A rough track and extreme altitude played right into Ricky Carmichael's hand at round seven of the AMA National Motocross series at Thunder Valley Raceway in Lakewood, Colorado. Carmichael, considered the best-conditioned rider on the circuit, pounded the competition into submission on the rutted and hilly, 1.3-mile course, easily taking both moto wins to the delight of the 22,672 fans in attendance.
Team Honda's Ernesto Fonseca grabbed the holeshot in moto one, but allowed teammate Kevin Windham by after a couple of turns. Carmichael, who gated third, had a tougher time getting by Fonseca, but by lap three, was around and closing on Windham. By the end of the third lap, Carmichael was in the lead and began stretching a lead that would eventually put him a full 18 seconds ahead of Windham at the finish. Team Yamaha's Chad Reed ran a consistent race for third, while teammate David Vuillemin was fourth and Fonseca was fifth.
Windham grabbed the second moto holeshot and this time fended off Carmichael for six laps before succumbing to the Suzuki rider. Reed ran the entire race in third position, while Vuillemin worked up from eighth on the opening lap to finish fourth at the flag, ahead of Parts Unlimited/Suzuki-rider John Dowd.
Carmichael's win pads a lead that was already the biggest in AMA history at the mid-way point in the season.
In the 125 class, Team Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Ivan Tedesco became the fifth different overall winner of the year with a perfect 1-1 score, and in doing so, overtook Jim's Motorcycle Sales/Honda rider Mike Brown for the series points lead.
In moto one, Tedesco claimed his first-ever National moto win after passing early leader and teammate Grant Langston on lap three. Colorado's own Andrew Short, riding an Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda, gave the hometown crowd something to cheer about as he moved ahead of Langston at midrace on the deeply-rutted course and threatened to displace Tedesco for the point position, late in the race. At the finish, it was Tedesco by four seconds over Short, with Langston, Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda's Josh Grant and Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda's Thomas Hahn rounding out the top five.
Brown, suffered from a poor start and could only manage a seventh by the end of the race.
In moto two, Red Bull KTM's Mike Alessi was the quickest off the line and led the pack up the long uphill start straight, but Tedesco was by in a couple of turns and quickly pulled to a five-second lead by lap three. Short spent the first half of the race stalking Alessi before making a pass at midrace, while Brown, once again, moved up from a poor start.
In the end, Team Makita Suzuki's Broc Hepler passed Alessi for third, while Tedesco came home with seven seconds to spare over Short.
"This was probably the roughest track we've faced this year," Tedesco said. "I feel pretty good taking the points lead."
125 O/A: 1. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw); 2. Andrew Short (Hon); 3. Josh Grant (Hon); 4. Mike Alessi (KTM); 5. Broc Hepler (Suz); 6. Thomas Hahn (Hon); 7. Michael Brown (Hon); 8. Grant Langston (Kaw); 9. Ryan Sipes (Suz); 10. Matt Walker (Kaw); 11. Jason Lawrence (Suz); 12. Brett Metclafe (Yam); 13. Kelly Smith (Yam); 14. Danny Smith (Yam); 15. Davi Millsaps (Suz); 16. Nathan Ramsey (KTM); 17. Steve Boniface (Hon); 18. Josh Summey (Hon); 19. Paul Carpenter (Kaw); 20. Teddy Maier (Kaw); 21. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hon); 22. Daniel Sani (Hon); 23. Jeff Alessi (KTM); 24. Brian Gray (Hon); 25. Robbie Reynard (Hon); 26. Robert Kiniry (Hon); 27. Eric McCrummen (Hon); 28. Jesse Casillas (Hon); 29. Akira Narita (Hon); 30. Brock Sellards (Yam); 31. Michael Blose (Hon); 32. Mchael Sleeter (KTM); 33. Richie Owens (Suz); 34. Tucker Owens (Suz); 35. Kyle Mace (Hon); 36. Billy Laninovich (Hon); 37. Chris Gosselaar (Suz); 38. Nicolas Evennou (Hon); 39. Ryan Mills (KTM); 40. Bradley Ripple (Suz).
250 O/A: 1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz); 2. Kevin Windham (Hon); 3. Chad Reed (Yam); 4. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon); 5. David Vuillemin (Yam); 6. Travis Preston (Hon); 7. Michael Byrne (Kaw); 8. John Dowd (Suz); 9. Sean Collier (Hon); 10. Nick Wey (Hon); 11. Juss Laansoo (Hon); 12. Josh Woods (Suz); 13. Sean Hamblin (Kaw); 14. Justin Buckelew (Hon); 15. Matthew Goerke (Suz); 16. Casey Johnson (Suz); 17. Ryan Clark (Hon); 18. Jason Thomas (Hon); 19. Jeff Gibson (Hon); 20. Brian Mason (Hon); 21. Cole Siebler (Suz); 22. Jiri Dostal (Hon); 23. Ryan Abrigo (Hon); 24. Ty Conner (Yam); 25. Mat Karlsen (Hon); 26. Dennis Stapleton (Hon); 27. Keith Johnson (Yam); 28. Mark Eastwood (Hon); 29. Kyle Lewis (Hon); 30. William Browning (Suz); 31. Ted Campbell (Hon); 32. Robert Garrison (Hon); 33. Robb Floth (Suz); 34. Rory Sullivan (Hon); 35. Levi Reid (Suz); 36. Shawn Bushnell (Hon); 37. Kyle Calderini (Hon); 38. Marco Dorsch (Yam); 39. Josh Kellogg (Hon); 40. Dylan Lord (Hon).