By John Basher

Welcome to round three of the sixteen stop U.S. Supercross series, where greats like Carmichael, Reed, LaRocco, Stewart, and Preston race for prestige and honor in their perspective class. In these races you’ll see plenty of bar-banging action and blatantly obvious take-out moves from all across the track. Who will it be tonight? Certainly not Travis Pastrana and Ricky Carmichael, as Pastrana is nestled in bed at home from an injured shoulder. Or how about a showdown between Travis Preston and Matt Walker? Highly improbable, as those two tangled last weekend. Place your bets, as we can assure you some rider will be going home with tears in their eyes and a soil sample to match.’

If only the announcer enticed the crowd by giving that introduction at Saturday night’s supercross in Anaheim, then fans would have actually expected something outrageous to happen. Not to disappoint, Anaheim II was one of those races for the ages. It wasn’t because Ricky Carmichael finally broke his win-less streak, or because thirty something Mike LaRocco finished second, and not even because James Stewart won the 125 class in convincing fashion. It was instead the first time that wrestling and supercross conjoined. In one corner it was the French import, Eric Sorby, who had been testing his ‘wrestling’ moves in the heat race by tangling with Danny Smith. In the other corner, it was the defending 125 West champ Travis Preston, who experienced his first take-out move last weekend when he parked Matt Walker after Walker was determined to be a road block. Sorby had the upper hand early on in the race when he nabbed a better start, but Preston was quick on the move. The flu stricken Preston moved in to pass Sore Sorby (Eric’s unofficial wrestling name), but S.S. opened up a can of block pass on Preston, sending Travis to the ground in nothing short of a fury of anger. Not quite down for the three-count, Preston remounted to not only kick the tires, but also light the fires. It was go time, and Preston caught back up to Sorby. At this stage in the game, Sorby was going nowhere fast, and it showed that he was fatigued. Still, Eric wouldn’t allow the Honda rider to pass, and tried to take down Preston again!

Fortunately for Preston, he snuck by Sorby and ran away. So with that bout over, it was time for Danny Smith to get in the mix for a little revenge from the heat race earlier in the night. Smith took Sorby to the cleaners and back when he took out Eric with several laps to go in the main. It was a tag team effort between Smith and Preston, and they weren’t even cohorts.

What has happened since these events Saturday night? Message boards have been blowing up. Phones have been ringing off the hook. People can’t stop talking about the Sorby/Preston/Smith occurrence, because it’s simply unbelievable. It was bad enough that the whole on-track altercations happened, but after the race there was even a feud between mechanics. Give me a break! Supercross is supposed involve tight racing, but blatant dirty riding does nothing but give the sport a bad image. Let WWE wrestling do their own thing, and hopefully supercross can get back where it’s supposed to be with close clean racing. With that said, let’s take a look at the actual racing that occurred on Saturday night.

Ricky Carmichael won for the first time this year and looked great throughout the whole race. The only rider that could have caught him would definitely have to be Ezra Lusk. After winning last weekend, Lusk was looking to make things interesting, but his bike was having problems through the whoop section. LaRocco passed Ezra, then Ezra took a dumper in the whoops, giving Sebastien Tortelli third place. Tim Ferry rounded out the top five, but sits firmly in the points race. Notable riders who were unable to compete due to injury: Travis Pastrana and Grant Langston.

In the 125 class, James Stewart said adios to the competition as he bolted out to a lead early and lapped up to fifth place. Billy Laninovich tried to keep Stewart honest, but could only stick with ‘Bubba’ for a few laps. Andrew Short has been having the time of his life by finishing up near the top, and grabbed second place at Anaheim II. Laninovich matched the best supercross race of his life by taking third, with Chris Gosselaar and Josh Woods rounding out the top five.

1. Ricky Carmichael…Hon   
2. Mike LaRocco…Hon   
3. Sebastien Tortelli…Suz   
4. Ezra Lusk…Kaw   
5. Tim Ferry…Yam   
6. Chad Reed…Yam   
7. Michael Byrne…Hon   
8. David Vuillemin…Yam   
9. Nick Wey…Yam   
10. Mike Brown…Kaw

1. Ricky Carmichael…65
2. Chad Reed…62
3. Ezra Lusk…56
4. Tim Ferry…56
5. Seb Tortelli…51
6. David Vuillemin…47
7. Mike LaRocco…40
8. Ernesto Fonseca…30
9. Stephane Roncada…29
10. Ivan Tedesco…26

1. James StewarT…Kaw   
2. Andrew Short…Suz   
3. Billy Laninovich…KTM   
4. Chris Gosselaar…Hon   
5. Josh Woods…KTM   
6. Travis Preston…Hon   
7. Danny Smith…Suz   
8. Matt Walker…Kaw   
9. Eric Sorby…Kaw   
10. Tiger Lacey…Yam

1. James Stewart…72
2. Travis Preston…62
3. Andrew Short…54
4. Danny Smith…50
5. Billy Laninovich…46
6. Chris Gosselaar…45
7. Matt Walker…34
8. Sean Hamblin…27
9. Kevin Johnson…27
10. Craig Andersen…27


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