Team Honda’s Ricky Carmichael kept his winning streak alive in the AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship Series by winning both motos at the 2003 series opener at Glen Helen Raceway, Sunday, May 12. The streak, now up to 27 motos, began at the end of the 2001 series, which includes the final 125cc moto at Delmont and all 24 250cc motos of 2002.
Finishing second at Glen Helen was Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed. Reed, who won the last eight rounds of the just-concluded Supercross Series, ended up second overall after going 2-3 on the day. Reed rode well at Glen Helen but was not quite up to Carmichael’s pace on the outdoor track. Third overall went to Reed’s teammate Tim Ferry (3-5) followed by Ezra Lusk on the Chevy Trucks Kawasaki KX250. Lusk went 5-4.
The rider who nearly stole the show, however, was Kevin Windham who made his return to racing after a nearly two-year hiatus. Windham was flat-out hauling on the Factory Connection-backed factory Honda CRF450R, especially in the first moto. Windham jumped out to an early lead and was pulling away when he suffered a simple crash near the halfway point. But Windham had a hard time re-starting the thumper and ended up finishing 14th in the moto. In the second moto, Windham again led early on but this time Carmichael ran him down, passed him, and ended up finishing an eventual second placing, giving him 14-2 on the day and fifth overall.
Larry Ward, on the Moto XXX/Yoshimura Honda CRF450, had a good day, finishing sixth overall with an 8-7. Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Mike LaRocco went 7-8 for seventh overall, while former World and National MX Champion Greg Albertyn, who came out of retirement for the day, finished a surprising eighth overall with an 11-6 on a factory Suzuki. Cernics KTM rider John Dowd and Yamaha’s David Vuillemin rounded out the top 10 overall.
In the 125cc class, Team Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks/Kawasaki’s Mike Brown and Red Bull KTM’s Grant Langston renewed their battles of 2001, and it was Brown (who won the championship that year) taking the victory. Brown reeled in early leader Brock Sellards to win the first moto but could not quite catch winner Langston in the second moto, though he came reel close. Brown ended up taking the overall win via a 1-2. Langston, who made a last-second switch to the 125cc class, ended up second overall with 3-1.
Third overall went to another Red Bull KTM rider Ryan Hughes who was also making a comeback of sorts. Finishing fourth overall was Team Pro Circuit/Chevy Truck/Kawasaki’s Eric Sorby (5-4), followed by Michael Brandes, who had an outstanding ride despite not having ridden the Supercross series. Brandes rode a Yamaha YZ250F to 7-5 moto finishes.
Red Bull KTM’s Brett Metcalfe, Boost Mobile/Yamaha/Troy Racing Brock Sellards, Team Suzuki’s Stephane Roncada, Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Chris Gosselaar and Red Bull KTM’s Steve Boniface rounded out the top 10 overall.