Monster Energy’s Ricky Carmichael Opens Outdoor National Title Defense at HangtownWednesday, May 17, 2006 | 5:25 AM
All-time winningest motocross racer back in his favorite element –
the harsh, unforgiving high speed world of outdoor motocross
CARLSBAD, Calif., (May 16, 2006) – Monster Energy’s Ricky
Carmichael (Suzuki) rides into the 38th annual Honda Hangtown
Classic, presented by Off-Road Outlets and Dan Gamel RV this weekend on a high note, having just won the 2006 Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series two Saturdays ago at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium.
Normally Carmichael wouldn’t really rely on the momentum of an
overall supercross championship. After all, the racer who dethroned
the King of Supercross – Jeremy McGrath – has never professed to
be a great supercross racer. He has, however, with his racing alone
laid claim to being the greatest motocross racer ever.
Carmichael has won the last six consecutive AMA 250 class titles on three different brands (Kawasaki, Honda and Suzuki). Prior to that
the Havana, Fla., native won three AMA 125 class titles. So, since
1997 Carmichael is undefeated in outdoor championship title runs – a record that no other modern day motorsports athlete even comes close to matching on either two or four wheels.
This summer may be one of Carmichael’s most challenging to date as another fast Floridian, James Stewart, returns for his sophomore year on the AMA Motocross class tour.
Last summer Stewart took a savage beating at the hands of Carmichael. This was partly due to the bike Stewart was riding, sporting a now out-of-date 250cc two stroke engine that has since been replaced by the mighty 450cc four stroke. The decided power disadvantage Stewart suffered last summer had him finish in 12th place overall – his worst finish in four years as a pro. Carmichael on the other hand was dominant, sweeping all 12 rounds of the Outdoor Nationals for the third time in his career (2002, ’04).
“I hope people realize how special of an athlete Carmichael is,”
said Ed Santin of the Dirt Diggers North Motorcycle Club, producers
and promoters of the Hangtown round. “At Hangtown fans will be
witnessing the motocross equivalent to legends like Ali, Jordan, Pele
and Gretzky. There is no other athlete in our sport that has
accomplished with motocross what Carmichael has. No one’s even
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Australian Dean Ferris hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of his legendary countrymen. Now contesting the FIM Grand Prix series, he made a huge impression at the Motocross of Nations. Page 138.