TWMX Race Report: Washougal

Back in the summer of ’73, my brother and I got to spend some time with my aunt Beth and (then) uncle Bob, who owned a ranch near Sheridan, Oregon. It was a cool visit, as a California city kid getting accustomed to farm smells, real whole milk (including cream), and exploring the place.

The thing that I probably remember most was that uncle Bob was into motocross. He had a big silver-tanked Yamaha MX bike that I thought was about the coolest thing I’d seen. But that was before he took my brother and I up to Washougal to check out the races there. That was my first-ever race, and I was blown away. The forest-like setting, the racing action, and bikes along with the blended smells of two-stroke exhaust and dirt all fascinated me, and I was hooked from day one. It was one of those defining moments that you can look back on, and figure out exactly when you first got interested in something. It’s what got me interested in riding, and by default, what steered me towards my later career in writing and photography.


The funny part is, that until last weekend, I hadn’t been back to Washougal. With 30 years between that first visit and last weekend, I wondered how similar what I remembered from that visit long ago would stack up against the current reality. Had my memories been vastly enhanced with a nostalgic glow? Or was it like I’d remembered?

The good news is, my memory banks weren’t playing any evil tricks on me. It really is that cool, whether you’re wandering the grassy infield, heading for the mossy coolness of the pine-covered hillsides, or just hanging from the fences, Washougal rocks.


125cc Action


Craig Anderson got yet another good jump in the first 125cc moto, but tangled with another rider in the first turn and did some body surfing. That left Mike Brown, Brock Sellards and James Stewart up front, and as you can imagine, James made quick work of Brock and Brownie, and rode solo for the rest of the moto.

By lap three, Brown had worked his way past Sellards, and was putting in solid laps, looking much more on the pace than he had in a couple of the previous races. Behind him, 125cc title contenders Grant Langston and Ryan Hughes were slicing through the pack. Grant also went by Sellards on lap three, and Hughes made it by him two laps later and started closing on Grant.


At the midway point of the moto, Hughes charged past Langston, and into third spot, and the top five (Stewart, Brown, Hughes, Sellards and Langston) didn’t change for the rest of the moto.


Meanwhile, Branden Jesseman was making a charge of his own. After coming through in 17th spot on the first lap, he made continual forward progress through the field until he reached Michael Byrne, who was holding down sixth spot.. Those two dueled through much of the rest of the moto, with Branden nipping him five laps from the end of the 15-lap moto.

Craig Anderson made up for his first turn crash by nailing the start on moto two, but Mike Brown quickly moved to the front and led the first two laps before James Stewart took command of the lead and pulled his usual disappearing act.


Michael Byrne was having another solid moto, sitting in third spot behind Stewart and Brown and being chased by Ryan Hughes. Langston didn’t gate well and was working his way up from outside the top 10.

On lap 10 Mike Brown’s title chase hopes were dealt a serious blow when he rag-dolled off a jump, and as he was trying to get off the track, was centerpunched by Ryan Hughes, who had nowhere to go. Mike’s injuries included a separated shoulder. Ryno quickly remounted and continued on, staying in fourth spot. (He got Bwn’s position, but Branden Jesseman went by him while he was down).


That’s pretty much how the top five finished. Stewart was out front in cruise control winning his fourth race, Byrne was holding down second spot, followed by Jesseman, Hughes, and Langston.

After missing the first four races with a broken collarbone, Bubba is still perfect, taking eight straight moto wins. Grant’s fifth overall for the day combined with Brown’s DNF in moto two hands an 11-point lead to the transplanted South African. Considering that Grant was really sick coming into the weekend with a fever, vomiting, and strep throat; and that he’d tweaked his wrist in a practice crash, he was probably surprised to leave with the point lead.

Washougal 125 Class Results

  1. James Stewart 1-1
  2. Ryan Hughes 3-4
  3. Michael Byrne 7-2
  4. Branden Jesseman 6-3
  5. Grant Langston 4-5
  6. Ivan Tedesco 9-6
  7. Michael Brandes 13-7
  8. Mike Brown 2-29
  9. Brian Gray 11-10
  10. Andrew Short 15-8
  11. Ryan Mills 17-9
  12. Brock Sellards 5-32
  13. Matthieu Lalloz 14-13
  14. Chris Gosselaar 16-12
  15. Robert Kiniry 12-16
  16. Josh Woods 8-33
  17. Daryl Hurley 10-36
  18. Kelly Smith 36-11
  19. Craig Anderson 26-14
  20. Tim Weigand 20-15

125cc Overall Points

  1. Grant Langston 282
  2. Mike Brown 271
  3. Ryan Hughes 254
  4. James Stewart 200
  5. Michael Byrne 183
  6. Brock Sellards 183
  7. Ivan Tedesco 176
  8. Eric Sorby 160
  9. Craig Anderson 150
  10. Brett Metcalfe 149

250 Class Action

The previous weekend in Unadilla, Ricky Carmichael had suffered his first overall loss in almost two years, finishing behind Kevin Windham. Before that, his last loss had come at Washougal to…you guessed it, K-Dub.

