Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael has a two race winning streak going and appears to be getting faster every weekend.
Things were shaping up to be an epic showdown between defending champ Chad Reed and RC in the early stages of the race. Ricky grabbed the holeshot and the lead on the first lap but Reed was right on his rear fender. Around 4-5 laps into the race Reed had finally closed in on Carmichael and looked like he was matching RC’s speed through the whoops – the crowd was going nuts. It looked like we were finally going to get to see that mano-y-mano battle between the two contenders that we were waiting for.
But, as fate would have it, Reed went down hard in the whoops on the next lap. At that speed it looked like he was going to be lucky to get up, let alone re-start his bike. Much to everyone’s surprise the resilient Reed got his Yamaha YZ250 2-stroke fired up posthaste and didn’t even lose his second-place position. It was some pretty amazing riding by Chad and Ricky in order to stretch out such a huge lead in so few laps.
Ricky went on to win by a half a lap over Reed while championship-points leader Kevin Windham put on the ride of the night. The Factory Connection Honda pilot crashed hard in his heat race and was forced to go through the semi to make the main event. His poor gate choice led to a horrible start that had him as low as 14th in the first few laps. At that point K-Dub poured it on.
He built momentum lap after lap by picking off the dozen riders that stood between his CRF450R and a podium finish. The big challenge came in the closing laps when he had finally reeled in his teammate Mike LaRocco. The Rock held him off for a couple laps but Windham was determined to make the pass and minimize the damage from Carmichael’s second consecutive victory.
Mike LaRocco finished in fourth place followed by fan-favorite Jeremy McGrath on the Fun Bike Center Honda in fifth.
125 West Report
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco recovered from a bad start and went on to win his first race of the 2005 125 West series. The defending champ methodically picked off a half dozen factory riders before taking the lead from Honda’s Andrew Short just after the halfway point.
Things started off great for Suzuki when Ryan Sipes earned his second consecutive Butterfinger Holeshot and held on to the lead for the first four laps. Behind Sipes, last week’s winner Broc Hepler had made his way into second place and set his sights on Sipes for the second week in a row.
Just as Hepler looked to be making a run at Sipes, the rookie came up short on a jump, which in turn caused Hepler to run into the back of him and go down hard. Hepler was laying on the side of the track in obvious pain for a few laps, but eventually got up to unsuccessfully try to restart his RM-Z250 4-stroke.
With Hepler’s DNF and Sipes’ fourth-place finish, Tedesco has now taken sole possession of first place in the championship battle.