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Kawasaki/Racer X Race Report: Southwick

RC got #99 at the 'wick

Once again Ricky Carmichael left a crowd breathless, speechless and probably voiceless after putting together another dominant performance in the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF. Southwick Massachusetts’ notorious MX338 sand track posed a lot more of a threat to the rest of the field than it did to RC, who moved one step away from an amazing 100 AMA Motocross wins (this registered as his 99th)  with his victory. The fans loved every second of it, although it was clear after the race that the hard work it takes for Carmichael to keep on winning at his clip is taking a toll. Carmichael is ready to move on.

But for a few more weeks, at least, he’s still out there, and that’s bad news for the rest of the gang. James Stewart grabbed the first moto holeshot on his Monster Energy/Kawasaki KX450F, but Carmichael soon slid past Stewart’s teammate Tim Ferry to move into second. He spent quite a while back behind Stewart eating roost, and also struggled to get around a few lappers. But all of a sudden at the 20 minute mark, RC found more speed and took off in pursuit of Stewart. He made the pass and checked out after that. Grant “fast laps in practice” Langston was third despite getting a bad start.

Carmichael grabbed the Moto Tees holeshot in moto two, which effectively changed everyone’s attitude. Stewart was soon in a strange position when he lost time to RC and then actually had to deal with company in Langston. The 2003 AMA 125cc National Champion closed the gap on Stewart and was even able to make a pass. Stewart starting fighting back, and a few laps later he had Langston’s lines figured out, and he used them to get the South African back. Still, it was quite a sight to see.

Langston caught and passed Stewart in Moto 2. Stewart would get him back, though.

So was Carmichael, taking his victory lap and soaking in the accolades for the last time ever.

Ferry was struck down with engine troubles in the first moto, resulting in a DNF. Honda’s Davi Millsaps stalled his bike twice in the first moto and ended up a few positions back from his usual spots.

The AMA Motocross Lites class of course broke down to a battle between Monster/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki teammates Ryan Villopoto and Ben Townley. BT’s sand skills were well-documented from back in his World MX GP days, but it turned out that RV1 had something to show, too. Villopoto grabbed the holeshot in moto 1 and would never be headed, even when Townley moved into second early on, Villopoto continued to extend his lead. Ryan Dungey passed Josh Grant late to take third, while Jason Lawrence overcame a horrible start to snag fifth.

Townley's 2-1 gave him the win in the Lites class

In the second go around, Dungey grabbed the start and dug deep to try to hold off Townley. Even when Townley passed for the lead, Dungey fought to get the lead back. Eventually Townley got the spot, but soon Villopoto got around Dungey and went after him. Again, Villopoto had speed to burn as he caught and passed Townley, who seemed to content to ride in second. Then Villopoto crashed in a left-hand turn and Townley almost ran him over, just steering away from most of the carnage to take the lead back. Villopoto got up and got back around Dungey again, but there was no catching Townley after the mistake.

That’s two wins this season for Townley, but Villopoto still holds an eight-point lead in the series.

Now it’s off from the sand to the hander-packed dirt at Budds Creek, Maryland next weekend, a track that could tip things closer into the favor of Stewart over Carmichael. But one gets the feeling Carmichael will get that winning feeling once again, at least until he finally parks his dirt bike for good.

             

 

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