AURORA, Ill. (January 23, 2006) – Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael made a statement last Saturday (Jan. 21) at Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series in Anaheim, beating upstart James Stewart in an epic battle that reminded fans and media alike that the sport’s all-time win leader is not done fighting.
Kawasaki’s Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., opened the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP season with two decisive victories in Canada before returning to the States for a runaway win at Anaheim as the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series got underway. Stewart’s early season wins forced Carmichael and Yamaha’s Chad Reed, of Dade City, Fla., to go back to the drawing board to find more speed.
“I definitely didn’t want to believe (that the series was over),” explained Carmichael, who now totals 42 Supercross wins and 129 combined in supercross/motocross. “I felt like I had a chance and I had my reasons for why I didn’t do good, but he’s brought it to a new level. Me and Chad had to step it up and we all knew that. It’s definitely not over. It gets harder with time.”
More so than in any other form of racing, Amp’d Mobile Supercross seems to be about momentum and, in recent history, the rider that has it is usually at an advantage. Four times since 2000, the first rider to win two events in a season went on to the championship, three of those being Carmichael. So with Carmichael now on the winning track, what does this do to Stewart and his confidence?
“My confidence is the same as it was in Vancouver and Toronto, even Anaheim,” said Stewart. ”I felt like I’ve been giving these things away. A fall in the first corner last week didn’t help … and a fall again (in Anaheim) when I’m front. It’s a long season and I realize that. There’s no need to hit the panic button, its not like (Carmichael) got around me and beat me by 10 seconds. I felt like I was up there and we had a great race.”
Add Reed, who is a perennial slow starter but has two consecutive second place finishes, to the mix and there are literally three riders with a shot to win on any given weekend.
As the series’ head North for this Saturday’s (Jan. 28) race at SBC Park in San Francisco, Stewart holds a one-point lead on Carmichael in the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP standings, while Carmichael leads Reed by four points in the domestic Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series.
This year’s race marks the fourth time supercross has visited the stadium normally occupied by MLB’s Giants. Carmichael has two wins in 2003 & 2005, with Reed picking up with victory in 2004 while Carmichael sat out the season with a knee injury. Stewart, who missed last year’s race with a broken arm, won in his only visit in 2003 in the AMA Lites division, then known as the 125cc class.
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.