Carmichael Leads Series With Win At Anaheim II

Shan Moore | January 21, 2006

James Stewart held off the advances of Ricky Carmichael for 18 laps before losing the front end and allowing the Team Makita Suzuki rider and Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed to get by with two laps to go in an exciting and intense third round of the 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, held at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. Stewart restarted to finish third, with Carmichael’s teammate Ivan Tedesco and Jeremy McGrath, riding a four-stroke Honda, rounding out the top five.

Team BooKoo Honda’s David Vuillemin, who made the switch this week to a four-stroke, grabbed the holeshot and the $1500 bucks that goes along with it, while Tedesco and McGrath ran just behind. Stewart moved from around 10th at the start to fourth on the first lapm and by the third lap he had taken the lead, with Tedesco holding his teammate, Carmichael, at bay for second.

After two laps of dicing with Tedesco, Carmichael finally found his way into second and almost immediately found himself on the rear tire of Stewart, after the latter bobbled and lost just over a second in the whoops.

For the next 13 laps, Stewart and Carmichael battled virtually wheel to wheel, with one rider, then the other, gaining ground, only to make a mistake and lose it on a track that Stewart called “slippery and easy.”

With two laps to go, Team Rock Star Suzuki’s Brown when down in a turn in front of Stewart and when the Kawasaki rider looked up, he lost the front end, allowing Carmichael and Reed by.

From there, Carmichael cruised home with the win and the series points lead. Reed was also able to get by before before Stewart could fire the Kawasaki to life.

Carmichael now heads into San Francisco with a four-point lead over Reed, 70-66, in a series that is turning into one of the most competitive in years. Stewart sits in third, one point behind Reed.

In the Lites class, Grant Langston showed what he could do with a decent start as he followed Mike Alessi through the first turn, and then passed the Red Bull KTM rider in the whoops section before the end of the first lap to take the lead. From there the Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki-mounted rider quickly pulled away to comfortable lead, then cruised home with his first win of the year.

Second place went to first-round winner Andrew Short on the Team Honda, while Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Ramsey ran pretty much uncontested, after the first few laps, in third.

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, who finally transferred to a main event directly from his heat (he won heat 1), started poorly, then worked all the way from outside the top 10 into fourth, then crashed while battling with fourth-place finisher Billy Laninovich of Team Honda. Villopoto ended up 12th.

Yamaha-mounted Sean Collier turned in another stellar performance with a fifth.

Langston’s win makes three different winners for the three west coast rounds and leaves him tied with Short for the series points lead with 63 points each.

SX MAIN (20 laps):

1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)

2. Chad Reed (Yam)

3. James Stewart (Kaw)

4. Ivan Tedesco (Suz)

5. Jeremy McGrath (Hon)

6. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon)

7. Mike LaRocco (Hon)

8. Michael Byrne (Kaw)

9. David Vuillemin (Hon)

10. Nick Wey (Hon)

SX LITES MAIN (15 laps):

1. Grant Langston (Kaw)

2. Andrew Short (Hon)

3. Nathan Ramsey (KTM)

4. Billy Laninovich (Hon)

5. Sean Collier (Yam)

6. Jake Wiemer (Hon)

7. Mike Alessi (KTM)

8. Brett Metcalfe (Yam)

9. Jason Lawrence (Suz)

10. Jesse Casillas (Kaw)

Shan Moore | Contributing Editor

Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.