin, before putting on a charge and stretching out a lead.

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Meanwhile, Chad Reed and his Yamaha teammate, Tim Ferry, were freight-training around the track, never far apart. Reed was able to maintain the advantage to the end, but Ferry showed that his late-moto endurance is improving after his bout with energy-sapping Epstein Barr virus.

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When the gate dropped for moto two, RC got the jump again, trailed by Windham. The lead was passed back and forth a few times, before Ricky was finally able to secure it for good. At that point, the best race on the track was for third place, between Tim Ferry and Chad Reed. With a third place finish, Ferry was able to secure third overall.

Afterward, Windham said, “Today I was just a little bit off. When you’re racing guys like Ricky, you have to be on your game 100 percent. Today I wasn’t far off, but it showed. The better man won today. I was a little tight today. When you’re fighting the ruts, it becomes a battle all day long. Every turn, every straightaway. But I’ve set my goals really high, and my goal is to beat Ricky.”

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With his win, RC took sole possession of the lead in AMA all-time wins with 90, breaking the tie that he’d shared with Jeremy McGrath. One interesting note was that it took Jeremy 14 years to set the record, while Ricky broke it in a little over six years.

In the post-race press conference, RC said, “I got both holeshots today, and that’s a first all year long for me. I knew Kevin was going to be good. His bike is really fast… he knows how to use it to his advantage. I have to ride really, really hard, and try to ride at a tempo that I know he can’t hold onto. That’s what I did today.”

So what does he think of topping the all-time win list? “Other than last year’s outdoor season, this is the best. I’m the best rider ever. It’s unbelievable.”

“It’s hard to say who the greatest is. Jeremy has 72 supercross wins. I could probably never do that. But if you ask Jeremy if he could win 31 250 nationals, 25 125 nationals, he’d probably say no. I think you have to go by combined. Right now, to have 90 wins and be up there with Jeremy and guys like Bob Hannah, it’s awesome.”

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“When I was out there I wasn’t really thinking about the 90 wins, I was just thinking about points for the championship. Kevin’s a good rider. I tried to keep it as clean as I could, and not do anything dirty. It makes it tough because his bike is so fast, sometimes you have to ride a wide bike.”

We’re going to a track that I really, really like (Southwick, in two weeks), so that will be an advantage for me.”

Results
125cc Moto 1

  1. Ryan Hughes
  2. Mike Brown
  3. Eric Sorby
  4. Grant Langston
  5. Michael Byrne
  6. Michael Brandes
  7. Ivan Tedesco
  8. Stephane Roncada
  9. Craig Anderson
  10. Brian Gray
  11. Kelly Smith
  12. Ryan Mills
  13. Chris Gosselaar
  14. Steve Boniface
  15. Andrew Short
  16. Brett Metcalfe
  17. Daryl Hurley
  18. Tim Weigand
  19. Matthieu Lalloz
  20. Joshua Summey

125cc Moto 2

  1. Mike Brown
  2. Ryan Hughes
  3. Eric Sorby
  4. Grant Langston
  5. Ivan Tedesco
  6. B. Metcalfe
  7. Michael Byrne
  8. Chris Gosselaar
  9. Stephane Roncada
  10. Michael Brandes
  11. Craig Anderson
  12. Steve Lamson
  13. Brock Sellards
  14. Daryl Hurley
  15. Tim Weigand
  16. Matthieu Lalloz
  17. Ryan Mills
  18. Jeff Gibson
  19. Barry Carsten
  20. Michael Blose

250cc Moto 1

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. Chad Reed
  4. Tim Ferry
  5. David Vuillemin
  6. Sean Hamblin
  7. Mike LaRocco
  8. Ernesto Fonseca
  9. John Dowd
  10. Ezra Lusk
  11. Nick Wey
  12. Akira Narita
  13. Larry Ward
  14. Joaquim Rodrigues
  15. Clark Stiles
  16. Jason Thomas
  17. Nate Ramsey
  18. Damien Plotts
  19. Jean-Sebastien Roy
  20. Keith Johnson

