Team Red Bull KTM HMC’s Ben Carlson was crowned 2006 AMA Supermoto Unlimited champion following an unpredictable and hard-fought title fight on Sunday evening at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.
We had a great day at the season’s finale. Our host, Team Red Bull KTM HMC, won the Unlimited Championship with Benny Carlson. Jeff Ward won the 450 class for Team Troy Lee Design. If you get a chance checkout all the action at HMCRacing.com and make sure you get to a race in 2007!
– Thunder Bob
Carlson, who came into the finale with a slim four-point advantage, did exactly what he needed to in California. First he showed his speed by claiming the pole and then he ran a heady race to finish runner-up behind the defending class champion, Micky Dymond, and secure the title.
Following the once-red flagged and restarted race, the Wisconsinite said, â€œIt feels good. Itâ€™s been a hectic couple of weeks. We just rode smart. Thereâ€™s nothing like it; you work so hard to get a championship and we finally got one.
â€œI set pole, which was good. I knew I had the speed if I needed it in the race. The first start of the race was hectic so after the restart I just rode smart and consistent. Mickey kind of got away and you know what? I was like, â€˜Go for it. Iâ€™m just going to ride my own race and just have a lot of fun and win the championship.’â€?
Carlsonâ€™s chief rival, Team GP Husqvarnaâ€™s David Baffeleuf, suffered a disastrous outing, struggling to run the necessary pace and then suffering misfortune while working lap 7 of 10, dropping from fourth to an eventual 17th.
Baffeleufâ€™s poor result combined with Dymondâ€™s win elevated the Californian to second place over the Frenchman in the final point standings.
It was a difficult day all around for the factory Husqvarna team. Australian hotshot Troy Herfoss got tangled with teammate Alex Thiebault in a scary first corner incident. Herfoss and a corner worker struck by a bike were transported to a nearby hospital. A bike also hit a fence and banged into a spectator, who was treated and released on site.
Dymondâ€™s third victory of the season drew him even with new champ Carlson and title contender Baffeleuf in the seasonâ€™s wins tally. The exiting class king was gracious after passing his crown on to the up-and-coming Carlson. â€œBenny earned the championship and he was stellar many times this year. I really just came here hoping I could get a win and it happened. It was a great day and it was a good year. We even slipped into second in the championship and thatâ€™s another bonus.
â€œMy strategy was just to get a good jump. The first one wasnâ€™t so great but I got the restart just right. Iâ€™ve had two starts like that all year and I won both races. I just got out front and it clicked. I had a really good, smooth rhythm and it was easy.â€?
Kurt Nicoll, the 2004 AMA Supermoto Unlimited champion, finished third to complete an all-Unlimited KTM champion podium on Sunday.
BP Racingâ€™s Henry Wiles took an impressive fourth, followed by Joker Machine QTMâ€™s Justin Ross.
KTMHutt.comâ€™s Cory Gabbert, Red Baron Racingâ€™s Alex McElyea, SC Racingâ€™s Nick Daniels, Loire Racing Aero PA Husabergâ€™s Mike Bergman, and Hart & Huntington Tattooâ€™s Donald Wanat rounded out the top ten.
Sourced AMA Supermoto
Larry Lawrence & Chris Martin