Honda Sweeps Podium at Washougal!
AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship
Round 8: Washougal, Washington
July 27, 2003
Windham Takes Washougal
The Washougal podium was inundated by Red Riders on Sunday when Kevin
Windham, Ricky Carmichael and Mike LaRocco made the race for the 250
overall a Honda sweep. The event marked Windham's second consecutive
victory via double moto wins, resulting in Carmichael's second runner-up
finish in as many rounds. Adding to the Red Rider dominance,
Amsoil/Chaparral/Factory Connection's Michael Byrne raced to a 7-2 moto
tally and completed the day third overall in the competitive 125 class.
Neither Windham, Carmichael, nor LaRocco are strangers to the podium at the
Pacific Northwest's motocross pride. In the past, all three riders have
excelled at Washougal, but it was evident by Windham's fast starts aboard
his Honda CRF450R, that he would be the man to beat this year. The Factory
Connection-backed rider exploded to an early lead in both motos, leaving
Carmichael to chase. In the first outing, the defending champ and his Honda
CR250R followed a sizeable Windham lead before cutting it down to 3.7
seconds at the end of the 15th and final lap.
The second moto began the same for Windham, but drastically different for
Carmichael. With another early lead, Windham quickly separated himself from
the rest of the field, while Carmichael was mired in the middle of the pack
after a poor start. He completed the first lap in ninth place and in eight
remarkable laps had worked the #4 Honda up to second place. He crossed the
finish line just 4.2 seconds behind Windham and more than six seconds ahead
of third place Chad Reed. Carmichael's effort was an exhausting one, but
one required to defend his championship.
"I'm going to have to start training harder if he keeps this up," said a
gracious Carmichael about his competitor, friend and teammate Windham.
"Kevin has definitely stepped it up, which means I'm going to have to do
the same. The fans are definitely in for some more good racing before this
series is over."
Windham agreed and admitted that Carmichael has helped him rise to the
occasion of winning the last two races.
"It's awesome what we've done in the past two weeks," said Windham praising
his Factory Connection team. "But I can't rest on these results. I have to
keep it going."
LaRocco is a perfect example of someone who has kept it going, especially
in Washougal. The Amsoil/Chaparral/Factory Connection rider first won at
Washougal in 1993 in the now defunct 500cc class. He followed it up with a
win in the 250 class a year later and then another 250 class win in 1996.
At this year's installment, LaRocco was never in contention for the
overall, especially with Windham so far out front, but his 3-4 moto tally
was reminiscent of the Indianan's stellar Washougal performances of
LaRocco's third overall finish was followed closely by two other veterans.
MotoXXX/Yoshimura CRF450R-mounted teammates Larry Ward and Kyle Lewis
finished fifth and sixth respectively. Each finished in the top ten in both
motos and Lewis even grabbed the second moto holeshot away from Windham.
Factory Honda pilot Ernesto Fonseca also placed in the top ten in both
motos, going 8-10 for eight overall. His teammate, Nathan Ramsey, was still
out of action due to an injury to his wrist but is expected to return soon.
While Byrne was proving that he can run with the best in the 125 class, his
Honda CR125R teammates Ryan Mills and Chris Gosselaar were proving they
have the determination to bounce back and return to racing after a tough
weekend at the previous round in Unadilla. Mills went 17-9 for 11th overall
while Gosselaar's 14th overall placing came compliments of a 16-12 moto
score. Coincidentally, Byrne's third place finish is a career national
motocross high for the 24-year old Australian.
Despite his recent two-race win streak, Windham and the rest of the field
will have their work cut out for them as the series heads to Millville,
Minnesota on August 17 for round nine. Carmichael has won three 250 and two
125 races at Millville's Spring Creek Motocross Park since 1997. In other
words, Carmichael has only lost there once.
250 Overall Results:
1. Kevin Windham (1, 1) - Honda
2. Ricky Carmichael (2, 2) - Honda
3. Mike LaRocco (3, 4) - Honda
4. Chad Reed (6, 3) - Yamaha
5. Larry Ward (5, 9) - Honda
6. Kyle Lewis (10, 5) - Honda
8. Ernesto Fonseca (8, 10) - Honda
14. Clark Stiles (16, 12) - Honda
15. Paul Carpenter (7, 32) - Honda
18. Joe Oehlhof (18, 18) - Honda
20. Jason Thomas (39, 17) - Honda
250 AMA Motocross Points Standings:
1. Ricky Carmichael - Honda - 382
2. Kevin Windham - Honda - 335
3. Chad Reed - Yamaha - 290
4. Tim Ferry - Yamaha - 260
5. Mike LaRocco - Honda - 236
9. (Tie) Larry Ward - Honda/Ernesto Fonseca - Honda - 159
12. Kyle Lewis - Honda - 102
13. Clark Stiles - Honda - 92
15. Nathan Ramsey - Honda - 74
18. (Tie) Jason Thomas - Honda/Keith Johnson - Yamaha - 47
125 Overall Results
1. James Stewart (1, 1) - Kawasaki
2. Ryan Hughes (3, 4) - KTM
3. Michael Byrne (2, 7) - Honda
4. Brandon Jesseman (6, 3) - Suzuki
5. Grant Langston (4, 5) - KTM
11. Ryan Mills (17, 9) - Honda
14. Chris Gosselaar (16, 12) - Honda
125 AMA Motocross Point Standings:
1. Grant Langston - KTM - 282
2. Mike Brown - Kawasaki - 271
3. Ryan Hughes - KTM - 254
4. James Stewart - Kawasaki - 200
5. (Tie) Michael Byrne - Honda/Brock Sellards - Yamaha - 183
15. Chris Gosselaar - Honda - 110
20. Ryan Mills - Honda - 70