In front of 42,135 spectators, Ricky Carmichael recorded his 12th straight Supercross win at the first race ever held at the Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. But unlike most of his previous 11 wins, Carmichael really had to work for this one.
It all started earlier in the day when Carmichael crashed his Chevy Trucks Kawasaki and nearly knocked himself out when he hit his head on the ground. Carmichael finished out the practice session but struggled with a nagging headache for the rest of the night. Carmichael still won his heat race, and was involved in an epic six-way battle for the lead for much of the first half of the 20-lap main. Carmichael started off second and got passed by Tim Ferry and Kevin Windham before climbing back up. Carmichael fought his way to the front after passing Ferry for the lead on the ninth lap. From there, Carmichael led the race to the end but could never really relax, as Ferry stayed fairly close to the new champ right to the finish.
For Ferry, this was his best Supercross finish ever. The Yamaha YZ426F factory-backed rider led laps six through nine, then held second the rest of the way.
Third went to Mike LaRocco, followed by David Vuillemin, Ezra Lusk, Jeremy McGrath, Kevin Windham, Stephane Roncada and Sebastien Tortelli.
But the talk of the night was the thrilling back-and-forth dicing for about the entire first half of the race. McGrath led early on before giving way to Ferry and then dropping back.
In the 125cc class, Yamaha of Troy’s Ernesto Fonseca wrapped up the Western Regional 125cc Supercross Series Championship after cruising to a seemingly easy victory. Fonseca just needed to finish 16th or better at Salt Lake, but the Costa Rican came out of the first turn in the lead and never let go of it. The title is his second in three years; Fonseca won his first title in the East Series.
Second place went to Ivan Tedesco on the Plano Honda/MSR CR125, which was his first-ever podium finish, while third place went to Fonseca’s teammate Justin Buckelew.
Fonseca finished out the series with 168 points and five wins, while Suzuki’s Rodrig Thain ended up second with 139 points and zero wins. Buckelew finished third with 137 points and Grant Langston fourth with 135 points. Both Buckelew and Langston had one win each this year.
250: 1. Ricky Carmichael (Kaw); 2. Tim Ferry (Yam); 3. Mike LaRocco (Hon); 4. David Vuillemin (Yam); 5. Ezra Lusk (Hon); 6. Jeremy McGrath (Yam); 7. Kevin Windham (Suz); 8. Stephane Roncada (Kaw); 9. Sebastien Tortelli (Hon); 10. Michael Byrne (Kaw); 11. Kyle Lewis (Yam); 12. Heath Voss (Hon); 13. Mike Craig (Hon); 14. Damon Huffman (Yam); 15. Doug Dehaan (Hon); 16. Isaiah Johnson (Yam); 17. James Povolny Jr. (Hon); 18. Robbie Skaggs (Suz); 19. Pedro Gonzalez (Kaw); 20. Jason McCormick (Suz).
125: 1. Ernesto Fonseca (Yam); 2. Ivan Tedesco (Hon); 3. Justin Buckelew (Yam); 4. Grant Langston (KTM); 5. Rodrig Thain (Suz); 6. Jason McCormick (Suz); 7. Keith Johnson (Yam); 8. Travis Preston (Hus); 9. Greg Schnell (Yam); 10. Steve Boniface (Hon); 11. Bryan McGavran (Hus); 12. Erick Vallejo (Kaw); 13. Kevin Johnson (Yam); 14. Gerrit Ordelman (Yam); 15. Johnny Marley (Hon); 16. Jeremy Chaussee (Hon); 17. Sean Hamblin (Hon); 18. David Pingree (KTM); 19. Steven Eugenio (Yam); 20. Gio Tedesco (Hon); 21. Mike Young (Hon); 22. Daniel Blair (Hon).