Carmichael and Stewart Set for Rubber Match at Anaheim III

February 1, 2006 12:48pm

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (February 1, 2006) – Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart have one win apiece at Angel Stadium so far in this year’s Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series. On Saturday, Feb. 4, the two riders will have an opportunity to settle the score as to who is the 2006 King of Anaheim, as the three-act drama in front of an expected 40,000-plus fans at Angel Stadium comes to a close.

Kawasaki’s Stewart took the first win at Anaheim I on Jan. 7, to open the 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series. Defending champ Carmichael then rode his factory Makita Suzuki to victory in Anaheim II on Jan. 21. Only two points separate series leader Carmichael from Stewart. Whoever manages to win at Angel Stadium will have a slight edge as the series moves on to San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium on Feb. 11. Of course, Yamaha’s Chad Reed is hoping to have his breakthrough win this weekend as are a host of other top riders including Ivan Tedesco, Mike LaRocco and Michael Byrne.

Stewart closed the gap on Carmichael with a victory in the rain drenched San Francisco Supercross last Saturday. Stewart and Carmichael battled for the lead much of the race in spite of the treacherous conditions. It was Stewart coming out victorious to earn his second win of the season in the AMA series. Reed, who was second in the series standings going into San Francisco, dropped to third with a fifth-place result last week. The Australian will have some work to do this weekend to close the points margin on the two series leaders.

“I think Ricky and I have been on the same pace at almost every race this year,” said Stewart after winning in San Francisco’s SBC Park. “I think it’s going to come down to whoever is the smartest over the course of the entire season. Even though I was slipping and sliding everywhere in San Francisco I never felt like I was pushing it at all. Every time I heard the crowd roaring I figured Ricky had either crashed or was right back on me. I looked back and there he was. It was a great race and I think we’ll be taking this battle to every round this year.”

While Stewart was thrilled with his San Francisco victory, Carmichael sounded happy to survive the mud race.

“I was just happy to escape San Francisco without a crash,” Carmichael said. “I look forward to moving on to Anaheim III and hopefully getting back into another dry race. I might have been able to take some risks and go for the win in San Francisco, but I didn’t feel it was worth it where I might have taken myself and James out of the race. So I met my goal of staying on two wheels and getting out of there with the points lead.”

A surprise podium finisher last weekend in San Francisco was Nick Wey. It marked Wey’s first AMA Supercross podium result and moved him up to fourth in the series standings.

“I feel like I’ve been working hard and Randy Lawrence has been helping me,” Wey said. “My next step is to have this kind of ride on a dry track. I’m excited to be up here with the best riders in the world and I want to put myself in a position to finish in the top five in the series.”

Nathan Ramsey has overcome a poor opening round performance and charged back to take the lead in the AMA Supercross Lites West Series with a win, his second this season, Saturday in San Francisco. The Red Bull KTM rider took a close win over Brett Metcalfe. Ramsey’s teammate, Mike Alessi, who is riding in his first season of AMA Supercross, scored his first podium in the series last week and hopes to keep his momentum going in Anaheim III.

Anaheim III will receive tape-delayed coverage on SPEED Channel starting at 5:00 pm Eastern on Sunday, Feb. 5.

Tickets are available at the Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, all participating Yamaha Dealers or charge by phone at 213-480-3232 or 714-740-2000. There is also family fun section available at Angel Stadium. When ordering tickets through, request the Family Section for an alcohol-free family atmosphere.