The outdoor showdown that everyone has been waiting for finally materialized.
Team Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael and Team Kawasaki’s James Stewart battled it out for the better part of both 250 class motos today at round two of the AMA/FMF National Motocross Series at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania.
Coming off of his perfect season last year, and another perfect moto sweep at Hangtown the previous weekend Carmichael was clearly the man to beat. Stewart came closer, though, than anyone has in the last year and what a fight it was. In both motos, as the two riders battled, they pulled out to enormous leads. On the fourth lap of the first moto Stewart and Carmichael had a 27.236 second lead over third.
The opening moto start was typical Carmichael. He took the holeshot ahead of Team Yamaha’s David Vuillemin, veteran Suzuki rider John Dowd, Canadian National Champion Jean-Sebastian Roy and Stewart. It only took half of a lap, though, for Stewart to work his way up to second, and within three more laps he had closed the gap on the 12-time Champion. That was when the action got close.
Stewart passed Carmichael on lap six in a difficult back section of the course. It didn’t last long, however, Stewart and Carmichael tangled on the next lap. Stewart hit the dirt and dropped back to second where he remained for the moto. Meanwhile Team Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda’s Kevin Windham had quietly worked his way up to third and was riding around all alone. When the checkered flag came out Carmichael crossed the line roughly 30 seconds ahead of Stewart. Windham took the checkers a distant third.
The roles were reversed in the second moto, with Stewart taking the early lead after getting off the line fourth and moving into first halfway through the first lap. Carmichael did likewise and after the first lap was only a few seconds down from Stewart. Carmichael then methodically hunted down Stewart, cutting into his lead with each passing lap. Then just as the duo crossed the finish line for the completion of lap six Carmichael made his move. With that the Suzuki rider pulled away and Stewart settled into second. Windham again finished the moto third, but closer to Stewart and Carmichael this time
The charge of the moto went to Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed. After getting the holeshot and going down, Reed remounted in last and climbed all the way up to eighth.
While there was tons of action in 250 class the 125 class had plenty as well. Team Red Bull KTM’s young title hopeful Mike Alessi showed that he is serious about this title.
In the first moto Alessi quickly took over the lead and never looked back. Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Matt Walker got the holeshot but crashed a few laps into the race while running fourth. By the third lap Alessi had a 10 second lead over Team Honda’s Andrew Short. Walker’s teammate Ivan Tedesco circulated the track in third. At around the halfway mark everything changed.
After a poor start Makita Suzuki’s Davi Millsaps worked his way up and passed Short for second. He then did all he could to chip away at Alessi’s lead but could not. When all was said and done Alessi had obtained his first National moto victory. Millsaps came up just short to finish second and Short completed the podium.
The second moto was where all the action took place. Jim’s Motorcycle Sales/Honda rider Mike Brown took the early lead but was soon passed by Alessi on the second lap. Alessi then did all he could to pull out a gap on the 2001 125 National Champion but could not. Only seconds separated the two for most of the moto. Until, with two laps left, Brown made his move right after the finish line. Alessi tried to fight back but could not make a pass. Brown crossed the line first a few seconds ahead of Alessi, while Millsaps again charged up to take third.
The overall saw Alessi take his first National victory, Brown second and Millsaps third. Brown currently holds a 13-point lead over Alessi in the championship chase. Broc Helper sits in third.
250 OVERALL: 1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz); 2. James Stewart (Kaw); 3. Kevin Windham (Hon); 4. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon); 5. David Vuillemin (Yam); 6. Chad Reed (Yam); 7. Michael Byrne (Kaw); 8. Jean-Sebastien Roy (Hon); 9. Josh Woods (Suz); 10. John Dowd (Suz); 11. Heath Voss (Yam); 12. Jeff Dement (Suz); 13. Jeff Gibson (Hon); 14. Timmy Ferry (Yam); 15. Travis Preston (Hon); 16. Juss Laansoo (Hon); 17. Clark Stiles (Suz); 18. Sean Hamblin (Kaw); 19. Rodrig Thain (Hon); 20. Jason Thomas (Hon); 21. Kevin Hoge (Suz); 22. William Browning (Suz); 23. Dylan Lord (Suz); 24. Keith Johnson (Yam); 25. Casey Clark (Yam); 26. Mark Eastwood (Hon); 27. Justin Buckelew (Hon); 28. Barry Carsten (Suz); 29. Tyson Hadsell (Yam); 30. Robert Garrison (Hon); 31. Scott Metz (Hon); 32. Damien Plotts (Hon); 33. Cole Seibler (Suz); 34. John Dehn (Yam); 35. Duane Evans (Kaw); 36. Bryan Williams (Suz); 37. John Ober (Suz); 38. Ryan Clark (Hon); 39. John Boruff (Suz); 40. Jeff Alessi (KTM).
125 OVERALL: 1. Mike Alessi (KTM); 2. Davi Millsaps (Suz); 3. Mike Brown (Hon); 4. Andrew Short (Hon); 5. Ryan Hughes (Hon); 6. Ryan Mills (KTM); 7. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw); 8. Kelly Smith (Yam); 9. Josh Grant (Hon); 10. Nathan Ramsey (KTM); 11. Broc Hepler (Suz); 12. Danny Smith (Yam); 13. Paul Carpenter (Kaw); 14. Robbie Reynard (Hon); 15. Matt Walker (Kaw); 16. Billy Laninovich (Hon); 17. Ryan Sipes (Suz); 18. Tommy Hahn (Hon); 19. Brett Metcalfe (Yam); 20. Akira Narita (Hon); 21. Josh Summey (Hon); 22. Brock Sellards (Yam); 23. Steve Boniface (Hon); 24. Timmy Weigand (Hon); 25. Tucker Hibbert (Hon); 26. Johnny Marley (Hon); 27. Josh Lichtle (Suz); 28. Gavin Gracyk (Kaw); 29. Stephane Roncada (Kaw); 30. Chad Ward (Yam); 31. Brad Modjewski (Suz); 32. Kyle Mace (Hon); 33. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw); 34. Donnie Mcgourty (Hon); 35. Kyle Partridge (Suz); 36. Eric McCrummen (Hon); 37. Nicholas Evennou (Hon); 38. Eric Sorby (Suz); 39. Bryan Johnson (Yam); 40. Grant Langston (Kaw).