Carmichael on Top at Red Bud

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
An old saying in the midwestern US goes, "If you don't like the weather, justwait a few minutes." That saying held true this weekend for Round 6 of the AMAMotocross Championships in Buchanan, MI. Saturdays' practice saw sunny skiesandtemperatures in the mid- to high 80s. On Sunday morning for the race, a coldfront swept in, with gusty high winds that dropped the temperature into themid-60s. That made for some drastic changes not only in spectator attire, butalso the riders' technique when approaching Red Bud's huge jumps.

Despite changes in the weather, there were no changes to the top podium spot after each race as Team Kawasaki's Ricky Carmichael continued his dominance with strong 1-1 finishes on the day to take the overall win.

Universal Studios / Honda Racing's Ryan Hughes, aboard his four-stroke CRF450R,shocked the Red Bud crowd by pulling off two consistently strong finishes for asecond place overall finish for the day...

The likeable southern Californianfought hard in the first moto to pass the checkered flag in fifth place. But it wouldbethe second moto that would bring the crowd to their feet. "Ryno" started wellin and, as the laps wore on, began picking off riders methodically whilemaking sure that he kept his mistakes to a minimum. Late in the race, Hugheswasclosing fast on the riders battling up front - Ricky Carmichael and KevinWindham. As the checkered flag fell, Carmichael took the moto win and Hughescrossed the finish line second, with no Windham in sight. Windham had pulledoffon the last lap due to a mechanical failure.

The finish is Ryan Hughes' - and the new four-stroke CRF450R's - best resultso far in the 2001 motocross series. "I've struggled these last two nationals,so I decided to spend a few weeks with Jeff Stanton, working on speed, andlearning to adjust my riding style with the bike a little better. It's beengreat working with Jeff because of his knowledge and commitment, the guy isstill fast on a motorcycle," said a happy Hughes.

Red Bud overall:1. Ricky Carmichael - Kawasaki - 1-12. Ryan Hughes - Honda - 5-23. Stephan Roncada - Kawasaki - 3-44. Ezra Lusk - Honda 9-35. Kevin Windham - Suzuki - 2-13Points Standings:1. Ricky Carmichael - Kawasaki - 2552. Kevin Windham - Suzuki - 2223. Sebastien Tortelli - Honda - 2164. Tim Ferry - Yamaha - 2135. Mike LaRocco - Honda - 210
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