TWMX Race Report: Red Bud ’04

And Then There Was One…

Coming into Red Bud, it would’ve been near impossible to find anyone predicting that James Stewart would lose a moto at the famed racetrack. He has clearly been far and above faster than anyone in the 125cc class, winning Budds Creek’s second moto by a minute nine. However, a second-moto first-turn crash and two subsequent crashes kept the phenom out of the race for the lead before he slowed and pulled off the track, with the moto and overall win going to former champ Mike Brown of the Yamaha of Troy squad with a 2-1 score.

There was no drama in the 250cc class, however—just was more pure dominance—as Ricky Carmichael put a couple of spankings on the field to score his record fourth Red Bud 250cc overall win in a row—and the 101st AMA National win of his career—keeping his attempt at an unprecedented second perfect season intact.

125cc Moto One

Mike Brown looked to have the holeshot to start the first moto, but Honda’s Nathan Ramsey snuck up the inside to take the lead. Brownie got by before the first lap was over and put on a sprint to try and get away from the pack while Stewart was coming through. Ramsey took a digger on lap three, falling from second to fifth, and Stewart, who had moved into third, set out after Brown. In one lap, Stewart soaked up almost 5 seconds’ worth of Brownie’s lead, and by the next lap, Stewart was by and never looked back.Bubba eventually took the checkered flag about 25 seconds in front of Brown, who had Ivan Tedesco all over his tail in third. Davi Millsaps finished fourth and Ramsey finished fifth.

250cc Moto One

Nobody has passed Ricky Carmichael this year if he didn’t fall or stall. That being said, the starts he’s getting on his factory CRF450R thumper are making life difficult on his opposition. RC grabbed both holeshots at Red Bud, the first of which was directly in front of his teammate Ernesto Fonseca, who lost second early on the first lap to Yamaha’s newfound outdoor star Chad Reed.

Reed would never challenge Carmichael, as the champ sped away to his ninth-straight moto win of the season by an astounding 42 seconds over Reed and Kevin Windham. Sebastien Tortelli’s return started pretty well, as the Suzuki pilot ran third for much of the moto in front of Windham, who wasn’t gaining on him despite the fact that Tortelli wasn’t jumping LaRocco’s Leap or the infield triple, both of which the factory four-stroke pilots were doing every lap. A late-moto fall relegated Tortelli to fourth, right behind Windham, who rounded lap one in 14th.

125cc Moto Two

Rookie Josh Grant grabbed the second-moto holeshot in front of his Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda teammate Ryan Mills and Yamaha-mounted Mike Brown. Meanwhile, a first turn pile up claimed Tedesco, Stewart, and Daryl Hurley. Hurley didn’t get up and finish, but Tedesco did, fighting his way back up to 19th by the end of the moto. Stewart was the first in the pile to get up and going again, and amazingly, by the end of the first lap, he already sat 22nd. He went down again on lap two, however, relegating himself to 34th by the end of that lap. As he worked valiantly through the pack yet again, he made it as high up as 18th before falling a third time and then dropping out. The official word is that he had a malfunctioning clutch.

Brown went to work on Mills right away, eventually getting by on the third lap, and then he went after Grant. Grant held tough for a couple more laps before giving in to the pressure, letting Brown by for the lead on lap five. From there, Brown took off, trying to put as much time between himself and Bubba as possible. When he found out Stewart was out of the race, he backed it down a touch and rode it in for the win, almost 6 seconds in front of Grant, who held off Hepler to the finish. Then came Millsaps and Ramsey.Brown took the overall over two of the youngest riders in the field, Grant in third overall and Millsaps in second—the first podiums off their career. Despite the second-moto DNF, Stewart leads the championship comfortably, 225-194, over Brown.

250cc Moto Two

Behind Carmichael off the start in moto two were Reed and Windham. RC quickly began to gap the pair while Windham did his best to apply pressure to Reed. K-Dub made it by Reed in the new sand whoops before the conclusion of lap three, and the top three were set.

RC took the win by 29 seconds over Windham, whose 3-2 was good for second overall. Reed’s 2-3 moto finishes earned him third overall for the day. David Vuillemin went 5-4 for fourth overall over the day’s top two-stroke, Ernesto Fonseca, who went 10-5 for fifth.

The new magic number for Carmichael is 101, and there’s no end in sight for the 24-year-old 10-time National champ.

125cc Overall Results:

1. Mike Brown, 2-1
2. Davi Millsaps, 4-4
3. Josh Grant, 8-2
4. Nathan Ramsey, 5-5
5. Broc Hepler, 12-3
6. Stephane Roncada, 6-8
7. James Stewart, 1-33
8. Ivan Tedesco, 3-19
9. Troy Adams, 16-6
10. Kelly Smith, 17-7

250cc Overall Results:

1. Ricky Carmichael, 1-1
2. Kevin Windham, 3-2
3. Chad Reed, 2-3
4. David Vuillemin, 5-4
5. Ernesto Fonseca, 10-5
6. Mike LaRocco, 9-6
7. Nick Wey, 7-8
8. Timmy Ferry, 6-9
9. Sebastien Tortelli, 4-15
10. Joaquim Rodriguez, 8-11