you’ve been hiding under a can of premix, you probably know all about
what happened with Ricky Carmichael’s 25-point penalty: The FIM stepped
in, the AMA readjusted the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross points, and then
RC came out at Indianapolis this weekend and won for the second
straight weekend. He’s now one point behind Team Yamaha’s Chad Reed in
the standings and 16 clear of James Stewart (who was extremely fast
again but also fell again in the first turn). We spoke to Ricky
following the race.
|Ricky was having problems in his heat race and was passed and beaten by Stewart|
Racer X: Ricky, things have been so dramatic lately, I don't know where to start!
Ricky Carmichael: I don’t know either after last week. The way the
whole deal went down, to answer one question, I am happy I got the
points back, but I'm still a little upset about the $20,000 fine
because it's still insinuating we did something wrong. The dollar
amount isn’t the problem; it could be 20 cents and I would feel the
same. I stand behind my team. I think we were not in the wrong. I think
it's good for the fans and good for the sport. As far as the other guys
not agreeing with it, I see their side.
People say, “It was only because it was Carmichael
they never would have done that.…” But you know what? I believe they
would have if it would have changed anything in the outcome of their
seasons [Reed in ’04 and Stewart in ’05]. People have forgotten very
quickly that when Chad got his penalty issued, he had a huge cushion in
the points and it didn’t change anything. When Kawi got hit it was the
same deal, James was out and it didn’t change anything in the series
I will say this: When I first heard about the
penalty with Yamaha in 2004, I thought that they were cheating, and I
was wrong. I was at home with my knee injury listening to the races on
my computer like a lot of fans and heard the famous “They were three
times over the limit” and instantly thought that they were cheating. I
was totally wrong, and I apologize.
The other thing that bugs me is that everyone
assumes that I’m getting some special favor from Steve Whitelock or the
AMA. Not true! My conversations with Steve Whitelock in the past two
weeks have been specifically about losing my points last Friday and
getting them back this Friday, and the tone of the 30-second
conversations were not great on either call. I’m probably not on his
buddy list after this whole deal. But now it’s water under the bridge.
You know, it’s been a rough two weeks for me. I
can’t say enough for the fans. The fan support that I got on line and
stuff was just overwhelming. To all you guys, it really made me feel
good and welcome. It’s been a rough two weeks. I'm glad that this race
is over. It’s been hard to enjoy, with the way people have been acting
towards me and the team.
Things are strange with people this weekend?
is usually some commentary or message on RC's patch each week. This
time he wanted to comment on the points fuss without stirring things up
Not so many people, but just a few individuals. It’s a shame, but I
know what kind of people they are. Life goes on. They will realize that
there is more to life than the spur of the moment. I'm pumped for my
team and we're going to work hard and do our best. We have a little
cushion in the FIM series, which is nice, and now I'm back in the hunt
for the U.S. series. I have my goals for the rest of the season. I'm
not going to tell you what it is, but….
You want to win the series by 25 points so everyone will shut up?
No, it isn’t even that. I don’t think that's realistic. There have
already been a few gifts given out at St. Louis, and that’s more than I
wanted to give away. It’s done, and we go on and race. I want to do
some good racing, and may the best man win.
Did you guys all start your practice this weekend like you had
something to prove? It seems people were pretty motivated and hanging
it out right off the bat.
I didn’t. I have my plan every weekend, and I just try to work into it
and do the best I can do. I don’t go haywire right from the get-go.
That doesn’t work for me; I do my normal routine. I haven’t changed. I
think the other guys—definitely Chad—have a point to prove in practice.
He has really stepped up his game there. But I really shined in the
main event. I also wish James would have gotten a better start. I would
have liked to have done battle. He was riding really well tonight.
You gave him a lot of credit in the press conference and said he's
riding faster. Do you want to go 20 laps side-by-side with him?
Yeah. I want to go 20 laps side-by-side like we did at Anaheim and San
Diego. I gained a lot of respect for him in those good battles. He
raced clean and no need to do anything stupid. I'm pumped with the way
we have raced together. I respect him for that.
I see on Mike Gosselaar’s pit board that he puts your lap time on it and James' below it. Do you watch those during a race?
Yeah, we were back and forth. He would inch up on me a little here and
there. I'm just pumped on the win and happy [the points fuss] is over.
Mentally, I'm sick of it. I'm disappointed, happy … I don’t know what
sound more like yourself this weekend. Last week you were pretty
outspoken in the press conference and in our interview. That was the
first time I heard you just let go of a series. Now it’s back.
|RC's mechanic, Mike Gosselaar, gives Ricky his and Stewart's lap times. RC's is at the top; James' is below.|
It’s been a damn roller-coaster. Like I said, I still have a lot of
work ahead of me. I had a bad problem in St. Louis, and it ain’t over
yet. I still have a lot of work ahead of me. I'm approaching it now
just like I did when I went into Atlanta. At last week’s press
conference, I felt like I needed to stand up for myself and for my
team, so I might have come off a little harsh, but we were accused of
something that should not have ever gotten that far.
Do you still have that Daytona track at home? You going to be ready?
Yeah, I've been riding quite a bit and testing a little more. Since we
changed our spring on our bike—since my titanium spring broke—we've
been fighting it a little bit, so I'm looking forward to testing and
getting it better.
Thanks for the time, and good luck in Daytona.