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Racer X Holeshot Award

Round four of the 2006 Toyota AMA Motocross Series was a hot one at Budds Creek, Maryland, with RC and RV—Ricky Carmichael and his young clone Ryan Villopoto—taking the four moto wins. But neither grabbed one of the four Racer X Holeshot Awards, as four different and very diverse riders each took one of our $500 checks.

In the first 250F moto, the youngest rider on the racetrack, Red Bull KTM’s Zach Osborne, led his teammate Nathan Ramsey past the white line on the exit of the tight first turn. Their better-known KTM teammate, holeshot artist and series points leader Mike Alessi, was left in a first-turn pileup that also claimed Southwick overall winner Andrew Short. Young Osborne would lead for half the race, before nerves and heat got the better of him. Here’s betting that one day, the lessons he learned here will be worth much more than the $500 check he snagged.

In the second moto, Mike Alessi avenged his first-moto crash with a holeshot ahead of the Hondas of Josh Grant and Andrew Short, earning him his fourth $500 Racer X Holeshot Award in eight motos this year, but then had a tangle with a hard-charging Ryan Villopoto, who muscled him out in a corner and motored off with the win. Alessi maintains the points lead, but his 16-4 wiped out much of his cushion.

A huge cheer went up across the Potomac Valley when #84 Barry Carsten, 40 years old (and twice as old and then some as Zach Osborne) grabbed the $500 Racer X Holeshot Award with an amazing jump off the gate. Unfortunately, Carsten did not score any points, but his ride at the front of the 450 pack was one of the highlights of the hot afternoon.

In the final 450 moto, we had another one of those close calls as Antonio Balbi, the visiting prospect from Brazil, edged out fellow Honda riders Ryan Clark (Solitaire) and Jeff Gibson (Subway/Coca-Cola Honda) for the Racer X cash. Alas, Balbi was not able to stay in the top 20 and maybe better his 18th in the first moto.

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