Racer X/Kawasaki Race ReportSunday, July 2, 2006 | 8:30 PM
In this article…
- James Stewart
- Ricky Carmichael
- Brett Metcalfe
- Broc Hepler
- Ryan Villopoto
- Chad Reed
- Jason Lawrence
- Kevin Windham
- Davi Millsaps
- Josh Grant
- Mike Alessi
- Tim Ferry
- Andrew Short
It was a monster weekend at the Monster Energy National at Red Bud, as two Monster Energy backed riders took big wins in front of a large crowd. Ricky Carmichael and Ryan Villopoto may not be monsters in stature, but they certainly represent a huge force in their respective classes, especially after their grand wins at Red Bud.
Many where hoping this Red Bud would host an all-time classic Carmichael/Stewart battle like the ones we saw at Hangtown, High Point and Southwick. Unfortunately Stewart wasn’t quite up to the task after missing a few weeks of training and testing due to a knee injury. In the first moto, Carmichael grabbed $500 bucks from the donar types at Racer X by grabbing the Racer X Holeshot Award. Stewart and Reed were right behind him, but instead of a big battle, Carmichael simply walked away (albeit it a very brisk walk) and won the moto by a solid margin over Stewart. Reed was even further back from Stewart when it was over. Carmichael, by the way, said, “Sometimes I think getting this holeshot award is harder work than winning these motos.” That wasn’t a slight to his competition in the races, but a nod to how hard it is to pull a holeshot against a snarling pack of 450s.
But back to Red Bud. While Carmichael and Stewart were gone in moto two, a big battle was on behind them. A third Florida-based rider, Moto XXX Unbound Energy’s Tim Ferry, was riding well in third. First Team Honda’s Davi Millsaps followed Ferry, and then
Stewart was just happy to be back at the races, and Carmichael was so pumped on the win that he promised to return to Red Bud in 2007 as part of his part-time racing schedule.
Then he drank some of his Monster Energy drink, all the while moving closer toward a big pay day if he can win the third leg of the Monster/Kawasaki Triple Crown of Motocross at Steel City on Labor Day weekend. That’s big.
In the first 250F class moto, Villopoto grabbed his first Racer X Holeshot award of the season and checked out like no one in that class has been able to do all year. He was gonzo early in this one—the lead was eight seconds in two laps for young RV.
That’s a pretty deep pack. What’s more, the deep, sandy Red Bud track wasn’t lending itself to passing. That pack followed each other hard for most of the moto in a great battle. Finally Hepler and Townley fell. Then Lawrence fell, too, while trying to pass McFarlane for second. This left Alessi and Grant to fight for the final podium spot, and they battled to the very last lap when they collided. Alessi held on for the spot, and of course his old amateur rival Grant just had to give him a piece of his mind after the moto regarding the collision.
And both riders blamed each other, of course. Grant said he had the pass made and Alessi got out of shape and came into him.
But in front of all of this, Villopoto was gone with the most dominant performance of the season. Alessi seemed almost beside himself, saying he just can’t find his speed, obviously reeling from the crunch RV had applied to his points lead over the last three motos.
So it was time for #800 to man up for moto two, but Grant was still in a fighting mood. He pulled the $500 Racer X Holeshot.
Late in the race Townley made a run at McFarlane to get into third, but McFarlane’s 2-4 scores were enough for another podium finish.
As always seems to be the case, the Alessi moto win was not without some controversy. Rumors spread that Mike rode onto a grassy section off the side of the track in order not to get pinched off at the start in the second moto. Ultimately he was not penalized.
For the moment the 250F Championship is boiling down to an Alessi/Villopoto race, and it looks like it’s going to be a monster battle between those two. The 450 class, well, there’s one big monster in there and he seems to respond to the cry of “Red Bud.” They were chanting it all day long and Ricky responded with his umpteenth big win. It doesn’t look like anyone is going to slay that beast this year.
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