Stewart Breezes To Victory At Glen Helen

Kit Palmer | September 10, 2006

The final round of the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship Series at Glen Helen Raceway had some drama with rookie Ryan Villopoto wrapping up the MX Lites Championship and MX-class Champion Ricky Carmichael going to the hospital.

Starting with Villopoto, the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider wrapped up the Lites Championship in his first attempt after winning the first moto of the day. Villopoto got into second place by the end of the first lap and had to track down KTM Red Bull’s Mike Alessi, who quickly sprinted out to a big lead. Villopoto, though, slowly reeled in Alessi, the only rider who had a chance of beating the Kawasaki rider for the title, and passed him by the fourth lap. From there, Villopoto stretched out his lead and took the win, clinching the Lites Championship.

The second moto was nearly a mirror image of the first, with Alessi getting out in front early and Villopoto running him down, passing him, and streaking off with his second moto win of the day.

Alessi went 2-2 on the day for second overall, while Villopoto’s Kawasaki teammate Ben Townley went 3-3 for third overall. SoBe/Samsung Mobile’s Josh Grant (4-6) and Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy’s Brett Metcalfe (5-5) round out the top five.

Alessi finished out the series in second, followed by Grant and Honda’s Andrew Short, who did not ride today.

In the Motocross class, Carmichael had just passed Kawasaki’s James Stewart for the lead in the first moto when he swapped out and crashed in a fast section of the hilly track. Carmichael got up clenching his arm, got back on his bike and eventually rode off to the pits. He did not race the second moto.

Early reports have it that he suffered a major contusion to his shoulder, and might have suffered some ligament damage. He also injured his thumb. He will travel home to Florida where he will have an MRI done, at which time his future (MX des Nations) plans will be determined.

Meanwhile, Stewart breezed to victory. He easily won both motos, going 1-1 for the overall win.

Second overall went to Honda’s Davi Millsaps who went 3-2, while his teammate Travis Preston got on the podium with a 4-3 tally.

SoBe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Kevin Windham went 2-7 for fourth overall. Windham was penalized a few seconds for pitting outside the mechanics area. It cost him a position in the second moto but it did not affect his overall placing.

Windham finished out the year second in points, followed by Millsaps, Stewart, Preston and Yamaha’s Chad Reed.

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.