450 Words: Millville

August 13, 2007 2:14pm
This feature is called “450 words” because it’s about the 450, er, AMA Motocross class. But it would take all 450 words just to list the races that Ricky Carmichael has won over the years: the Anaheim Supercross (nearly a dozen times), the Southwick National (what, 10 times?), the Millville National (a whole bunch). In his extraordinary career, RC has done everything we as a sport and an industry could ask for. Now it’s pretty much over—he has the Motocross of Nations, maybe the Rockstar U.S. Open of Supercross, and the Paris-Bercy Supercross. He’s won AMA races 150 times, plus several Motocross of Nations, an X Games gold medal—pretty much everything in sight.
Now he’s done. The masterpiece that was his career his over, and we as a sport will likely never see another rider as dominant and as consistent as this man was. He’s not racing Steel City—the race my family promotes—and I am not the least bit disappointed. He started his pro career there in 1996, and all the times he’s come back and delivered (and at High Point and every other national too) gives him the right to push his way through the exit doors whenever and however the hell he wants.

That said, I can only imagine the conversation that took place last night in the Makita Suzuki truck after the race between RC and The Man, Roger DeCoster. Carmichael has raced in 6 of the 9 rounds of the 2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Series and won every time. Even sitting out six motos, he’s just 20 points behind the tie for the lead that exists between Tim Ferry and Andrew Short. He could win this title if he wanted to, and DeCoster and everyone else knows it. RC already has 10 championships, and he literally has no more fingers on his hands for AMA Motocross championship rings. Still, Suzuki must know it could be a long time before they get a man like this under their awning.

But RC stepped out of the truck, grabbed himself a cold one and said “it’s over.” The Man came out smiling too. Roger knows what it means to ride off into the sunset with a 1-1 performance: He himself did it at the 1980 Luxembourg 500cc Grand Prix. Now RC has done it too.

So four men are within 19 points of this championship: Ferry and Short, Grant Langston and Mike Alessi. Twenty-one points back is James Stewart, still a question mark after his Washougal knee injury. How’s it all going to turn out? I have my hunches, but I am going to sit back with everyone else and just enjoy what’s turned into a thrilling championship run that could still go any one of six different ways.

See you at Steel City!