Anaheim2 AMA National Supercross - Round #3, 1/18/03

By Tom Niemela

(click on thumbnails for larger picture)

Dan Hatcher and I decided to make another pilgrimage down south to hit a round of the national Supercross Series, since we're race junkies, there's no longer a round in Seattle, my Brother and Sister live there, and we needed some sun.  So off we went!  Stevie Ray couldn't afford to go unfortunately (neither could Danno and I, but we went anyway). 

Once we got there it was the usual great, familia housepitality and catching up.  Come Saturday afternoon, Danno, my Brother (Rick, aka Dick) and I took the auto to the stadium.  What a tailgate party!  Sheesh, there were people everywhere, music blaring, people and kids riding minibikes (motored, un-motored and electric) and the spirits were flowing heavily.  Being the quickly adapting tourists we are, we rapidly slipped into the same mindset and spirits.  We got inside the stadium around dusk and found out that Walt Koch would also be showing up with his lovely wife, Maria, so we kept the cell phone ready for a quick draw. Unfortunately, amidst the 45,000 people, we never did catch up - dang!  After we got inside, it was obvious that it was packed and the crowd was ready for some serious racing - and some racing we got!  At the finish of the 250 main my brother caught Ricky Carmicheal's goggles - man, was he stoked!  A good time was had by all, and if you've never been to a live SX event, you just gotta go sometime!  We're already talking about maybe hitting the final round in Las Vegas. 

I'll let the press talk about the details of the race (below the pix), so read on.  Below are a few pix I took from the stands (not easy), so hope you enjoy.

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Jan 18 2003
5:05:18 pm
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Jan 18 2003
5:11:38 pm
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The KTM Peewee races were great too!  

Jan 18 2003
5:30:41 pm
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Dick and Dan, 

Jan 18 2003
8:54:41 pm
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Team Subway's color scheme. 

Jan 18 2003
9:39:50 pm
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Bubba on the gas.  

Jan 18 2003
9:53:39 pm
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Travis Preston in between two takeouts, 

Jan 18 2003
9:54:53 pm
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Eric Sorby, 

Jan 18 2003
10:04:32 pm
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Bubba on victory lap, 

Jan 18 2003
10:06:26 pm
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Jan 18 2003
10:23:40 pm
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Reed after his bail (notice front number plate is hanging off, 

Jan 18 2003
10:24:04 pm
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Jan 18 2003
10:27:35 pm
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Tim Ferry, 

Jan 18 2003
10:27:46 pm
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David Vuillamin, 

Jan 18 2003
10:28:46 pm
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Sebastian Tortelli was really looking good, 

Jan 18 2003
10:29:26 pm
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Lusk was railing until he bit it in the whoops on the last lap!  

Jan 18 2003
10:30:26 pm
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Jan 18 2003
10:37:23 pm
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RC tossing his goggles up to my brother to catch!  

Jan 18 2003
10:40:05 pm
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That's one happy goggle retriever! 

Jan 18 2003
10:40:33 pm
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This kid had a little track in the parking lot.  He's doing a Nac Nac for me.  

Jan 18 2003
11:06:04 pm
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Kids were everywhere on everything. 

Jan 18 2003
11:07:11 pm
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Dick attempting a leak.  

Jan 18 2003
11:36:30 pm
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He couldn't hold it anymore. (Notice the truck driving by, lol!)

Jan 18 2003
11:36:47 pm


Carmichael Collects First THQ Supercross Victory
Stewart Wins First Career Supercross in Anaheim, Second on the Year

ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 18, 2003) - Honda's Ricky Carmichael, the two-time defending supercross champion, won his first 250cc THQ Supercross of the year at Edison International Field in front of 44,732 fans. Team Kawasaki's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., logged his first 125cc Western Regional Supercross win.

Carmichael passed Sebastien Tortelli, who won the $1,500 holeshot award, in the second turn of the 250cc main. Last week's winner, Ezra Lusk, was third out of the gate. Yamaha's Chad Reed, who shared the series points lead with Carmichael coming into tonight, started in eighth and slipped back to 17th after a crash.

