2006 Motocross Steel City Results

September 3, 2006
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA's Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn't matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

A saturated Saturday at Steel City Raceway left racers unable to ride the track before today’s Round 11 of the AMA Toyota Motocross Nationals, but the results were basically the same as always in both classes, at least through the top-5. Team Makita Suzuki scored its third-straight victory sweep at the capable throttle hands of Ricky Carmichael and Broc Hepler. Hepler led both Lites motos wire-to-wire at his home track in Pennsylvania.

Makita Suzukis Broc Hepler got the jump on his Lites classmates and is steamrolling the final half of the series. Iceman has been working the circuit with three straight wins and is enjoying a few uncharacteristic holeshots. - Steel City
Makita Suzuki’s Broc Hepler (60) has been raging through the last half of the season. It’s too late for the Pennsylvanian in 2006, but at least he’ll have some momentum going into the off-season.

Things looked interesting as the Lites class got the ball rolling in Moto 1. A few speedy faces were at the front that haven’t been that far up in the pack for some time. Boost Mobile/Yamaha of Troy’s Andrew McFarlane and Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Troy Adams held down second and third until Lap 3 when McFarlane’s teammate Brett Metcalfe dispatched Adams for the podium position. The two YOT riders diced until Lap 8 when Metcalfe fell to sixth. McFarlane’s good fortune was short-lived however as Sobe/Samsung/Honda’s Josh Grant and Adam’s homeboy, Ryan Villopoto passed into second and third, respectively. They would finish in that order with McFarlane unable to retaliate in fourth, Metcalfe in fifth and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi in sixth.

Moto 2 failed to present the championship battle as well as Hepler again motored away while Villopoto set out in hot pursuit from the get-go. The current points leader couldn’t catch the native on his old stomping grounds and instead of the expected battle with Alessi, the closest Orange bike to RV51 was that of rookie Zach Osborne who had managed to win his qualifying heat. Osborne gated third after the first lap but would DNF on Lap 8. Alessi held down fourth early on before fading as far back as eighth. He recovered for fourth in the moto and fifth overall. He’s now 29 points behind Villopoto.

The other two high-profile rookies, Yamaha’s Josh Hill and Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey were 11th and 21st, respectively. Osborne’s rarely-sighted teammate Josh Hansen tagged himself a 20th with 12-28 motos as he tries to get back in shape and ready for the supercross season. The 2007 250 SX-F wasn’t quite good enough to overcome his lay-off from the Nats, though Alessi proved the bike is capable of running up front. We’ll have to see how Hansen makes out as the racing moves back indoors for 2007.

AMA Motocross Lites Results:
1. Broc Hepler, Suz (1-1)
2. Ryan Villopoto, Kaw (3-2)
3. Josh Grant, Hon (2-3)
4. Andrew McFarlane, Yam (4-5)
5. Mike Alessi, KTM (6-4)
6. Brett Metcalfe, Yam (5-6)
7. Kelly Smith, Hon (9-11)
8. Troy Adams, Kaw (8-15)
9. Chris Gosselaar, Kaw (17-8)
10. Paul Carpenter, Hon (13-13)

AMA Motocross Lites Overall Standings:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 433
2. Mike Alessi, 404
3. Andrew Short, 359
4. Josh Grant, 339
5. Brett Metcalfe, 303
6. Broc Hepler, 273
7. Andrew McFarlane, 269
8. Troy Adams, 191
9. Matt Goerke, 190
10. Nate Ramsey, 190
Carmichael and Kawasaki’s James Stewart went 1-2 in both Motocross races for first and second overall and the familiar Honda duo of Kevin Windham and Davi Millsaps followed in the standard finishing order. The win was Carmichael’s record-setting 70th in the outdoors and capped a 3-for-3 performance in the Monster Energy/Kawasaki Triple Crown of Motocross. The dividend for topping the overall podium at High Point, Red Bud and Steel City was $30,000 and a Kawasaki KLX110.

Ryan Mills surprised everyone with his third-place finish in Moto 1. The Rockstar Suzuki rider showed his familiarity with the East Coast track by piloting his RM-Z450 to the final spot on the rostrum. Hailing from Clintondale, NY, Mills DNF’d the final moto but landed in 10th, his highest finish of the season. It was a great day for the Rockstar Suzuki team as Mike Brown finished sixth overall after running inside the top-three early in Moto 2 where he eventually carded fifth.

Kawasaki’s Michael Byrne started in fourth and gave up only one position during his first outing. He started in seventh during Moto 2 and would not relinquish the position by the checkers for a fifth-place overall. His teammate Stewart had the lead in Moto 2 before Carmichael worked his way around on Lap 3 and disappeared for the win.

Mason Phillips came out of nowhere on his CRF450R to score 12th OA with a 16-10 performance. The Chino Hills, CA rider actually ran inside the top-5 of Moto 2 until starting to slip backwards on Lap 6.

As predicted, Millsaps took over third in the point standings for the absent Chad Reed. There really isn’t much of a battle anywhere inside the top-10 at this point except for a six-point gap between American Honda’s Travis Preston in sixth and Motoworld/PPG/Yamaha’s David Vuillemin in seventh.

AMA Motocross Results:
1. Ricky Carmichael, Suz (1-1)
2. James Stewart, Kaw (2-2)
3. Kevin Windham, Hon (4-3)
4. Davi Millsaps, Hon (6-4)
5. Michael Byrne, Kaw (5-7)
6. Mike Brown, Suz (10-5)
7. Nick Wey, Hon (7-8)
8. Tim Ferry, Hon (12-6)
9. David Vuillemin, Yam (8-12)
10. Ryan Mills, Suz (3-37)

AMA Motocross Overall Standings:
1. Ricky Carmichael, 539 (Champion)
2. Kevin Windham, 371
3. Davi Millsaps, 358
4. Chad Reed, 333
5. James Stewart, 331
6. Travis Preston, 296
7. David Vuillemin, 290
8. Nick Wey, 272
9. Tim Ferry, 247
10. Josh Summey, 155