so it continues. Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael has just finished up
the toughest series of his 10-year professional racing career, and once
again he has come out with a championship. It was the fifth AMA
Supercross title for RC since 2001 (he sat out ’04 with a knee injury)
and the 14th major title of his career. He seems to etch another record
into the books every time he’s on the track. But this past weekend, he
announced that this was most likely his last full season of supercross
competition, so it looks as if he won’t be able to break any of the
records set forth by the King of SX, Jeremy McGrath, who has 72 SX wins
and seven AMA championships. But the other records—the motocross
standards and the SX/MX combined laurels—that Ricky has set might be
carved in stone now.
For instance, Carmichael is the only rider in the history of the sport
to have a perfect season—two perfect seasons, actually. He did both in
outdoor motocross, winning all 24 motos throughout the season in 2002
and ‘04. If that’s not enough, he also won every overall last summer,
marking his third undefeated series in AMA motocross.
He now has 10 straight years of winning championships—and they are his first 10 years of racing professionally!
RC is looking for his seventh consecutive AMA Motocross Championship outdoors this season
photo: Simon Cudby
3 125cc National Motocross Champion (1997-’99)
6 AMA Motocross Championships (2000-’05)
5 AMA Supercross Championships (2001-’03, 2005, 2006)
1 World SX GP Championship (2005)
2 Motocross des Nations Championships (2000, 2005)
1 Eastern Region Supercross Championship (1998)
RC currently has 133 race wins (and counting); next closest is Jeremy’s
89 wins – a number that Carmichael has almost matched in outdoor wins
He has yet to fail in a title defense.
And finally, Ricky is the only rider to win SX and MX championships on
three different brands of motorcycles (Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki).
What does it all mean? When he rides off into the sunset, it’s going to
be a long time before anyone reaches his level of success. Think about
it this way: If James Stewart, who has two 125 MX titles, were to ever
reach 14 major titles, he would have to win both the AMA Supercross and
AMA Motocross Nationals every year through 2012 just to match him.
While Stewart certainly has the speed to do it, does he have the
longevity? Beyond James, no other current factory (or full-time) rider
on the AMA circuit has more than one major title right now.
Ricky collects a very well-deserved paycheck for earning the 2006 Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Championship