With five rounds in the books, the AMA National Motocross Championship is beginning to look like the Ricky Carmichael show, the Team Makita Suzuki rider has won all five rounds and lost just a single moto.
Today was no different. At the Red Bud Track 'N Trail in Buchanan, Michigan, the 25-year-old Carmichael once again dominated. In both motos he got out front early, sprinted hard and opened up huge leads. For Carmichael the win was the 54th of his 250cc National career, doubling the total of second-place man Bob Hannah. Carmichael also increased his points lead to 69 over Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed.
For Suzuki the win marked the company's first in 27 years at Red Bud.
In the first moto Carmichael didn't get the best of starts and was sixth going into the first turn. Leading the way were Reed and Team Kawasaki’s James Stewart. It didn't take long, though, for Carmichael to start hounding Stewart for second.
Then it happened. With Reed out front, a rock shot up into his front sprocket, derailing the chain, cracking the cases of his Yamaha, and bending the shift lever. The Australian coasted his bike to the side of the track, and promptly headed back to the pits. When the rock hit Reed's bike, Stewart was right behind the Yamaha rider, and the two came together - very nearly knocking both of them down. That was all Carmichael needed to take over the lead and from there he ran away and hid.
Stewart held on for second with Team Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda’s Kevin Windham quietly circulating in third to the finish.
The second moto was all Carmichael. He took the holeshot and was never challenged. Behind him was where all the action took place.
With Stewart (259) in second and Windham (wearing white) in third the two riders engaged in a battle that had the Michigan crowd cheering frantically. Windham and Stewart swapped positions numerous times until finally, on the third lap, the pair came together when Windham attempted to get around Stewart, and Windham went down. Windham picked himself up, put his head down and charged. With a 10-second deficit to Stewart, Windham was up to the challenge and on the sixth lap he caught the Kawasaki rider, passed him and took over second place. From there the running order never changed. Carmichael took the win by nearly a 20-second margin over Windham with Stewart third.
The overall results read: Carmichael, Windham and Stewart.
In the 125 class Team Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Grant Langston took his third win of the season. He lead the first moto wire-to-wire and in the second took the runner-up position after a last-lap pass.
The opening moto saw Langston take the holeshot followed by his teammate Ivan Tedesco and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi. Despite constant pressure, Langston never backed down. On the third lap Alessi moved around Tedesco to take over second. After that the former amateur prodigy meticulously cut into Langston’s lead. At times it appeared as though Alessi was going to make his move, but it never happened. By the finish line only one bike length separated the two riders. Team Honda’s Andrew Short ended up third after passing Tedesco when the Kawasaki rider went down in a turn. Tedesco finished fifth, right behind Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda’s Josh Grant.
In the second moto it was all orange at the front of the pack as Red Bull KTM teammates Ryan Mills and Alessi led the way. Alessi hounded Mills for most of the race, but a mistake by Alessi gave Mills the breathing room he needed. On the fifth lap, Alessi went down on a tricky jump in the back section and dropped back to fifth. By the end of the moto the young rider had dropped all the way back to seventh.
Meanwhile, behind Mills, Langston quietly stalked Short for second. With each passing lap Langston closed in, and on the final lap he made a daring pass on the Honda rider to secure the position. In the end Mills took his first-ever moto victory followed by Langston, with Short completing the podium. The overall saw Langston first, followed by Mills and Short, respectively.
125 OVERALL: 1. Grant Langston (Kaw); 2. Ryan Mills (KTM); 3. Andrew Short (Hon); 4. Mike Alessi (KTM); 5. Josh Grant (Hon); 6. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw); 7. Mike Brown (Hon); 8. Nathan Ramsey (KTM); 9. Danny Smith (Yam); 10. Matt Walker (Kaw); 11. Davi Millsaps (Suz); 12. Kelly Smith (Yam); 13. Broc Hepler (Suz); 14. Tommy Hahn (Hon); 15. Bobby Kiniry (Hon); 16. Billy Laninovich (Hon); 17. Paul Carpenter (Kaw); 18. Jeff Alessi (KTM); 19. Brock Sellards (Yam); 20. Josh Summey (Hon); 21. Jesse Casillas (Hon); 22. Akira Narita (Hon); 23. Ryan Morais (Suz); 24. Richie Owens (Suz); 25. Michael Blose (Hon); 26. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hon); 27. Brian Gray (Hon); 28. Brett Metcalfe (Yam); 29. Jason Lawrence (Suz); 30. Josh Lichtle (Suz); 31. Jacob Morrison (Kaw); 32. Brad Modjewski (Suz); 33. Turbo Reif (Yam); 34. Tucker Hibbert (Hon); 35. Steve Boniface (Hon); 36. Chad Ward (Yam); 37. Nick Evennou (Hon); 38. Robbie Reynard (Hon); 39. Ryan Hughes (Hon); 40. Ryan Sipes (Suz).
250 OVERALL: 1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz); 2. Kevin Windham (Hon); 3. James Stewart (Kaw); 4. David Vuillemin (Yam); 5. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon); 6. Nick Wey (Hon); 7. Travis Preston (Hon); 8. John Dowd (Suz); 9. Michael Byrne (Kaw); 10. Chad Reed (Yam); 11. Jason Thomas (Hon); 12. Jeff Dement (Suz); 13. Justin Buckelew (Hon); 14. Ryan Clark (Hon); 15. Dylan Lord (Hon); 16. Juss Laansoo (Hon); 17. Bobby Garrison (Hon); 18. Clark Stiles (Suz); 19. Matthew Barnes (KTM); 20. James Povolny (Suz); 21. Eric Kowalik (Hon); 22. Brian Mason (Hon); 23. Keith Johnson (Yam); 24. Barry Carsten (Suz); 25. Ryan Abrigo (Hon); 26. John Dehn (Yam); 27. Jack Carpenter (Hon); 28. Gene Nighman (Hon); 29. William Browning (Suz); 30. Tommy Hofmaster (Hon); 31. Kevin Hoge (Suz); 32. Pierce Chamberlain (KTM); 33. Sean Hamblin (Kaw); 34. Jeff Gibson (Hon); 35. David Oettel (Suz); 36. Aaron Dieter (Hon); 37. Josh Woods (Suz); 38. Doug Dehaan (Yam); 39. Michael Koch (Hon); 40. Kyle Lewis (Hon).