Stewart Builds Momentum as Amp’d Mobile Supercross Returns to PhoenixTuesday, January 10, 2006 | 6:37 AM
But Carmichael, Reed and other elite riders will play factor in the outcome
AURORA, Ill. (January 9, 2006) – As the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series prepares for its annual visit to Chase Field in Phoenix on Jan. 14, Kawasaki’s James Stewart finds himself atop the point standings after three decisive wins in the season’s three opening races.
Stewart’s torrid start has left series rivals Ricky Carmichael and Chad Reed trying to find a way to stop this 20-year-old’s momentum and get themselves into the winner’s circle. Both riders have challenged Stewart numerous times, including the epic three-man battle waged last Saturday at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. In the main event, each rider would spend time in the lead, with four lead changes from lap five to 10, before Stewart took control down the stretch and cruised to victory.
“I need to be consistent this season and one way to do that is to be patient and let each race come to me and don’t try and do too much,” said Stewart, who rides a Kawasaki and resides in Haines City, Fla. “It’s a long season and anything can happen so I’ll just go home and continue to train and get ready for Phoenix.”
Carmichael, of Havana, Fla., hopes to get his Suzuki back on the winning side, something he has accomplished three times in Phoenix, the most for any rider in the 12 years the series has visited the popular desert town. He has matched Stewart’s speed in all three races but hasn’t been able to climb to the top for a variety of reasons.
“I think my speed has been pretty good but I either haven’t gotten a good start or, like last week, I make a mistake and it ends up costing me,” said Carmichael, who at 127 career wins and 14 national titles is the sport’s winningest rider of all-time. “I’m close and I feel like the changes are minimal for me to get this thing going. I like racing in Phoenix and I hope that’s the race I use to kick start my season.”
Yamaha’s Reed, of Dade City, Fla., has a story similar to that of Carmichael: Talent and speed just hasn’t transferred to the win column. Reed, who finished second at Anaheim, actually posted the fastest lap time last week but wasn’t able to hold off Stewart. He is an accomplished supercross rider and a notorious late starter, but is a legitimate threat at the title with 23 career supercross wins under his belt and the 2004 AMA Supercross and 2003 World Supercross championships on his resume.
Stewart holds an 11 point lead over Carmichael, and 13 over Reed, in the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP standings heading into this weekend’s race in Phoenix, which can be heard live on the internet via the web cast on www.supercross.cc.com or on the next-day telecast on SPEED, Sunday, 6 p.m. (EST).
For more information about the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, please log on to www.supercross.cc.com. For media requests, please contact Denny Hartwig at 630-566-6305 or e-mail at [email protected]