Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael Podiums at US Open of Supercross

October 17, 2006 8:24am

US Open of Supercross
Las Vegas, NV
MGM Grand
Oct. 13 - 14, 2006

In spite of injuring his shoulder last month, Team Makita Suzuki Racing’s Ricky Carmichael rode his Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 to an impressive second-place overall finish in Friday and Saturday night’s races in the US Open of Supercross at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  Teammate Ivan Tedesco, who missed most of last year’s AMA Motocross season due to injury, brought home a strong seventh-place finish overall.

According to Makita Suzuki Team Manager Roger DeCoster, the RM-Z450 that the team raced incorporated a combination of chassis components from both the 2006 and 2007 bikes.  “We wanted to use this race as a test,” said DeCoster.  “We learned what we needed to learn.”

Added Carmichael:  “I’m glad we raced the new bike.  Now we know where we need to be for the World Supercross GP rounds in Canada.”

On Friday night, the 25-lap main event started off poorly for Carmichael, who went down in turn one.  Despite the mishap, the defending US Open Champion rallied and worked his way up to second place before the race’s end.  Tedesco got a great start and charged hard to an impressive fourth-place finish.

“I just went in to Turn One too fast,” said Carmichael.  “I laid the bike down and I knew I had my work cut out for me.  With the Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, we have a new chassis and a new bike and we made a lot of changes between the heat race and the main.  We made some pretty big adjustments with suspension and geometry.  The thing that disappointed me was that it took me to the main event to get the bike dialed in.”

Added Tedesco, “In my heat race I just lost the front.  But we made a few changes to the Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 before the main that helped me ride it better in the corners.  But my first few laps weren’t great and I made some mistakes.  I’m happy overall, though, with the changes we made to the bike.”

On Saturday night, Tedesco get the holeshot and took the lead before a get-off put him at the back of the pack.  “I got a great start,” said Tedesco.  “But then I lost the front end and I just couldn’t get going again.  But I learned a lot about the bike and I learned a lot about myself.  Now I know what I need to work on, so I’ll go home and come out swinging for the world rounds in Canada.”

Carmichael had tucked in behind Tedesco for the first few laps and then moved up into second place.  The newly crowned Supercross and Motocross Champion was battling for the lead when the first-place rider stalled his bike in front of Carmichael.

“James (Stewart) stalled his bike and I had nowhere to go,” said Carmichael.  “But I surprised myself this weekend, I didn’t expect to do this after hurting my shoulder.  I can’t complain, I’ve been very fortunate and this race gives me a lot of confidence going into the World Supercross rounds.”

Team Makita Suzuki Racing will next contest round one of the 2007 amp’d mobile World Supercross GP at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Dec. 2, 2006.

Ricky Carmichael, Team Makita Suzuki Racing RM-Z450, #4
2nd Place – Friday night, 2nd Place – Saturday  night
2nd Place – Overall US Open

Ivan Tedesco, Team Makita Suzuki Racing RM-Z450, #9
4th Place – Friday night, 8th Place – Saturday  night
7th Place – Overall US Open

Supercross Class Top 10 Finishers:

1. James Stewart, Kawasaki
2. Ricky Carmichael, Team Makita Suzuki Racing
3. Kevin Windham, Honda
4. David Vuillemin, Honda
5. Tim Ferry, Kawasaki
6. Michael Byrne, Kawasaki
7. Ivan Tedesco, Team Makita Suzuki Racing
8. Chad Johnson, Suzuki

9. Cole Siebler, Honda
10. Josh Demuth, Honda

Supercross Lites Class Top 10 Finishers:

1. Josh Grant, Honda
2. Jake Weimer, Honda
3. Chris Gosselaar, Kawasaki
4. Justin Brayton, Yamaha
5. Steve Boniface, Honda
6. Ben Townley, Kawasaki
7. Troy Adams, Suzuki
8. Kelly Smith, Suzuki

9. Thomas Hahn, Honda
10. Sean Collier, Yamaha