TWMX Race Report: ’05 AMA Supercross Series, Round 8; Atlanta, GA

Determination Personified…

“Ricky Carmichael is done. “Chad Reed has to be in RC’s head. Quotes such as these were heard throughout the week between the San Diego and Atlanta Supercrosses, both online and in both stadiums’ pits. In truth, what we learned (again) in San Diego was that Chad Reed is not a quitter, and likely will never be. What we learned in Atlanta was that, if Chad was in Ricky’s head, that’s not as enviable a position as previously thought.

125cc Qualifiers

Maestro Card Suzuki’s Jeff Dement grabbed the heat one holeshot over 125 East round one runner-up Grant Langston, and Langston moved by right away, and stretching his lead en route to the win, while Kelly Smith and Eric Sorby also worked their way past the longtime GP regular. Dement hung on for fourth, over Justin Buckelew, Josh Grant, Bobby Kiniry, Chad Johnson and Kevin Johnson.

Brock Sellards got the start in heat two, but although he led most of the race, he gave way near the end to the charging Matt Walker, completing the heat-race sweep for the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team. Sellards hung on for second over Troy Adams, Donnie McGourty, Greg Schnell, Ryan Mills, Robbie Horton, Davi Millsaps (who fell on the first lap in a pileup) and Willy Browning.

Steve Boniface got the LCQ holeshot and led the entire event, over Josh Hansen, Kevin Johnson and Nathan Tiearney. After stalling on the last lap of his heat race, which forced him into the LCQ, Rodrigues came through from a poor start and, on the last lap, made an attempt for the fourth and final transfer spot, only to come together with Tiearney and stall his bike again.

250cc Qualifiers

Travis Preston grabbed the heat one holeshot, with Sebastien Tortelli, Chad Reed, Andrew Short and a few others in tow. A few laps in, Short went down in the 180 right after the finish line, gathering up Reed and Timmy Ferry in the melee. Reed got up rather quickly and made his way toward the front again, while Preston held off his former teammate Mike LaRocco. In the end, Reed would only be able to catch up to third behind Preston, who won, and LaRocco. Fonseca got the final transfer spot.

Ricky Carmichael led heat two right off, and that was that. He went on to win over Kevin Windham, who kept him honest for quite some time, along with David Vuillemin and Heath Voss.

Ferry returned for the first semi to take the win over Short, Ryan Clark, Keith Johnson and Jason Thomas, while Michael Byrne did likewise in semi two over Jeremy McGrath, Kyle Lewis, Clark Stiles and Tyler Evans.

After a late-race crash in the first semi, Sebastien Tortelli returned to win the LCQ over Joe Oehlhof, who got the last transfer spot to the main.

125cc Main

Langston grabbed yet another holeshot to start the 125cc main event, with his fellow heat-race-winning teammate Walker right on his tail. Walker found a way by right away, and Langston latched onto his tail, just in front of Smith, Boniface and Buckelew. Walker looked to have the race in hand when, on lap eight, he got out of control and nearly crashed by the mechanics’ area, allowing Langston to get right on his rear wheel. On the next lap, Langston made a gutsy move around the outside exiting the whoops and made it stick. Langston led the way to the finish, recording the win and doubling his former supercross win total (from 1 to 2), and he took over the points lead as well.

Walker hung on for second ahead of Boniface, Millsaps (who rounded the first lap 12th), and Smith.

250cc Main

Reed grabbed the holeshot to start the 250cc main, but Carmichael was right on his tail. Windham sat third, Fonseca fourth and Lewis fifth. On lap five, Carmichael made his move for the lead heading into the first turn, but on lap six, Carmichael went down just after the finish line, handing the lead back to Reed.

Carmichael got up third, promptly chased down Windham, and then slammed the Honda rider in the turn before the finish line before the completion of the lap, moving into second. For the next 10 laps, Carmichael methodically chipped away at Reed’s lead, with the help of a few lappers, and on lap 18, Carmichael repeated the same move he’d made the first time, diving under Reed heading into the first turn and forcing the defending champ wide. From there, he raced on to the victory, about a second-and-a-half in front of Reed, while Windham trailed about 30 seconds back in third. Tortelli hung in for fourth, just in front of LaRocco.

It was the 114th AMA National win of RC’s career.

125cc Main Results:

  1. Grant Langston (Kaw)
  2. Matt Walker (Kaw)
  3. Steve Boniface (Hon)
  4. Davi Millsaps (Suz)
  5. Kelly Smith (Yam)
  6. Josh Hansen (KTM)
  7. Josh Grant (Hon)
  8. Justin Buckelew (Hon)
  9. Kevin Johnson (Yam)
  10. Brock Sellards (Yam)

250cc Main Results:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)
  2. Chad Reed (Yam)
  3. Kevin Windham (Hon)
  4. Sebastien Tortelli (Suz)
  5. Mike LaRocco (Hon)
  6. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon)
  7. Heath Voss (Yam)
  8. David Vuillemin (Yam)
  9. Jeremy McGrath (Hon)
  10. Tyler Evans (Suz)

125cc Eastern Regional Points Standings:

  1. Grant Langston (47/1 win)
  2. Davi Millsaps (43/1 win)
  3. Matt Walker (38)
  4. Josh Hansen (35)
  5. Brock Sellards (29)
  6. Kelly Smith (27)
  7. Justin Buckelew (21)
  8. Steve Boniface (20)
  9. Josh Grant (20)
  10. Troy Adams (18)

THQ/AMA 250cc Supercross Points Standings:

  1. Ricky Carmichael (192/6 wins)
  2. Chad Reed (160/1 win)
  3. Kevin Windham (136/1 win)
  4. Mike LaRocco (135)
  5. David Vuillemin (114)
  6. Sebastien Tortelli (112)
  7. Ernesto Fonseca (108)
  8. Heath Voss (95)
  9. Michael Byrne (90)
  10. Nick Wey (73)