Suzuki's Ricky Carmichael raced to his fifth win of the season - and second victory in a row - at Saturday night's Indianapolis Supercross, to close to within one point of the AMA Supercross series lead.
Honda's Ernesto Fonseca earned his first $1,500 Progressive Direct Holeshot Award of the season at the start of the main event, with reigning World Supercross GP/AMA Supercross champion Carmichael in close pursuit.
However, Kawasaki's James Stewart - arguably Carmichael's biggest title rival - fell in turn one, leaving him last, while AMA championship leader Chad Reed completed the opening corner in sixth.
Carmichael then passed Fonseca for the lead on lap 2 and pulled away from the field with ease, while Stewart worked into second place on lap 10 - but was unable to catch Carmichael.
Reed passed Honda's Nick Wey for third place late in the race and was able to hold onto his AMA Supercross points lead, but with Carmichael - who already leads the 2006 World SX GP series - now breathing down his neck.
"To be honest, it was pretty uneventful for me. I got a really good start on my Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and then I got up front and I just tried to keep an eye on Chad Reed and James Stewart and mark them on the track. Then I just tried to do the best that I could and put in some good laps," said RC.
The Indianapolis victory follows the announcement that Carmichael regained the 25 points that he'd lost when the AMA penalised him for use of illegal fuel at the recent San Diego round. The AMA rescinded the points penalty earlier in the week.
"I'm happy to get the points back," said Carmichael. "Now I have a chance at the Championship. I think that this experience will help everyone in the long run and as the defending champion, I want to help the sport."
This week, the AMA riders travel to Florida to prepare for next weekend's race at Daytona International Speedway. For Carmichael - and arch rival Stewart - it is a home event which both is eager to win.