Team Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael clinched his sixth consecutive AMA Motocross Championship at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pennsylvania, yesterday. Just as he has done all year, Carmichael dominated the racing in the 250cc class, winning both motos going away for his 11th straight win.
“I don’t know what to say,” Carmichael said, “except the wins keep coming, I’ve had a great career and I’ll try to get as many more as I can. “I know that when I signed with Suzuki, I didn’t know it was going to be as good as it was,” he added. “I was confident in my abilities and in the team and you’ve just got to give it up for Suzuki and all my sponsors, it’s a long list, my wife, my parents. It’s been a long career and a fun one.”
Carmichael also won the Monster Energy Drink Triple Crown of Motocross, a $25,000 bonus for sweeping the High Point, Red Bud and Steel City rounds of the 2005 AMA Motocross Championship.
Second overall at Delmont went to Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Kevin Windham who went 2-2 on the day. Windham came from behind in the first moto but had it much easier in the second.
Once again, Team Yamaha’s David Vuillemin and Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca went at it on the track providing some of the best racing of the day. The two riders traded 3-4 finishes with Fonseca getting the nod. Both riders are still tied in points for third in the series.
Rounding out the top five overall was Suzuki-mounted Ryan Hughes who had some good battles with sixth-place finisher, Kawasaki’s Michael Byrne.
In the 125cc class, Team Makita Suzuki’s Broc Hepler won both motos, but the local favorite did it the hard way. He fell twice in the first moto and had to come from way behind. Hepler had it a littler easier in the second moto after getting off to a good start.
Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi took runner-up honors after taking the holeshot in both motos. He ended up going 2-2 on the day, while series points leader Ivan Tedesco, on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki, finished third and will go into the final round at Glen Helen next week with a comfortable 35-point lead over Alessi.
Tedesco’s teammate Grant Langston finished fourth overall and Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Ryan Villopoto, in only his second Pro race, rounded out the top five overall.
The win shot Hepler from seventh to fourth in the series points standings.
Amsoil Honda's Josh Grant, who was fourth in points after the last round, did not compete at Delmont, though he did give it a valliant effort after injuring his knee while practicing earlier in the week. Grant traveled to Pennsylvania, taped the knee and tried riding, but the pain was to great and was forced to sit out both motos.
250 O/A: 1. Ricky Carmichael (Suz); 2. Kevin Windham (Hon); 3. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon); 4. David Vuillemin (Yam); 5. Ryan Hughes (Suz); 6. Michael Byrne (Kaw); 7. John Dowd (Suz); 8. Nick Wey (Hon); 9. Barry Carsten (Suz); 10. Sean Collier (Hon).
125 O/A: 1. Broc Hepler (Suz); 2. Mike Alessi (KTM); 3. Ivan Tedesco (Kaw); 4. Grant Langston (Kaw); 5. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw); 6. Davi Millsaps (Suz); 7. Ryan Sipes (Suz); 8. Andrew Short (Hon); 9. Joaquim Rodrigues (Hon); 10. Thomas Hahn (Hon).