We kick off the new season on January 7, 2006, in the very familiar Angel Stadium—a stadium that the riders will visit twice in the month of January, with the third and final visit coming February 4. The other two weeks of January will take the riders to Phoenix, Arizona, and San Francisco, California. January 2005 was a good month for RC photo: Simon Cudby
So what do the January results mean when May rolls around? How important is the first quarter of the season? Let’s take a look at the past champions of this millennium and see how they fared in January.
Carmichael held a 16-point lead over Kevin Windham and was well on his way to the title. In fact, when all was said and done, RC held a 25-point lead, never losing the cushion he built for himself in January.
January 2005 was a good month for RC
photo: Simon Cudby
With RC out and James Stewart still riding a 125, Reed was a heavy favorite for the title. He held a 13-point lead over Kevin Windham as the calendar flipped; Reed was nine points ahead at the end of the season, though it shouldn’t have been nearly that close. (Reed was docked 25 points for a fuel violation at Dallas, the penultimate race of 2004).
The then-Honda-mounted Carmichael was in first with a six-point lead over Chad Reed, but he only won the title by seven points, which once again shows you how important January can be!
Carmichael was fourth place in points here—a full 30 behind leader David Vuillemin of Team Yamaha. RC had started his Honda career on his head at Anaheim, but he came roaring back at the end of January. As for Cobra 12, David crashed during a photo shoot and had to sit out Daytona, losing 25 of the 30-point cushion he’d built for himself in January.
This was an important January for RC, as well as the last month of Jeremy McGrath’s on-track supercross reign. The Kawasaki-mounted RC would not lose another race while finishing out the SX season; MC has not won a main since.