Carmichael Wins the Title at Steel City - News - Dirt Rider Magazine

Ricky Carmichael cast aside the last shred of doubt (not that you had any, right?) by sealing the deal at the Steel City National, round 11 of 12 in the 2005 AMA Motocross Championship Series. Carmichael's near-flawless season has given him his sixth consecutive AMA Motocross title with one round still remaining.Kevin Windham - also boasting a fantastic season - has sealed up the runner-up position for the 2005 championship. His stronghold in the point standings was further reinforced by the absence of Chad Reed and James Stewart. The only other two riders on the circuit who consistently diced with Windham were not able to finish out their seasons due to injuries.250 ClassComing in to Steel City, Carmichael only needed six points to seal the championship title. He got those points (and then some) after only the first moto of the day, where he took his usual runaway victory. Carmichael led the charge from lap one to the checkered flag."This was amazing! I don't know what to say, except the wins keep coming," said the elated six-time champ, "I've had great career and I'll try to get as many more as I can. I love it and appreciate it and thanks to the AMA and all my sponsors. When I signed with Suzuki, I didn't know it was going to be as good as it was, but I was confident in my abilities and in the team. You've just got to give it up for Suzuki and all my sponsors—it's a long list, my wife, my parents... It's been a long career and a fun one."On the not-so-fortunate side, Kevin Windham had a rough start. Rather than settling into his rhythm, Windham had a significant challenge before him when a crash off the start left him in 20th place. But he certainly gave fans a show, making a deliberate charge through the pack. He picked off several riders each lap and was amazingly back inside the top five within the first half of the race.

