Team Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael recorded his fourth win of the season and his fourth straight on a warm but overcast day at the Red Bud National MX in Buchanan, Michigan. Carmichael had a relatively easy day, grabbing the holeshot in both MX-class motos and running away with the sweep.
In the second moto, however, Carmichael had a bit of a challenge from Kawasaki’s James Stewart, who was making his return after skipping the last round at Budds Creek with a sore knee. Stewart, who finished a distant second to RC in the first moto, actually passed Carmichael, who had fallen, on the second lap of the second moto, but Carmichael got him back on the fourth lap and steadily pulled away.
Stewart rode conservatively to a second overall placing, going 2-2 on the day.
Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed finished third overall with 3-3 results. Reed started off in third in the first moto and stayed there the whole way a little ways behind Stewart. In the second moto, Reed got off to a seventh-place start but put on a charge that carried him past Team Honda’s Davi Millsaps and Travis Preston, Moto XXX/Honda’s Tim Ferry and SoBe/Samsung Mobile/Honda’s Kevin Windham. After passing Windham for third on the ninth lap, Reed continued to move forward, gaining some ground on Stewart, but time ran out for Reed on the 13th lap.
Windham ended up going 4-4 for fourth overall, and Millsaps rounded out the top five overall with a 5-6.
In the Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto ran away with the first-moto win, and a second in the second moto was good enough for his third win of the season.
Villopoto got out in front early in the first moto and simply sped off with the victory over Yamaha of Troy’s Andrew McFarlane and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi, who later said that he just couldn’t get going. But in the second moto, Alessi got going.
After passing Honda rider Josh Grant on the second lap of the second moto, Alessi took command and ran off with the win, which was good enough for second overall.
Villopoto, who started off in seventh, climbed to second by the third lap but never really got close enough to mount a serious challenge on Alessi.
McFarlane ended up fourth in the second moto, but his 2-4 placings were got enough to get him on the podium in third.
Fourth place went to Grant who went 4-5 on the day.
Rounding out the top five overall was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ben Townley who was making his debut since injuring his knee late last year. Townley started off the weekend in good shape, winning his heat race on Saturday, as well as on Sunday morning, where he battled with Team Suzuki’s Broc Hepler. In the National motos, Townley went 8-3.
In the series points standings, in the MX class, Carmichael extended his lead over Reed to 30 points, 242-212. Windham is third with 153.
In the Lites class, the points race is much closer with Alessi leading Villopoto by just five points, 198-193. Grant is third with 169 points.
MX O/A: 1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz) 1-1; 2. James Stewart (Kaw) 2-2; 3. Chad Reed (Yam) 3-3; 4. Kevin Windham (Hon) 4-4; 5. Davi Millsaps (Hon) 5-6; 6. Tim Ferry (Hon) 7-5; 7. Nick Wey (Hon) 6-8; 8. David Vuillemin (Yam) 8-7; 9. Travis Preston (Hon) 9-9; 10. Kyle Lewis (Hon) 10-10; 11. Josh Demuth (Hon); 12-11; 12. Josh Summey (Hon); 15-13; 13. Jeff Gibson (Hon) 16-14; 14. Ryan Clark (Hon) 14-16; 15. Josh Woods (Suz) 11-34; 16. Robbie Reynard (Hon) 22-12; 17. A. Balbi Jr. (Hon); 18. Jason Thomas (Hon) 36-15; 19. S. Skinner (Hon) 19-17; 20. Jeff Dement (Suz) 20-18.
MX LITES O/A: 1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw) 1-2; 2. Mike Alessi (KTM) 3-1; 3. Andrew McFarlane (Yam) 2-4; 4. Josh Grant (Hon) 4-5; 5. Ben Townley (Kaw) 8-3; 6. Andrew Short (Hon) 5-6; 7. Brett Metcalfe (Yam) 7-7; 8. Troy Adams (Kaw) 9-8; 9. Jason Lawrence (Suz) 6-11; 10. Paul Carpenter (Hon) 12-12); 11. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw) 10-14; 12. Broc Hepler (Suz) 13-13; 13. Danny Smith (Hon) 17-10; 14. Sean Collier (Yam) 11-18; 15. Kelly Smith (Hon) 27-9; 16. Steve Boniface (Hon) 15-16; 17. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hon) 14-17; 18. Robert Kiniry (Hon) 29-15; 19. Richie Owen (Yam) 16-38; 20. Matt Goerke (Yam) 18-24.