250cc Moto 2

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. Tim Ferry
  4. Chad Reed
  5. David Vuillemin
  6. Mike LaRocco
  7. Sean Hamblin
  8. Ezra Lusk
  9. Larry Ward
  10. Ernesto Fonseca
  11. Nick Wey
  12. Joaquim Rodrigues
  13. Nate Ramsey
  14. Clark Stiles
  15. Jean-Sebastien Roy
  16. Jason Thomas
  17. Bobby Bonds
  18. Keith Johnson
  19. Doug Dehaan
  20. Ryan Clark

ntage. I have to ride really, really hard, and try to ride at a tempo that I know he can’t hold onto. That’s what I did today.”

So what does he think of topping the all-time win list? “Other than last year’s outdoor season, this is the best. I’m the best rider ever. It’s unbelievable.”

“It’s hard to say who the greatest is. Jeremy has 72 supercross wins. I could probably never do that. But if you ask Jeremy if he could win 31 250 nationals, 25 125 nationals, he’d probably say no. I think you have to go by combined. Right now, to have 90 wins and be up there with Jeremy and guys like Bob Hannah, it’s awesome.”

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“When I was out there I wasn’t really thinking about the 90 wins, I was just thinking about points for the championship. Kevin’s a good rider. I tried to keep it as clean as I could, and not do anything dirty. It makes it tough because his bike is so fast, sometimes you have to ride a wide bike.”

We’re going to a track that I really, really like (Southwick, in two weeks), so that will be an advantage for me.”

Results
125cc Moto 1

  1. Ryan Hughes
  2. Mike Brown
  3. Eric Sorby
  4. Grant Langston
  5. Michael Byrne
  6. Michael Brandes
  7. Ivan Tedesco
  8. Stephane Roncada
  9. Craig Anderson
  10. Brian Gray
  11. Kelly Smith
  12. Ryan Mills
  13. Chris Gosselaar
  14. Steve Boniface
  15. Andrew Short
  16. Brett Metcalfe
  17. Daryl Hurley
  18. Tim Weigand
  19. Matthieu Lalloz
  20. Joshua Summey

125cc Moto 2

  1. Mike Brown
  2. Ryan Hughes
  3. Eric Sorby
  4. Grant Langston
  5. Ivan Tedesco
  6. B. Metcalfe
  7. Michael Byrne
  8. Chris Gosselaar
  9. Stephane Roncada
  10. Michael Brandes
  11. Craig Anderson
  12. Steve Lamson
  13. Brock Sellards
  14. Daryl Hurley
  15. Tim Weigand
  16. Matthieu Lalloz
  17. Ryan Mills
  18. Jeff Gibson
  19. Barry Carsten
  20. Michael Blose

250cc Moto 1

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. Chad Reed
  4. Tim Ferry
  5. David Vuillemin
  6. Sean Hamblin
  7. Mike LaRocco
  8. Ernesto Fonseca
  9. John Dowd
  10. Ezra Lusk
  11. Nick Wey
  12. Akira Narita
  13. Larry Ward
  14. Joaquim Rodrigues
  15. Clark Stiles
  16. Jason Thomas
  17. Nate Ramsey
  18. Damien Plotts
  19. Jean-Sebastien Roy
  20. Keith Johnson

250cc Moto 2

  1. Ricky Carmichael
  2. Kevin Windham
  3. Tim Ferry
  4. Chad Reed
  5. David Vuillemin
  6. Mike LaRocco
  7. Sean Hamblin
  8. Ezra Lusk
  9. Larry Ward
  10. Ernesto Fonseca
  11. Nick Wey
  12. Joaquim Rodrigues
  13. Nate Ramsey
  14. Clark Stiles
  15. Jean-Sebastien Roy
  16. Jason Thomas
  17. Bobby Bonds
  18. Keith Johnson
  19. Doug Dehaan
  20. Ryan Clark