It was a day of surprises and upsets at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino as the outdoor Nationals got underway. Overwhelming favorite Ricky Carmichael had a shaky first moto and struggled to finish fourth overall while Yamaha’s Tim Ferry, who barely appeared on the radar screen as a pre-race contender, took the win in the 250 class with a pair of seconds. The first moto started with Carmichael crashing and virtually freefalling down a steep hill while David Vuilliman took the lead. Then it was Vuilliman’s turn to fall, giving the lead to Sebastien Tortelli. He would deal with Ferry and Kevin Windham for the rest of the race, eventually taking the moto win. Mike LaRocco was one of the few riders to stay upright on his way to a fourth ahead of Ryan Hughes and the Honda RC450. Carmichael worked his way up to eighth. It was a different story in the second moto, as Carmichael took an early lead and walked away. Ferry was again second, which is all he needed to take his first ever national win. Tortelli was up and down in that moto, eventually taking fifth for second overall.
In the 125 class Grant Langston gave KTM its second National win. Splitfire’s Mike Brown was the only rider who could even keep the flying South African in sight. Travis Pastrana had a day of poor starts and bobbles, but eventually was third. Both 250 and 125 classes had surprise qualifiers–extreme sports star Shaun Palmer made a decent showing in the qualifying rounds, but fell and hurt his thumb in the first moto of the 250 class, while enduro star Shane Watts qualified for the Big Show in the 125 class.
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