Round 6 of 16
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
By John Basher
Imagine, a third of the way through the supercross series and things are still hot and heavy! It had been a custom that once Ricky Carmichael entered the stadium, not only was the race already considered over, but champagne corks seemed to catapult through the air at the near sight of the red head. Such was the case for the past three races leading up to San Diego, only the champagne wasn?t quite bubbly enough for Ricky. See, RC likes to do things in large quantities. When he wins, he wants to win by a huge margin. The same can be said about his ability to crash, in that he takes some of the biggest bone crushing hits in professional racing. In San Diego, it was either going to be a fourth win in a row or a spectacular crash for the red rider.

Unfortunately for Ricky, he took the path he didn?t want to take. It was a path that makes mothers worry, mechanics gasp, and also makes for excellent blooper footage. Ricky crashed, and he crashed hard twice. The first of two came at Friday?s practice, when Carmichael miss-timed a double/triple section and went clean over the bars. Fortunately, he was able to get up and finish the rest of practice. The second, which was a more untimely crash, came quarter way through the main event when the whoops bucked the Honda bronco and sent?Cowboy Ricky? once again over the bars. It might have been a yeeehaw ride for him had he been leading by a huge margin, but when RC fell he was in second behind Chad Reed. With Reed?s explosive pace this season, Ricky needed to minimize mistakes in San Diego and challenge Reed. It was the perfect opportunity for Carmichael to challenge the Aussie, but instead he crashed back to sixth.

To summarize up to this point, Michael Byrne grabbed the holeshot, with Chad Reed, David Vuillemin, and Ricky Carmichael in fourth. Vuillemin slipped by both Reed and Byrne, then Reed and Carmichael quickly pass Byrne. With the top three riders in the points position holding down the top three spots, things were certain to get interesting. It took three laps for Reed to pass Vuillemin, which was a great move to keep Ricky off his rear fender. On lap four Ricky passed Vuillemin, but the pass was short-lived. It was then that the tide turned and there was no longer Ricky Carmichael, but instead a more westernized ?Cowboy Ricky.? The bronco had bucked him off, and he spent the rest of the main trying to catch back up to the leaders.

Meanwhile, Chad ?Skippy? Reed was effortlessly skipping through the whoops, gliding over the jumps, and showing smooth style out front on the way to his second win of the season. Revamped four-stroke rider Tim Ferry was looking to complete the Yamaha podium, but instead bobbled in the whoop section on lap 14, thus handing Carmichael third place.

How about Nick Wey and Heath Voss? The Mach 1 privateer team took fifth and seventh in a series full of factory stars. Hopefully more privateer power will kick in and make the factory boys work a little harder for their money. Congratulations are also in order for Paul Carpenter, who cracked the top ten for the first time in his supercross career after making his way from sixteenth to ninth.

I hate to say it, but the 125 class is getting boring. At the first race it was exciting because Travis Preston won and James Stewart faltered. Then after that racing was interesting because nearly at every event a fist fight or close racing would occur. Now, James Stewart just plain blazes by everyone within the first lap and keeps stretching his lead until the checkered flag falls. The two most exciting things to happen was that Travis Preston charged from sixth up to second by race end, and Sean Hamblin was extremely close to taking his first podium ever. Unfortunately for one of the coolest racers in the industry, Hamblin bobbled while trying to pass Danny Smith for third and crashed. Andrew Short once again kept a solid rhythm throughout the race, held off Matt Walker, and took home fourth. Walker rounded out the top five.

Notable riders who were not racing due to injuries: Mike LaRocco, Chris Gosselaar, Sebastien Tortelli, and Nathan Woods.

1. Chad Reed…Yam   
2. David Vuillemin…Yam   
3. Ricky Carmichael…Hon   
4. Michael Byrne…Hon   
5. Nick Wey…Yam   
6. Tim Ferry…Yam   
7. Heath Voss…Yam   
8. Stephane Roncada…Suz   
9. Paul Carpenter…Hon   
10. Ezra Lusk…Kaw

1. Ricky Carmichael…135
2. Chad Reed…131
3. David Vuillemin…109
4. Ezra Lusk…98
5. Tim Ferry…94
6. Michael Byrne…75
7. Stephane Roncada…70
8. Seb Tortelli…63
9. Mike LaRocco…60
10. Heath Voss…57

1. James Stewart…Kaw   
2. Travis Preston…Hon   
3. Danny Smith…Suz   
4. Andrew Short…Suz   
5. Matt Walker…Kaw   
6. Sean Hamblin…Suz   
7. Billy Laninovich…KTM   
8. Eric Sorby…Kaw   
9. Josh Hansen…Yam   
10. Tyler Evans…Suz

1. James Stewart…147
2. Travis Preston…116
3. Andrew Short…92
4. Billy Laninovich…91
5. Matt Walker…90
6. Danny Smith…81
7. Eric Sorby…72
8. Chris Gosselaar…65
9. Sean Hamblin…65
10. Josh Hansen…61


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