Ricky Carmichael tops Chad Reed to win the third and final Anaheim SX of 2006. It was the Suzuki-mounted Carmichael's second Anaheim win of '06, as well as the last of his career, as RC would go into part-time mode in '07, riding limited races as he wound down his career. He nevertheless finished second at the '07 season-opener. All told, the GOAT won Anaheim a total of eight times. That matches Jeremy McGrath's record of eight wins, but it's the House That Jeremy Built because he had much fewer chances to rack up the Anaheim wins. There was only one Anaheim in 1993-'96 and McGrath won all four of them, then there was no Anaheim in '97 and '98 due to stadium reconstruction. He then won two out of three in both '00 and '01, giving him the definitive edge as the King of Anaheim.
McGrath will play a big part in the 2006 Anaheim 3 SX as well. In what will turn out to be his second-to-last AMA Supercross race ever, the seven-time champion gets taken out by Kawasaki’s James Stewart in what was the second of Stewart’s three main-event crashes. Stewart had gone down on the inside of the first turn off the start. Up to 13th after just a lap, Stewart still had podium aspirations, but he came in hot on McGrath and clean the King of Supercross out.
“I was all right until he blatantly killed me,” said a very angry McGrath afterward to Cycle News’ dean of race reporting Kit Palmer. “I was turning the corner, and I just got so late-nailed. What are you going to do? He didn’t slide, there are tire marks on my radiator shroud and my forks, so it’s pretty blatant—obviously he’s not championship material yet, or he wouldn’t have even thought about doing something like that. It was an idiotic move.”
Explained Stewart of his side of things, “I was going through the corner; I was taking it—I thought I had the corner the whole way, riding a little high—when I came down McGrath was there and we came together.”
Stewart’s problems weren’t over, and he would crash a third time on what was indeed a bad night. He would finish eighth. McGrath fared even worse—16th place—but he had one more race to get even with Stewart, and he would take it if he got the chance—and he would take it in the San Diego heat race! That’s next week.
The winner of the Lites class at Anaheim 3 ’06 was Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Grant Langston, giving him two of the three Anaheim wins for this year. Honda’s Andrew Short and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi would finish second and third.
Honda's Jeremy McGrath wins another at the Kingdome in Seattle, this time over Kawasaki factory rider Mike LaRocco and Noleen/Sizzler Yamaha's Larry Ward, the hometown favorite. It's McGrath's fourth straight win in a streak that will reach five the following weekend in San Diego. But it's when the streak finally ended where it gets interesting: McGrath will be asked to wear the ESPN helmet cam at the Atlanta Georgia Dome. He hesitates at first because in those pre-GoPro, pre-Garmin, Pre-POV camera days, wearing the helmet cam meant wearing a knapsack to hold the camera and its battery, as well as the recording device. It weighed a couple pounds and was known to be cumbersome. MC wore it in Atlanta and ended up giving the world a first-hand look of what it's like to jump a double in early traffic and run into the back of Michael Craig! After that no one would wear the "unlucky" camera for some time.
Back to Seattle '95. The winner of the 125 Class is Damon Huffman aboard a Suzuki RM125, followed by Ryan Hughes and Craig Decker.
Team Honda's Ricky Johnson wins the the opening night of the Seattle Kingdome doubleheader, at the onset of what will be his last great run as a professional. Suzuki's Ronnie Tichenor finishes a career-best second-place. The 20th place finisher is a Texas privateer named Danny Storbeck. He is the rider that will later on tangle with Johnson at the Gatorback National and end this hot streak for the seven-time champion, and inadvertently begin the downside of RJ's career. The riders who will benefit the most from the looming run in between Johnson and Storbeck—RJ's Honda understudies Jeff Stanton and Jean-Michel Bayle—will finish fourth and fifth, respectively.
At last year's Oakland Supercross, Monster Energy Kawasaki's Eli Tomac took the win over Red Bull KTM's Ryan Dungey, with Yamaha factory rider Cooper Webb third. It was the second win in a row for Tomac after starting the series with 5-6-8 finishes in the first three rounds. Dungey, the series points leader, was on the podium at each of the first five rounds. And for Webb, the 450 class rookie, Oakland '17 was his one and only podium of the series.
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Justin Hill won the 250 class over Rockstar Husqvarna's Martin Davalos and TLD KTM rider Shane McElrath.