THQ Supercross Notes From Art Eckman, Anaheim 2

  • This will be the 31st supercross in Anaheim.
  • Chad Reed won Anaheim I by: 24 seconds leading all 20 laps.  Ricky Carmichael came from last place to second with a great ride.  Tim Ferry got a bad start in 14th place.  He came all the way back for third.
  • Two celebrations took place after Anaheim II last year. (1/19)  The only rider to ride 250’s in three decades, Mike LaRocco, broke Honda’s SX win drought with his first win in seven years.  Most expected Carmichael to be the one to break Honda’s winless streak but “La Rocket” passed points leader David Vuillemin and held on for the last 6 laps for the checkers.
  • Between LaRocco and Kevin Windham, (Irving TX, 4/8/00) Honda went 21 SX races without a win.  That was the second longest loss string for the winningest manufacture in SX history. (22 loses between 4/29/79 to 3/8/80)
  • They more than made up for those losses between loss streaks with 154 wins and 13 championships. Last week (Phoenix)
  • Ezra Lusk winning the 250 main, and James Stewart winning the 125 was the first sweep for Kawasaki since 2/22/97 when Jeff Emig and Ricky Carmichael won on the same night in Atlanta
  • It was Kawasaki’s first 250 win since “RC” at Las Vegas 5/5/01

Ezra Lusk:

  • Last week’s victory in Phoenix was his 12th career SX win tying him with David Bailey for 10th on the all time 250 SX list.
  • Ezra joined Mike LaRocco, Jeremy McGrath, & Ron Lechien as the only riders to win on three different brands.
  • His popular win was his first since 4-29-99 at Indianapolis.  That same year Ezra swept both races here at Anaheim.
  • If wins tonight: becomes the 10th winningest 250 SX rider (13) It would be the 4th time in his career winning two in a row.

Chad Reed:

  • Says of last weeks second place, ” It was a great race.  I made a couple of mistakes and Ezra to his credit was able to take advantage of them.  I learned a lot from that race.
  • Leading the standings by 7 points marks the second straight year a non-American has led the first two rounds.  David Vuillemin still the first from abroad to win the first two SX races in an American season.
  • Has established the racing pace in the first two rounds Leading 35 of the 40 laps.  Has a healthy Carmichael laboring to keep with the pace.
  • If wins tonight: becomes the third rider to gain consecutive wins at Anaheim in the same season. (McGrath, twice 01′ & 00′, Lusk 99′)

Ricky Carmichael:

  • Still winless, but didn’t win till the fourth round last year and still won the title with one race left on the season.
  • Both of Ricky’s wins at Anaheim came in the third Edison International Field appearance of the season in 02′ & 01′.
  • If wins tonight:  27th career win (3rd in three years @ Anaheim) Ties Bob Hannah for third place on the all time career 250 win list.  Rick Johnson is second with 28.

Tim Ferry:

  • Off to his best start on a 250 season.  Making the podium in the first two races (two 3rd places) he has already tied his previous season mark when he took a 2nd and a 3rd in the final two races of the 01′ season.
  • In second place in the standings just 7 points off the leader going into the 3rd round, Ferry is showing he’s mastering the four stroke.  Last year at this time he was 41 points out of first place.  He has never been better than in 12th place before this year after the first two rounds.
  • If wins tonight:  it would be his first SX win.  (has two 2nd place finishes in his career)

Travis Pastrana:

  • Injured a shoulder swimming earlier this week.  Has been known to come back from injury early but could miss the rest of the season.
  • Time off might allow his injured knee the needed time to heal.

James Stewart:

  • Stewart’s win at Phoenix was his 5th career 125 SX win.  The first of this season putting him into a tie with Preston for first place in the standings.
  • He became the first rider in 10 Phoenix area 125 supercross races to win more than once.
  • Worked with Emig on starts and it paid off.  Led the last 10 laps for an 8.6 second margin over Preston.
  • Has never won here at Anaheim in four tries.  After second places in Anaheim I & II the third race here was the beginning of the end for his title chances.  A turn one crash had him in 21st place.  Lap nine he crashed again finishing in 11th place.  Had trouble with the first turn in all three races.
  • If wins tonight:  6th career 125 win tying him with Jeff Emig and Damon Bradshaw on the all time SX win list. (17th)

Travis Preston:

  • Has won the 125 West season opener in Anaheim for the second year in a row.
  • In his win this year in the opener he took the lead on lap three after a good start.  In his win last year opening the season he started in 15th taking the lead on the last lap.
  • Did not have as much fun in Anaheim II & III.  After wining his heat he got into it with Laninovich in the second game he finished in 17th.  Game three he fell victim of a bad start (11th) and came back for a 5th.
  • Last year was the first Honda to win the 125 West championship since 1992 (McGrath)
  • In 2001 became the first Husqvarna 125 rider to win a supercross. (Gary Semics won in the same Astrodome on a 500cc Husqvarna in 1974′)
  • If wins tonight:  5th career 125 win

Danny Smith:

  • Moved into 3rd place in the standings with a podium finish at Phoenix.
  • If wins tonight:  1st career 125 SX win.

David Pingree:

  • Won his fourth 125 SX race here in last years second Anaheim meeting