Pictures and Details from the Hangtown Classic Motocross - Feature Review - Dirt Rider Magazine

"There is nothing better than a super-rough track on a blazing hot Sunday afternoon in front of a ton of hard-core fans to get me excited about racing!" said Makita Suzuki's Ricky Carmichael about last weekend's Hangtown Classic. This was supposed to be the year Carmichael would be beat, but so far, he's still undefeated since 2003. He easily won both motos, gapping the pack by nearly 30 second in the first moto and 45 second in the second.James Stewart is supposed to be Ricky's big competition this season, but he had a disappointing day at the opening round. In the first 250 moto, Stewart crashed in the first turn, leaving him to start in the back of the pack. He began his charge from 21st place, working his way through the pack only to crash again. He got up and charged again to finish sixth—an impressive result considering, but still sub-par for Bubba.In the second moto, Stewart got a good start and was in fourth place, riding well. But on lap seven, he pulled off saying he felt light-headed. He still earned a 12th overall for the day.Stewart's move in the second moto left many wondering and speculating... was this related to the Vegas Supercross injury? Was it the heat? Stewart is no stranger to riding two motos in 100+ degree weather. There were rumors that he was sick the week before, but he was riding great at practice on Saturday. Whatever the reason, it was very uncharacteristic of Stewart, and we're still looking forward to an exciting season from him.Carmichael rode flawlessly aboard his new Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, sweeping both 250 class motos. "It was a good race. I had a good feeling about the weekend, though I didn't expect it turn out like this." Ricky has proven that he is still the man to beat.It's not easy being number one; you have no where to go but down and everyone is waiting for it to happen. But RC has shown what an incredible champion he is. His skills are still improving (as unbelievable as that sounds) and he continues to raise the bar. In moto 2, he gapped the field by over 45 seconds and still admits there's room for improvement. "There are a lot of places we can be better and we're going to learn every weekend," said Carmichael, "Now, I'm just getting ready for High Point and looking forward to getting to the East Coast and racing the tracks that I love."Second overall went to Yamaha's Chad Reed. No one ever counted him out, but Reed's skills have always been stronger indoors. Talk circulated how he had upped his game for the outdoors, but most still took it to mean he'd be in a strong second. After watching Reed dominate at the Glen Helen Prequel, and put in a solid ride at Hangtown, he's made some believers. Reed was even riding with a bad concussion from Saturday's practice. He admitted he didn't feel 100%, which made his race even more impressive. We'll be looking forward to seeing what Reedy can do at High Point next weekend... without having rung his bell the day before.Third overall went to Yamaha teammate David Vuillemin with a 4-2 for the day. Fourth went to Travis Preston (4-5) and Juss Laansoo from Estonia (Laans-who?) rounded out the top five with a 5-8 finish.125 ClassAnother incredible Suzuki rider, Broc Hepler, was the first winner of the 125 Outdoor season when he took the victory in the first moto. "I was riding around in third place for about the first five laps. Then I realized that the pace up front wasn't that fast, so I made some passes and got into the lead," said Hepler, " I got a pretty good gap and held it for the rest of the race."Hepler was followed by Grant Langston and Mike Brown in second and third, respectively.Ask anyone and they'll tell you that the highlight of the Hangtown Classic was the second moto of the 125 class: the Langston vs. Alessi.There was no denying it was Alessi's race. He jumped out to an early lead and led every lap of the second moto aboard his Red Bull KTM 250F. But Monster Kawasaki's