Team Chevy Trucks/Kawasaki’s Ricky Carmichael came one step closer to attaining his first-ever AMA/Chevy Trucks 250cc National Championship Motocross title by grabbing the overall win at round nine of the series today in Washougal, Washington. The Floridian took the win despite a first-moto crash, and via 2-1 moto placings.
Though Carmichael’s dominance would be convincing in any context, he was aided somewhat by title-rival Sebastien Tortelli of Team Honda, who was still somewhat hobbled - literally - by stretched ligaments in the ankle he twisted last week at Troy, Ohio. Tortelli rode well despite the pain, but a lap-one crash in moto one had him wasting valuable time riding through the pack to a sixth-place finish. He bettered his finish by two spots in the second outing for fourth overall, but lost ground to Carmichael in the standings. He came into Washougal down by eight, and left down by 22.
With Tortelli absent from the front of the pack, another Frenchman stepped in to challenge Carmichael. Yamaha’s David Vuillemin shook off the bad-luck streak that has been hounding him of late, winning the first moto in convincing fashion and placing second in moto two for second overall. The last podium spot was filled by Suzuki’s Robbie Reynard, who started well and rode impressively at Washougal.
In the 125cc class, Suzuki’s Travis Pastrana garnered the second win of his rookie season via 3-1 moto finishes, but he didn’t gain any ground on series points leader Stephane Roncada. The Yamaha of Troy-backed Frenchman took the first moto in convincing fashion, but a poor moto-two start limited him to third place and second overall. With three rounds remaining, he retains his 35-point lead in the standings.
The other title contender this year has been Honda rider Steve Lamson, but the Works Connection/DGY/Troy Lee Designs-supported rider had a bad outing today. Struggling with a sore knee and a crash, he went 9-17 for 12th overall, losing any real hope of taking this year’s title.
Third overall at Washougal was Team SplitFire/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Tallon Vohland, who led early in moto two and had a great battle with Pastrana. The two riders were hooting and hollering as they passed each other, with Vohland eventually going 4-2 in the motos.
125: 1. Travis Pastrana (Suz) 3-1; 2. Stephane Roncada (Yam) 1-3; 3. Tallon Vohland (Kaw) 4-2; 4. Nathan Ramsey (Kaw) 8-4; 5. Rodrig Thain (KTM) 5-6; 6. Brock Sellards (Hon) 7-5; 7. Casey Johnson (Yam) 2-13; 8. Greg Schnell (Yam) 10-9; 9. Kelly Smith (KTM) 13-7; 10. Ernesto Fonseca (Yam) 14-8.
250: 1. Ricky Carmichael (Kaw) 2-1; 2. David Vuillemin (Yam) 1-2; 3. Robbie Reynard (Suz) 7-3; 4. Sebastien Tortelli (Hon) 6-4; 5. Greg Albertyn (Suz) 5-5; 6. Mike LaRocco (Hon) 4-7; 7. Kevin Windham (Hon) 3-10; 8. Tim Ferry (Yam) 9-6; 9. Larry Ward (Kaw) 10-8; 10. Damon Huffman (Suz) 11-9.