From there he had his work cut out for him, having to sneak past Ryan Hughes, David Vuillemin and Ernesto Fonseca who did not so readily relinquish their positions.Ryan Hughes, who has suddenly traded in his ECC Honda CRF250R for a Suzuki RM-Z450, rode a remarkable race, running as high as third behind Carmichael and Fonseca. Vuillemin eventually got around him, and then Windham got around both of them. Fonseca, who had been running second up until the last laps of the race, was left to fend off Vuillemin once K-Dub overtook him as well. DV and Fonseca battled until the white flag lap, but ultimately it was Vuillemin who grabbed the last podium position behind Carmichael and Windham. Fonseca had to settle for fourth followed by Ryan Hughes.The second moto also saw Carmichael out front with the holeshot and taking it to the finish. Windham was again runner up, but this time, it was Fonseca who slipped past Vuillemin in the final laps of the race. The 4-3 and 3-4 finishes of Fonseca and DV (respectively), while neck and neck, handed third place for the day to Fonseca. The two are now at a dead tie in points for the final podium position, and only one still up for grabs. There's no doubt that all eyes will be on them at the final round in Glen Helen this weekend.125 ClassThis year's 125 class has shown us some great battles, and Steel City was no exception. "Iceman" Broc Helper took the overall win with his homecourt advantage. The Pennsylvania native rode to a solid 1-1 finish to take the overall win followed by Mike Alessi (2-2) and Ivan Tedesco (5-3)."I got good starts on my Makita Suzuki and my mechanic Lee McCollum is doing a great job tuning it right," said Hepler, "I'd like to thank UPNC for setting up my training and for keeping me in one piece. That's why I can come from behind and catch those guys. It's great to be here and race at my home track, and all my friends and family are here and I want to thank you guys for cheering for me."KTM's Mike Alessi started off the series strong, and after a mid-season lull, is back on his horse and gaining momentum. Points leader Ivan Tedesco remains strong as the season draws to a close, but he is not untouchable. Mike Alessi is still within striking distance of the championship title and showed that his eyes are still on the prize.Alessi holeshot the first moto and was off to a great start. Kawasaki riders Grant Langston and Ivan Tedesco were both buried in the pack and struggled to make ground throughout the moto. It looked like Alessi could carry it to the finish, but hometown rider Broc Hepler was steadily making his way up front. He reeled in Alessi during the last laps of the race and the two duked it out for the lead with Hepler eventually taking the win. Grant Langston worked his way up to third; fellow Monster Kawasaki riders Matt Walker and Ivan Tedesco rounded out the top five, respectively.The second moto was a replay of the first, with Alessi taking the holeshot and running away with an early lead. Again, Hepler rode a strong race and was able to catch and pass Alessi - this time early in the race - for the win and the overall victory. Tedesco landed on the podium behind Alessi, which was enough to give him third for the day and strengthen his points lead. Fourth went to Andrew Short followed by Davi Millsaps who made a last minute pass on Kawasaki rookie Ryan Villopoto for fifth.Heading into the last round of the season, Tedesco has a 35 point lead over second place Mike Alessi. So even if Alessi manages to capture a perfect 1-1 victory this weekened at Glen Helen, all Tedesco needs to do to seal the championship is finish within the top 15.Still, Alessi has certainly shown how hungry he is. Knowing full-well that anything can and will happen during a race (especially after Hangtown), Mike is not letting go of his desire to take the championship. Make no mistake; the 125 title is still up for grabs. The championship will either go home with Ivan Tedesco or Mike Alessi this Sunday, September 11.Watch for results, photos and a full report from Glen Helen on followed by a 2005 Motocross Season Wrap Up next week.Overall Results - 250 Class
1. Ricky Carmichael, Suzuki (1-1)
2. Kevin Windham, Honda (2-2)
3. Ernesto Fonseca, Honda (4-3)
4. David Vuillemin, Yamaha (3-4)
5. Ryan Hughes, Suzuki (5-5)
6. Michael Byrne, Kawasaki (6-6)
7. John Dowd, Suzuki (10-7)
8. Nick Wey, Honda (9-8)
9. Sean Collier, Honda (8-10)
10. Evan Laughridge, Kawasaki (11-11)
11. Jeff Dement, Suzuki (13-12)
12. Jason Thomas, Honda (14-14)
13. Travis Preston, Honda (7-38)
14. Robbie Reynard, Honda (16-13)
15. Matt Goerke, Suzuki (26-9)
16. Eric Nye, Yamaha (15-18)
17. Bryan Gray, Honda (12-39)
18. Justin Buckelew, Honda (18-16)
19. Kyle Lewis, Honda (39-15)
20. Joshua Woods, Suzuki (37-17)Overall Point Standings - 250 Class
1. 544, Ricky Carmichael, Havana, FL
2. 443, Kevin W Windham, Centreville, MS
3. 352, David Vuillemin, Corona, CA
4. 352, Ernesto Fonseca, Murrieta, CA
5. 279, Travis A Preston, Hesperia, CA
6. 273, John Dowd, Ludlow, MA
7. 265, Michael Byrne, Murrieta, CA
8. 258, Chad Reed, Dade City, FL
9. 233, Nicholas Wey, Dewitt, MI
10. 138, James M Stewart, Haines City, FL
11. 132, Ryan D Clark, Waddell, AZ
12. 131, Jeff Dement, Kingwood, TX
13. 111, Juss Laansoo, Chatsworth, CA
14. 104, Jason W Thomas, Melrose, FL
15. 89, Justin Buckelew, Riverisde, CA
16. 83, Sean T Collier, Santa Clarita, CA
17. 79, Matthew C Goerke, Lake Helen, FL
18. 66, Joshua P Woods, Flint, MI
19. 65, Robbie Reynard, Oklahoma City, OK
20. 55, Jeff Gibson, Westerville, OHOverall Results - 125 Class
1. Broc Hepler, Suzuki (1-1)
2. Mike Alessi, KTM (2-2)
3. Ivan Tedesco, Kawasaki (5-3)
4. Grant Langston, Kawasaki (3-8)
5. Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki (7-6)
6. Davi Millsaps, Suzuki (10-5)
7. Ryan Sipes, Suzuki (8-7)
8. Andrew Short, Honda (20-4)
9. Joaquim Rodrigues, Honda (12-12)
10. Tommy Hahn, Honda (11-13)
11. Matt Walker, Kawasaki (4-34)
12. Brett Metcalfe, Yamaha (9-16)
13. Mike Brown, Honda (17-9)
14. Jesse Casillas, Honda (15-11)
15. Ryan Mills, KTM (13-14)
16. Robert Kiniry, Honda (6-26)
17. Jeff Alessi, KTM (18-10)
18. Paul Carpenter, Kawasaki (14-17)
19. Ryan Morais, Suzuki (22-15)
20. Steve Boniface, Honda (16-39)Overall Point Standings - 125 Class
1. 402, Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, CA
2. 367, Mike A Alessi, Apple Valley, CA
3. 336, Andrew T Short, Murrieta, CA
4. 321, Broc D Hepler, Kittanning, PA
5. 316, Grant Langston, Murrieta, CA
6. 312, Michael L Brown, Johnson City, TN
7. 302, Joshua M Grant, Riverisde, CA
8. 268, David D Millsaps, Cairo, GA
9. 224, Matt Walker, McDonough, GA
10. 164, Paul P Carpenter, Ithaca, NY
11. 163, Danny L Smith, Middleton, ID
12. 154, Kelly D Smith, Ludington, MI
13. 132, Thomas K Hahn, Belpre, KS
14. 131, Ryan Sipes, Vine Grove, KY
15. 124, Jason D Lawrence, Estell Manor, NJ
16. 124, Billy R Laninovich, Lake Elsinore, CA
17. 122, Ryan Mills, Clintondale, NY
18. 107, Ryan Hughes, Temecula, CA
19. 86, Brett Metcalfe, Murrieta, CA
20. 80, Nathan Ramsey, Menifee, CA

Kevin Windham had an impressive charge from behind after a crash off the start.
Ernesto Fonseca leads Ricky Carmichael off the start.
Vuillemin battled it out with Fonseca for third in both motos.
Grant Langston came from behind to finish third in the first moto.
Hepler (left) and Alessi (right) gave fans a show as they battled for the lead in both motos.
Ivan Tedesco fought for a hard earned third overall, but still heads into Glen Helen with a healthy points lead.