Kawasaki Race ReportSunday, January 8, 2006 | 1:09 AM
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Stewart Wins a Wild One
But when it was all said and done, James Stewart was able to be both patient and fast, and he ended up with his third-straight win in the early going of this series. It wasn’t easy, though, as both Stewart and Carmichael both got terrible starts in the main and had to slice their way through traffic while fighting each other at the same time. Reed, meanwhile, gated better, but took a few laps to work his way from about fifth into second. Then early leader Ernesto Fonseca had another in a long line of his highlight reel crashes, but of course, he bounced back up and ultimately finished a solid sixth.
Then the race was down to a two-horse show between Reed and Stewart, and Stewart had all of the momentum, making the pass and slowly pulling a gap. Carmichael eventually worked his way past Fonseca. Then he reeled in Mike LaRocco, who was putting in another brilliant ride even though he hadn’t raced in months and was also adjusting to a 450. The Rock just keeps on going….
But Carmichael got going around him to finish a distant third. As you would expect, he didn’t look very happy after the main.
But all of the top three can take positive thoughts out of something in the event. Reed had been off the pace in Canada and in practice here, but he had the speed in the main for a few laps, even setting the fastest lap of anyone outright. Carmichael had to feel like he was fast enough to get in position to win. And Stewart? Well, he won. That’s positive.
Next week in Phoenix, it’s on again.
The Lites West Region Series kicked off with an awesome race. This class features a great mix of veteran contenders like Nate Ramsey, Grant Langston and Andrew Short, while rookies Mike Alessi, Ryan Villopoto and Jason Lawrence in the mix with them. Lawrence didn’t qualify for the main, and Alessi crashed all over the place in his main event, ultimately fighting back for ninth. But it was Villopoto who impressed. After riding poorly in his heat, he won the LCQ to make the show. Things didn’t look good, but he pulled a good start in the main, battling past Toyota/AMA Arenacross Champion Darcy Lange to take the early lead. He was riding brilliantly, while Short got a terrible start, Ramsey crashed all over the place, and Langston also crashed in the whoops on the first lap.
Langston put on the ride of the night coming from 22nd place to 4th, and putting in ridiculously fast laps doing it. He ran out of steam late in the race and couldn’t reel in Laninovich, but fourth was incredible from where it started out. Ramsey, meanwhile, is in a deep hole.
But this is the wild, Wild West. You never know what’s going to happen. Then again, you don’t know what’s going to happen in the Supercross Class right now, either. It’s a good time to be a supercross fan.
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