CARLSBAD, Calif., (May 21, 2007) – Monster Energy-backed Ricky Carmichael (Makita/Suzuki) proved to everyone he’s still the best motocross racer on the planet, winning the opening round of the 2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship in spectacular fashion with a come-from-behind 2-1 moto victory over rival James Stewart (Monster Energy/Kawasaki) at Prairie City SVRA Park, aka “Hangtown.”
Prior to Sunday’s race there was much speculation if Carmichael, who took more than half the supercross season off to focus on his new family (twins) and budding auto racing career, was ready to hang with Stewart – who was carrying a TON of momentum into the Hangtown opener. The two put together an exciting first moto, highlighted by a Carmichael crash that handed the lead over to Stewart – and subsequent Carmichael chase of Stewart that had the 25,000-plus in attendance going bananas.
“That was fun. I hope the fans had as good of a time watching as we did racing,” said Carmichael. “We’ll pretty much be able to count on that kind of racing for the first five rounds.”
With his back to the wall in the second moto Carmichael came out swinging, building a lead on Stewart that might have forced a couple mistakes from Carmichael’s fellow Floridian as Stewart hit the ground on two occasions. Carmichael would end up winning the second moto by sizable time, which gave him the overall victory.
The win for Carmichael was the 91st of his career on the Outdoor National circuit and his seventh at the fabled Hangtown track.
Next up for Carmichael is the running of this weekend’s Monster Energy/Kawasaki High Point National in Mt. Morris, Pa., Round Two of the 2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship.