You can’t call Ricky Carmichael a lame duck in the Toyota AMA
Motocross Series. Even though this is his last full season and he has a
good points lead over his rival James Stewart due to Stewart’s hard
crash at High Point, he won’t settle for second, not even for a moto.
Yesterday, RC could have backed it down and let Stewart go—he could do
that for most of the summer!—but he didn’t. James was back to his
unreal speed at Southwick, even though he had trouble walking due to
his injured leg. The two had great battles in both motos, with the best
part being a second-moto do-or-die launch off the finish-line jump past
Stewart, where RC was so far back on the bike off the face of the jump
that he couldn’t shut off and, at full race speed, he flew past Stewart
in the air with both feet off the pegs!
|RC lets off some steam after his first-moto crash by kidding around with announcer Rob Buydos |
RC won the overall, but true to his reputation, he was hard on himself
for making a mistake in the first moto that cost him the moto win. He
took the overall with a 2-1.
: So, Ricky, two wins in a row. How does it feel?
Ricky Carmichael: Yeah, well…. The win was great. Until that last lap,
I thought it was basically going to be a scratch weekend, as far as
points go. I just hate to make stupid mistakes like that first moto.
You can’t do that at his level. That really just bummed my weekend out
You said in the press conference you like G’d out in a dip and just flipped over.
are really getting their money's worth at the nationals this summer. RC
and Stewart race clean and are totally hanging it out. |
There was a section of the track that was really whooped out. You kind
of had to keep the front end light. I was doing that and got a really
good drive. I was carrying some good speed and my shock blew through
and I just high-sided. That just bummed my weekend out right there. It
was going all to plan until that stupid mistake right there.
The second moto was okay for you?
Yeah, the second moto was good. James and I got out to a 1-2 start, and
I tried to make a couple of moves there at the beginning but never
could make it stick. I just wanted to get by so I didn’t get in his
rhythm. I wanted a clear track. It took me a few laps, but I was just
kind of laying back and picking a spot where I could make an effort and
get on by. I did get by and he tried to drive it in a few times, but
there were no problems. No contact was made, so that was nice. He
definitely was not cutting me any slack, and I was not cutting him any
either. It was a great race. I got a gift there at the end. I guess we
both got gifts. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am for myself and
for the team. It was my stupid mistake. Something like that does not
need to happen.
Were you surprised how strong Stewart was after all we heard about his hurt leg and how he could hardly ride?
|Lap after lap, neither rider wanted to let up |
You hear so much stuff, I don’t know what to believe. All I know is he
was riding good all weekend. That’s why I don’t get on the internet and
read anything. I believe it when I show up to that gate and we put in
laps on the motocross track. He was strong today. Everything was going
pretty much as planned until that slip-up.
Your points situation is looking good right now and we are just three races into this season.
Yeah, on James I have some pretty good points built up. But Reedy is
right there. I can’t slack up. We need to improve a little bit. I feel
that there are some areas where I need to improve, to be a little
faster and to make it a little bit easier for me.
When you got by in that second moto, were you thinking, Okay, time for another Hangtown second moto—time to lay down some wood?
Nah, when I went by, I just thought, I'm going to make it stick.
I'm going to get with it. I felt really strong the second moto.
When you made that spectacular pass over the finish line, were you
thinking High Point, second moto last year, when you launched and
flat-landed to pass James?
|Carmichael lets it all hang out - and off - over the finish-line jump |
I don’t know if it was really flat-landed. It was kind of what I
did here last year before I fell, but the opposite way. For some
reason, I was off the back of the bike because I was trying to get a
good drive off the jump. I couldn’t chop off the throttle because I was
so far back.
Do you feel like you're on a farewell tour? We don’t talk or hear about it much.
Yeah, kinda. Definitely though, I am not losing any motivation.
It’s almost easier for me to stay motivated because I know it’s pretty
much my last full season. It’s easy to stay motivated to keep on going
for nine more races. That’s not too much to ask.
See you in a week for round four.
All right, thanks.