Bench Racing Ammo: West Side Story

April 18, 2006 7:49am

Team Honda's Andrew Short has a two-point lead with two rounds left in the West Region

It’s been over two months since we’ve last seen the West Region 250F riders in action in the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, so today we’ve decided to give everyone a refresher course of what’s going on, along with the 450 class, where there was a shorter (but much needed) three-week layoff.

            With two races remaining, Team Honda’s Andrew Short holds a slim two-point advantage (118 to 116) over that of Monster/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Grant Langston, who is looking to become the first-rider in history to ever win every major 125cc (or 250F) championship in the world. Langston first won the 2000 125cc World Championship while riding for the factory KTM team. He then moved to America and won the 2003 125cc AMA National Championship, again with KTM. In 2005 he switched to Japanese machinery and won the Eastern Region championship with the Monster/PC Kawi team, and now he is in contention to win this season’s opposite coast.

Grant Langston is gunning for his second regional supercross championship for the Monster Energy Pro Circuit team

            It will be a remarkable feat if he can pull it off, but Andrew Short is hungry for his first professional championship, and while talking to his team manager Erik Kehoe last week, he said, “Andrew is riding really well and he’s really focused on this championship. He wants to win it really bad and he’s in the best shape ever. People kind of forgot about the injury he had to his foot, but this little break has been good for him to heal up and get back into his training routine. Now he’s back and he’s in better shape than ever.”

            Sitting in third-place is Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Ramsey, who has two race wins on the season, similar to that of Short and Langston. And it’s interesting to note how important consistency is in this class: Short’s worst finish this season is a 13th; Langston’s is 15th and Ramsey has a 12th and a 13th, yet he is only 11 points out of the lead.   

            And you can’t count out Sobe/Samsung Mobile Honda rider Billy Laninovich, who led the points after two rounds and currently sits in fourth with 99 points. And rounding out the top six positions is the battle of bragging rights of the supercross rookies as Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi leads Monster/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto by one point: 95 to 94.


You can never count Red Bull KTM's Nathan Ramsey out. He currently sits third in points.

In the 450 class, Team Kawasaki’s James Stewart is on a roll, leading the last 60 laps of the series on his way to three consecutive wins – bringing his season win total to six and tying him with Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael for wins on the AMA tour (Stewart has two more wins than Carmichael in the WSXGP scores and they are tied in points). RC, on the other hand, is clearly in the driver’s seat for his fifth career AMA Supercross championship, as he leads Yamaha’s Chad Reed by 12 points and Stewart by 17. With three races left, anything can happen, but it’s going to take something drastic for this championship to slip from Carmichael’s firm grasp.

Let’s assume that Stewart finishes the season with three wins, Reed finishes second each race with RC finishing in third. RC will still win the championship, finishing with 341 points, two points ahead of Stewart who will have 339, and Reed would finish with 335.

            But as we’ve seen already this season, anything can happen and Carmichael can’t rest on his laurels. I can hardly wait for this Saturday’s race in Dallas’ Texas Stadium. For tickets to this event or to tune in to the SX Live! Webcast Saturday night, go to

The battle continues this Saturday in Dallas...