Kawasaki/Racer X Race Report

March 25, 2006 10:23pm

James Stewart notched win #5 in Detroit.

photo by Matt Ware

As the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series made its first stop at Ford Field in downtown Detroit, the Michigan faithful got what they wanted – they got to see their local boy, MDK/Motosport Outlet’s Nick Wey – a lot. Dewitt, MI’s Wey raced the heat and semi and finally made the main event by winning the Last Chance Qualifier, giving him the 19th pick on the starting gate. It didn’t matter, though, as the crowd nearly went into a frenzy when Wey pulled the Progressive Direct Holeshot in the 450 main event. Unfortunately he bobbled in the second turn, and  that allowed James Stewart, Chad Reed, and the only two-stroke rider in the field, Mike Brown, to slip by.

The Detroit track used Pontiac dirt.

photo by Steve Bruhn

After that point, the race for the win was all but over, as James Stewart rode 20 flawless laps on his factory Kawasaki to notch his fifth win of the 2006 season and closed to within three points of Ricky Carmichael for the Amp’d Mobile World SX title. But the real battle was for second place.

Team Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael started in fourth and slowly reeled in Reed, who is still nursing his third-degree separated shoulder. One would think RC would catch and leave Reed, but that wasn’t the case as Reed rode very aggressively. Midway through the race RC passed Reed, but Reed retaliated and stunned everyone when he passed Carmichael back. The two championship contenders played a game of cat-and-mouse for the remainder of the race, giving the 40,000-plus fans in attendance more than they bargained for. Reed had RC flustered, but RC narrowly edged out Reed for second place, gaining two-more valuable points toward another supercross crown.

Reed battled RC all the way to the checkers.

photo by Matt Ware

Makita Suzuki’s Ivan Tedesco finished a rather quiet fourth in front of an epic duel between Wey and Kawasaki’s Michael Byrne, which resulted in the two riders both hitting the ground on the last lap while battling for fifth. Wey remounted first and finished fifth and Byrne followed him across in sixth, but tempers were flaring as the two riders had to be pulled apart after the race.

In the 250F class, it was almost a Honda sweep on the podium, but unfortunately Motosport Outlet’s Bobby Kiniry threw it away in the whoops on the last lap, handing third place to Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Chris Gosselaar. Honda-mounted riders did manage to fill out the next three positions, with Sobe/Samsung Mobile’s Tommy Hahn finishing fourth, Motosport Outlet’s Kelly Smith finishing fifth, and Kiniry salvaging sixth.

Grant and Millsaps went 1-2 in the 250F main event.

photo by Matt Ware

But up front it was all Josh Grant. Richmond Kawasaki’s Teddy Maier pulled the Progressive Direct Holeshot Award but was quickly passed by Grant, who looked phenomenal all day on his Sobe/Samsung Mobile Honda, although he was only able to ride one day throughout the week leading up to Detroit. “I got food poisoning last week,” Grant told Racer X earlier in the day. Team Honda’s Davi Millsaps, who could’ve clinched the Eastern Regional championship tonight with a win, got into second by lap two but just couldn’t match Grant’s speed.  Millsaps now has a 22-point lead over Josh Grant going into the final round of the series next Saturday in Houston. It should be a good one.

Ford Field's first-ever SX track.

photo by Steve Bruhn

Make sure you tune into Speed on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. EST for the airing of the Supercross main event from Detroit, MI.