PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 8, 2006) -- Ricky Carmichael announced earlier this year that the 2006 season would likely be his last as a full-time rider. That means this Sunday, Aug. 13, at the Toyota AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF, fans at the Honda Spring Creek National presented by Scott USA in Millville, Minn., may have the final opportunity to watch the all-time winningest rider in AMA racing history.
Carmichael will be shooting for his seventh straight AMA Motocross win at Millville. The Makita Suzuki rider from Tallahassee, Fla., has never lost a Motocross class race at Spring Creek. Carmichael may face his biggest challenge yet at Millville in the form of the surging Kawasaki ace James Stewart. Carmichael and Stewart are coming off of one of the best battles ever between the two at the event two weeks ago in Washougal, Wash. Stewart came out on top after the two raced wheel to wheel for much of both motos, with Carmichael winning the first, but suffering a crash in the second moto.
For Stewart his second victory of the season was a great comeback from an injury-plagued season.
Yamaha’s Chad Reed is second in the standings to Carmichael. Like Stewart, he has been battling injuries and the two weeks between Washougal and Millville should benefit the hard-charging Australian. He would love to give Yamaha its first Millville National win since 1994. AMA Motocross class rookie Davi Millsaps has scored four podium finishes leading up to Millville and has finished as high as second. He’ll be another rider to watch this weekend as will fellow Honda rider Kevin Windham.
The race for the championship couldn’t get much tighter than it is in the AMA Motocross Lites. Red Bull KTM rider Mike Alessi held the series lead, lost it, and won it back again after earning his seventh podium in eight starts two weeks ago. Ryan Villopoto had a tough time at Washougal and lost the series lead after the motor on his Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki failed in the first moto. Even though he lost the series lead, Villopoto is only three points back to Alessi in the standings, so a victory at Spring Creek MX Park would put him back on top in the standings.
Making a late-season charge to get back in title contention is Honda’s Andrew Short. Short, the defending Motocross Lites class winner at Millville is coming off a strong victory in Washington, where he swept both motos. A repeat win this Sunday could put Short right back in the hunt for the class title.
Millville also annually marks the pro debut of many of the nation’s leading amateur motocross racers. The anticipation was intense when Mike Alessi made his pro debut at the track. This year will be no exception as the top racers will come straight from the amateur national championships at the Loretta Lynn Ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to Millville. 2006 AMA Horizon Award winner Josh Hill, will debut for Yamaha in Motocross Lites.
Spring Creek Motocross Park has been hosting AMA Motocross Championship races since 1983. Over the years owner and operators John and Greta Martin have manicured their racetrack into one of the leading motocross facilities in the country. The races will be shown nationally on OLN. The Motocross class will air on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 3:00 p.m. eastern, while Millville’s Motocross Lites action can be seen on Monday, Aug. 21 at 4:00 p.m.
For more information on the Honda Spring Creek National call (507) 753-2779. Tickets are available at Bob’s Cycle Supply in St. Paul, River Valley Power & Sport in Red Wing and Rochester and Cycle City in Rochester.
WHAT: Honda Spring Creek National presented by Scott USA, round nine of the 12-round Toyota AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF.
WHERE: Spring Creek Motocross Park, follow Hwy 52 to Zumbrota, on south side of Zumbrota take the Hwy 60 East, exit to Zumbro Falls, follow Hwy 60 East - 21 miles to Cty. Rd. 11, turn right onto Cty. Rd. 11 - all park entrances are on right side of Cty. Rd. 11.
WHEN: Aug. 12-13, 2006
COURSE: 1.2 miles (approx.) hard pack and soft dirt, some sand.
2005 WINNERS: AMA Motocross: Ricky Carmichael (Suzuki). AMA Motocross Lites: Andrew Short (Honda).
SCHEDULE: Saturday (Aug. 12) - Pro practice, 1:00-3:25 p.m.., Pre-qualifiers 4:05 p.m.; Sunday (Aug. 13) - Practice, 9:00-10:30 a.m. Qualifying, 10:45 a.m. Opening Ceremonies, 12:30 p.m. Final events start at 1:00 p.m. with two 30-minute, plus two lap motos for each class.
TICKETS: Ticket prices at on-site box office for day-of sales. $40 (Saturday & Sunday) with kids 6-12 $20 or $30 (Sunday only) with kids 6-12 $15. Tickets for kids ages 5 and under are free. Gates open on Wednesday 5 to 10 p.m. and Thursday thru Sunday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. All advance tickets are $5 off.