Lusk, of Bainbridge, Ga., followed Tortelli for 17 laps before moving into second. Before Lusk went down in the whoops, Honda's Mike LaRocco passed him for second. Carmichael won and took over the points lead. LaRocco was second and Tortelli third.

"I had two bad races and made some mistakes," said Carmichael. "Now I am back to where I was. It's funny how you can have some bad races and everyone thinks you should retire. I worked hard all week to get this win."

Team Red Bull/KTM's Billy Laninovich earned the $1,000 SXGP holeshot award but Stewart, who came in to tonight's event tied for first place with Team Honda's Travis Preston, quickly passed him for the lead. Preston, who missed Friday's practice due to illness, started mid-pack and struggled to get to the front.

Stewart led by more than 25 seconds with four laps remaining and lapped the entire field up to fifth place before taking the checkered flag.

"I said to myself before the start that I needed to get to the first turn early," said Stewart. "I had 15 solid laps ... I wanted this win bad."

Team Solitaire's Ryan Clark leads in the Nissan Frontier privateer bonus award. Nissan will award the top-finishing privateer a brand new Frontier at the end of the season.

125cc Western Regional Supercross Results, Anaheim 2

125cc Western Regional Supercross Season Standings, After Anaheim 2

250cc THQ Supercross Event Results, Anaheim 2

250cc THQ Supercross Series Season Standings, After Anaheim 2

250cc THQ World Supercross GP Season Standings, After Anaheim 2

KTM Jr. Supercross Challenge

Competition heads north to for the first ever supercross at San Francisco's Pac Bell Park next weekend, January 25.

SUPERCROSS - Carmichael's Back On Top
By Kit Palmer
(Photo ©Copyright Cycle News, Inc. 2002)

Action Packed

Ricky Carmichael captured his first win of the year, while James “Bubba” Stewart recorded his first long-awaited win at Edison International Field in Anaheim for round five of the THQ Supercross GP Series and round three of the AMA Supercross Series. For both riders, the wins came as a big relief.

In Carmichael’s case, wins were becoming hard to come by for the Team Honda rider and people were beginning to talk, but the defending supercross champion silenced his critics with a strong performance, though things didn’t start out that way. Carmichael fell earlier in the day during practice and his lap times weren’t up to his usual Carmichael standards. In his heat race, Carmichael was soundly beaten by Sebastien Tortelli, but when the chips were down and the only race that really mattered was on the line, Carmichael rose to the occasion. RC put his Honda into the lead after the first turn and led every lap to the finish, but he could never really relax.

Tortelli, on the SoBe Suzuki, stayed right with Carmichael for many laps, while last week’s Phoenix winner, Ezra Lusk, stayed right with Tortelli. It wasn’t until past the halfway point that Carmichael began put a little distance on Tortelli, who eventually gave way to both Lusk and Mike LaRocco.

LaRocco, on the Amsoil/Chaparral Honda, put together another late-race charge and got around Lusk. About this time, the yellow flags came out for a fallen rider, and the lead group began to bunch up, keeping things interesting with just a few laps left. LaRocco could see Carmichael but just couldn’t get close enough to challenge for the lead, and, on the second-to-last lap, Lusk, on the Chevy Trucks Kawasaki, crashed, dropping to fourth and handing Tortelli third, making the final finishing order Carmichael, LaRocco, Tortelli, Lusk and Yamaha’s Tim Ferry, who rounded out the top five.

Chad Reed, who won the opening round of the AMA series at Anaheim 1, suffered a bad start and then a crash that left him with a dangling front number-plate. Reed, on the factory Yamaha, never got a chance to run with the leaders and had to settle for sixth, ahead of Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Michael Byrne, Yamaha’s David Vuillemin and Mach 1/Yamaha’s Nick Wey, who was the last rider to finish on the lead lap.