When the gate dropped for moto one, it was Windham’s big 450 Honda that jumped out front, with Ricky Carmichael giving chase, and that’s how they finished. In between the start and checkered, Ricky got stung alongside his nose by a bee (which he’s allergic to), but kept charging all the way to the finish.


Behind the two leaders is where all the action happened. Local hero Larry Ward was circulating in third spot, chased by Stephane Roncada, who worked his way past him on lap nine.


Tim Ferry crashed on the first lap and his rear fender got folded up under his wheel for the remainder of the moto. He worked his way from 27th to 11th by the finish.

Chad Reed was putting on a charge of his own, working from 16th spot to 6th spot by the end.


Maybe the best charge went to Mike LaRocco, who hasn’t had his best 250 season ever, but went from eighth to third, sneaking by Roncada on lap 10.

At the finish it was Windham, Carmichael, LaRocco, Roncada and Ward.

At the start of moto two, Windham wheelied away again, but this time RC was sitting outside the top 10. Kyle Lewis got off to his best start of the year since returning from the wrist injury he suffered before the start of the SX season, running in second spot before being passed by Chad Reed.

[IMAGE 10]

Reed stayed in second spot until he was displaced on lap nine by RC.

[IMAGE 11]

Windham finished up the moto a little over four seconds ahead of RC to grab his second consecutive overall win. RC’s 2-2 was good for second overall, and Mike LaRocco had put together another patented charge through the pack, moving from 13th to 4th by the finish. That finish, combined with his third in the first moto, gave Honda an overall sweep of the podium for the day.

The series now gets a two week long break before heading to Millville, MN.

Washougal 250 Class Results

  1. Kevin Windham 1-1
  2. Ricky Carmichael 2-2
  3. Mike LaRocco 3-4
  4. Chad Reed 6-3
  5. Larry Ward 5-9
  6. Kyle Lewis 10-5
  7. David Vuillemin 12-6
  8. Ernesto Fonseca 8-10
  9. Stephane Roncada 4-15
  10. Heath Voss 9-11
  11. John Dowd 14-7
  12. Nick Wey 13-8
  13. Tim Ferry 11-13
  14. Clark Stiles 16-12
  15. Paul Carpenter 7-32
  16. Keith Johnson 15-16
  17. Steve Lamson 26-14
  18. Joe Oehlhof 18-18
  19. Dustin Nelson 17-20
  20. Jason Thomas 39-17

250cc Overall Points

  1. Ricky Carmichael 382
  2. Kevin Windham 335
  3. Chad Reed 290
  4. Tim Ferry 260
  5. Mike Larocco 236
  6. David Vuillemin 203
  7. John Dowd 177
  8. Ezra Lusk 177
  9. Larry Ward 159
  10. Ernesto Fonseca 159

icky Carmichael 2-2

  • Mike LaRocco 3-4
  • Chad Reed 6-3
  • Larry Ward 5-9
  • Kyle Lewis 10-5
  • David Vuillemin 12-6
  • Ernesto Fonseca 8-10
  • Stephane Roncada 4-15
  • Heath Voss 9-11
  • John Dowd 14-7
  • Nick Wey 13-8
  • Tim Ferry 11-13
  • Clark Stiles 16-12
  • Paul Carpenter 7-32
  • Keith Johnson 15-16
  • Steve Lamson 26-14
  • Joe Oehlhof 18-18
  • Dustin Nelson 17-20
  • Jason Thomas 39-17
  • 250cc Overall Points

    1. Ricky Carmichael 382
    2. Kevin Windham 335
    3. Chad Reed 290
    4. Tim Ferry 260
    5. Mike Larocco 236
    6. David Vuillemin 203
    7. John Dowd 177
    8. Ezra Lusk 177
    9. Larry Ward 159
    10. Ernesto Fonseca 159