Carmichael, Langston Wrap Up Hangtown

Kit Palmer | May 22, 2005

Team Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael followed up his first-moto victory with another impressive win to take the 250-class overall victory today at Hangtown. Carmichael had to work a little harder for it this time,  at least a first – but when it was all over, the defending champ was in a class all his own, winning the second moto by well over 20 seconds ahead of Amsoil/Honda’s Kevin Windham.

The second moto saw Carmichael, Yamaha’s Chad Reed, Windham and Kawasaki’s James Stewart all get out in front early, but no one could hang with Carmichael. Windham got by Reed, who was still feeling the effects of his crash during practice, on the fourth lap but was still 11 seconds down on Carmichael when he got into second. He matched Carmichael’s lap times for a while before cooling his pace slightly.

Stewart ran fourth for many laps but seemed to struggle maintaining the lead pace. He started to drop back a bit and then pulled off on the seventh lap, claiming that he felt a dizzy.

In the overall column, Carmichael went 1-1 for the win, while Reed went 3-3 for second. Reed’s Yamaha teammate David Vuillemin made the podium in third with 2-4 results. Team Honda’s Travis Preston made use of good starts and went 4-5 for fourth overall.

Turning a lot of heads was Estonian Juss Laansoo of the Motosport Outlet/White Brothers Honda team. Laansoo finished fifth in the first moto, eighth in the second to nab fifth overall.

Michael Byrne, Ernesto Fonseca, Heath Voss, Windham and Jean-Sebastien Roy rounded out the top 10.

Stewart was credited with 12th overall via 6-30 moto finishes.

The 125 class had a wild ending. After finishing sixth in the first moto, KTM’s Mike Alessi jumped out to an early lead but was run down by Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Grant Langston around the halfway point. Langston passed Alessi only to wash out a turn later, giving the lead back to Alessi. Langston worked his way back up again but was still some five seconds back with a couple of laps to go. On the last lap, Langston made big ground on the tiring Alessi and made a desperate pass attempt in the very last corner. Langston wedged in on the inside of Alessi and both riders went down. Langston’s bike stayed running, and he was able to get going again and take the win.

Alessi tried pushing his bike up the finish-line jump but was too exhausted to get the KTM up the hill. By the time he got the bike started, he had dropped back to 15th.

Langston was awarded the moto win and the overall victory with a 2-1, but it came at a price. Langston might have dislocated his ankle in the last-turn crash and was taken to the hospital immediately after the race.

Mike Brown, on the Jim Motorcycle Sales/Thor Honda, finished second overall via 3-2 moto finishes. Broc Hepler, who won the first moto, crashed in the second and finished third with a 1-5. Fourth overall went to Ivan Tedesco, while fifth went to Josh Grant. Danny Smith, Paul Carpenter, Akira Narita, Alessi and Matt Walker rounded out the top 10 overall.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.