In the 125cc class, Stewart jumped off his motorcycle and kissed the ground after scoring a wire-to-wire victory. It was his first win at the stadium after five tries.

Stewart didn’t actually grab the holeshot, but he did grab the lead shortly thereafter and then increased his lead by at least a second or two with the passing of each lap. The Chevy Trucks Kawasaki rider simply dominated the 125cc main, recording his second win in a row.

Finishing in second place some 25 seconds behind Stewart was’s Andrew Short, followed by KTM/Red Bull’s Billy Laninovich, the rider who did nab the holeshot. Amsoil/Chaparral Honda’s Chris Gosselaar and KTM Red Bull’s Josh Woods rounded out the top five overall.

Defending champ Travis Preston had a rough night. The Amsoil/Chaparral Honda rider had a midpack start, which was followed by several altercations with Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks/Kawasaki’s Eric Sorby that, at one time, left him on the ground. Preston still managed to salvage sixth ahead of Suzuki’s Danny Smith, Pro Circuit/Chevy Trucks/Kawasaki’s Matt Walker, Sorby and CRS Team Safety’s Tiger Lacey.



1. Ricky Carmichael (Hon)

2. Mike LaRocco (Hon)

3. Sebastien Tortelli (Suz)

4. Ezra Lusk (Kaw)

5. Tim Ferry (Yam)

6. Chad Reed (Yam)

7. Michael Byrne (Hon)

8. David Vuillemin (Yam)

9. Nick Wey (Yam)

10. Mike Brown (Kaw)

11. Stephane Roncada (Suz)

12. Heath Voss (Yam)

13. Larry Ward (Hon)

14. Damon Huffman (Hon)

15. Ted Campbell (Hon)

16. Ivan Tedesco (Yam)

17. Erick Vallejo (Yam)

18. Ryan Clark (Yam)

19. Ernesto Fonseca (Hon)

20. Daryl Hurley (Suz)


1. James Stewart (Kaw)

2. Andrew Short (Suz)

3. Billy Laninovich (KTM)

4. Chris Gosselaar (Hon)

5. Josh Woods (KTM)

6. Travis Preston (Hon)

7. Danny Smith (Suz)

8. Matt Walker (Kaw)

9. Eric Sorby (Kaw)

10. Tiger Lacey (Yam)

11. Troy Adams (Yam)

12. Sean Hamblin (Suz)

13. Josh Hansen (Yam)

14. Travis Elliott (Yam)

15. Akira Narita (Suz)

16. Bryan McGavran (Suz)

17. Tyler Evans (Suz)

18. Pascal Leuret (KTM)

19. Shane Bess (Suz)

20. Tim Weigand (Hon)

21. Scott Davis (Yam)

22. Steve Mertens (Yam)

250cc THQ Supercross Series Series Standings (After 3 rounds)

1. Ricky Carmichael (65)

2. Chad Reed (62)

3. Ezra Lusk (58)

4. Tim Ferry (56)

5. Sebastien Tortelli (51)

6. David Vuillemin (47)

7. Mike LaRocco (40)

8. Ernesto Fonseca (30)

9. Stephane Roncada (29)

10. Ivan Tedesco (26)

250cc THQ World Supercross GP Series Standings (After 5 rounds)

1. Chad Reed (109)

2. David Vuillemin (103)

3. Tim Ferry (101)

4. Sebastien Tortelli (92)

5. Mike LaRocco (87)

6. Grant Langston (60)

7. Ryan Clark (59)

8. Damon Huffman (51)

9. Keith Johnson (47)

10. Heath Voss (43)

125cc Western Regional Supercross Series Standings (After 3 rounds)

1. James Stewart (72)

2. Travis Preston (62)

3. Andrew Short (54)

4. Danny Smith (50)

5. Billy Laninovich (46)

6. Christopher Gosselaar (45)

7. Matt Walker (34)

8. Sean Hamblin (27)

9. Kevin Johnson (27)

10. Craig Anderson (27)