Grant Langston showed how badly he wanted it, hounding Alessi unrelentingly for most of the moto. Langston made a pass, but then immediately washed out in a corner, handing it back to Alessi. On the last lap, Langston made a last attempt, diving on the inside of Alessi in a pass that sent them both to the ground. Langston's Kawasaki stayed running and he got going quickly enough to take the checkered flag and the overall.Alessi, meanwhile, struggled to get his bike started. Unable to get it turned over, Alessi tried to push his bike to the finish line, but collapsed in the sweltering heat. He regrouped and finally got the 250F going, but not before 13 more riders crossed the finish in front of him. Alessi slipped from first to 15th only feet from the finish, and settled for a disappointing ninth overall.Langston suffered a dislocated ankle in the crash and had to forego the podium ceremony, heading straight for the Asterisk Medical Center. Langston has since seen his physician, and has announced he will be in shape to ride this weekend's High Point National.Honda's Mike Brown finished second. Fellow Monster Kawasaki riders Ivan Tedesco and Matt Walker came in third and fourth. Broc Hepler rounded out the top five.250 Overall Results
1. Ricky Carmichael, Havana FL, Suzuki (1-1)
2. Chad Reed, Dade City, FL, Yamaha (3-3)
3. David Vuillemin, Corona, CA, Yamaha (2-4)
4. Travis Preston, Hesperia, CA, Honda (4-5)
5. Juss Laansoo, Chatsworth, CA, Honda (5-8)
6. Michael Byrne, Murrieta, CA, Kawasaki (9-6)
7. Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, CA, Honda (12-7)
8. Heath Voss, Mico, TX, Yamaha (10-9)
9. Kevin Windham, Centreville, MS, Honda (21-2)
10. Jean Sebastien Roy, Acton Vale, QC, Honda (14-10)
11. Jeff Dement, Kingwood, TX, Suzuki (13-11)
12. James Stewart, Haines City, FL, Kawasaki (6-30)
13. Tim Ferry, Largo, FL, Yamaha (7-35)
14. John Dowd, Ludlow, MA, Suzuki (8-34)
15. Ryan Clark, Waddell, AZ, Yamaha (15-16)
16. Joseph Oehlhof, Hesperia, CA, Suzuki (11-25)
17. Rodrig Thain, Temecula, CA, Honda (23-12)
18. Jason Thomas, Melrose, FL, Honda (30-13)
19. Damon Huffman, Valencia, CA, Honda (33-14)
20. Cole Siebler, Emmett, ID, Suzuki (38-15)125 Overall Results
1. Grant Langston, Murrieta, CA, Kawasaki (2-1)
2. Michael Brown, Johnson City, TN, Honda (3-2)
3. Broc Hepler, Kittanning, PA, Suzuki (1-5)
4. Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, CA, Kawasaki, (8-3)
5. Joshua Grant, Riverside, CA, Honda (7-6)
6. Danny Smith, Middleton, ID, Yamaha (12-7)
7. Paul Carpenter, Ithaca, NY, Kawasaki, (13-8)
8. Akira Narita, Corona, CA, Honda (10-11)
9. Mike Alessi, Apple Valley, CA, KTM (6-15)
10. Matt Walker, McDonough, GA, Kawasaki (38-4)
11. Andrew Short, Murrieta, CA, Honda (4-29)
12. Steve Boniface, Murrieta, CA, Honda (14-12)
13. Ryan Hughes, Temecula, CA, Honda (5-35)
14. Brian Gray, Jacksonville, FL, Honda (5-35)
15. Billy Laninovich, Lake Elsinore, CA, (9-19)
16. Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, CA, KTM (25-9)
17. Kelly Smith, Ludington, MI, Yamaha (33-10)
18. Brock Sellards, Sherrodsville, OH, Yamaha ( 20-13)
19. Davi Millsaps, Cairo, GA, Suzuki (17-16)
20. Richie Owens, Wildomar, CA, Suzuki (15-18)The series moves on to Mt. Morris for the High Point National this Memorial Day weekend with Scott USA as the presenting sponsor.

Reed suffered a concussion during Saturday's practice, but still rode strong.
Carmichael rode nearly unchallenged in both motos.
David Vuillemin took third overall with a 2-4 for the day.
Mike Alessi struggled to get his bike upright and started after tangling with Langston.
In a final desparate attempt to push his bike to the finish line only feet away, Alessi collapsed in exhaustion.
He finally regrouped and got his KTM relit to cross the finish line in 15th place.
Mike Alessi controlled almost all of the second moto until tangling with Langston.
When Mike Brown's MXGP effort fell apart, he put together a last minute effort to race the AMA Motocross Series.
Makita Suzuki's Broc Hepler had a strong victory in the first moto.