The Glen Helen round of the AMA Motocross Championship Series marks the end of the outdoor season and, once again, Team Makita/Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael looks to be the rider to beat for tomorrow’s grand finale. Carmichael was again the fast in timed practice, real fast. In his first session, RC was nearly five seconds quicker than the next-best time turned in by Yamaha’s David Vuillemin. Carmichael reeled off a time of 2:38.458 and Vuillemin a 2:43.257. Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Grant Langston was third fastest, followed by Honda’s Ernesto Fonseca and Suzuki’s Broc Hepler.

Things tightened up a little bit in the second session, Carmichael was again the quickest with a 2:41.456, followed by Amsoil/Chaparral/Honda’s Kevin Windham with a 2:44.439. Next best was Vuillemin, followed by Fonseca and Team Makita/Suzuki’s Sebastien Tortelli, who is riding his first National since an injury that he suffered during the Supercross series.

A large crowd turned out for today’s practice, but the MX fans didn’t see any racing since not enough riders turned out to run any qualifiers.

As mentioned, Tortelli returned to action today and tomorrow will be his last appearance in the U.S. for while, at least at the Nationals, since he’ll be returning to Europe next year to campaign the GP series.

Langston rode the new, 2006 Kawasaki KX250F today, and he was very fast on it, posting the third and eighth quickest times in his two practice sessions.

The Glen Helen National has a reputation for being one of the hottest of the season, but temperatures should be quite nice this year. Tomorrow’s forecast calls for relatively cool temperatures all day, though it could get a little bit warm after the morning overcast burns off.

Even though Carmichael has already clinched the 250cc outdoor title, a win tomorrow will notch his third undefeated season in the overall category. In the 125cc class, Ivan Tedesco is hoping to clinch in first outdoor 125cc title. And tomorrow will also decide third place in the 250cc class between Vuillemin and Fonseca, who are currently tied for the position.

AMA Motocross News


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.

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