CARMICHAEL ON A ROLL COMING INTO ANANEHIM III
PICKERINGTON, Ohio - After a somewhat shaky start to his championship title defense Ricky Carmichael comes into round five of the 16-race AMA Supercross Series this Saturday, Feb. 1, in Anaheim's Edison Field, back on top and riding with momentum on his side. After crashing his factory No. 4 Honda in the first two races of the season, Carmichael has rallied and won two-straight races and holds a six-point lead over Yamaha's Chad Reed. Carmichael's victory last week in San Francisco's Pacific Bell Park made him the first two-time race winner this season. Reed and Ezra Lusk are the others who have won on the circuit so far this season. Reed finished a distant second in San Francisco after suffering a poor start. Already Carmichael and Reed are starting to put some distance in the series standings on the rest of the field. Reed's teammate Tim Ferry is in third, 16-points down to Carmichael.
After winning so convincingly last weekend, Carmichael seems to be gaining in confidence. "I feel like I am getting a little stronger now," said Carmichael, who, with his 28th-career victory, moved into a tie with Rick Johnson for second on the all-time AMA Supercross wins list. "I am coming back around a getting to where I was at the end of last year."
Reed is keeping the championship chase interesting with a good recovery in San Francisco after crashing at Anaheim II two weeks ago. The Aussie actually turned the fastest lap of the race last week trying to catch Carmichael and is still confident that he can give Carmichael a serious run for the title. "I am on a bike I feel comfortable on," said Reed, who is in his first full season in the main AMA Supercross Series after winning the 125 East Region last year. "I wanted to be in the 250 class. This is where I dreamed of being and want to be." While Carmichael and Reed continue to do battle in the main 250cc class, Kawasaki's James Stewart has already opened up a commanding 25-point lead over Travis Preston and Andrew Short in the AMA 125 West Supercross Series. Last week in San Francisco, Stewart demolished the rest of the 20-rider field, winning by almost 24-seconds over Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Matt Walker. Another example of the 17-year-old Stewart's supremacy last week was shown in his race lap times, which were nearly a full second faster than the next fastest rider. Stewart's three-race winning streak coming into Anaheim III is the longest in 125 West competition since Ernesto Fonseca won three straight in 2001. This Saturday's race is the final of three AMA Supercross events at Edison International Field this year. It is the only venue on the tour in 2003 that hosts more than one race.
<pre> AMA SUPERCROSS SERIES SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Edison International Field, Anaheim, CA
FRIDAY JANUARY 31, 2003 1:00 pm - 1:10 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 1:13 pm - 1:23 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B 1:26 pm - 1:41 pm - 250 Factory Riders Practice 1:44 pm - 1:59 pm - 125 Factory Riders Practice 2:02 pm - 2:12 pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 2:15 pm - 2:25 pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B 2:40 pm - 2:50 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 2:53 pm - 3:03 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B 3:06 pm - 3:21 pm - 250 Factory Riders Practice 3:25 pm - 3:40 pm - 125 Factory Riders Practice 3:43 pm - 3:53 pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 3:56 pm - 4:06pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B * if less than 40 Riders, Group A & B will be combined
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1 , 2003 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm - 125 Practice 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm - 250 Practice 2:15 pm - 2:45 pm - Track Maintenance 2:45 pm - 3:00 pm - KTM Practice 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm - 125 Practice 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm - 250 Practice 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm - Qualifying Heats 5:30 pm - 5:45 pm - KTM Practice 7:30 pm - 7:40 pm - 125 Heat #1 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main) 7:40 pm - 7:50 pm - 125 Heat #2 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main) 7:50 pm - 8:00 pm - 250 Heat #1 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 1) 8:00 pm - 8:10 pm - 250 Heat #2 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 2) 8:10 pm - 8:25 pm - Junior Supercross Exhibition- 3 laps - 15 riders 8:35 pm - 8:40 pm - 125 Last Chance Qualifier - 4 laps - 22 riders (1st - 4th to Main) 8:40 pm - 8:50 pm - 250 Semi #1 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ) 8:50 pm - 9:00 pm - 250 Semi #2 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ) 9:10 pm - 9:20 pm - 250 Last Chance Qualifier - 6 laps - 22 riders 9:20 pm - 9:25 pm - 125 Rider's Parade Lap 9:25 pm - 9:45 pm - 125 Main Event - 15 laps - 22 riders 9:50 pm - 9:55 pm - 250 Rider's Parade Lap 9:55 pm - 10:15 pm - 250 Main Event - 20 laps- 20 riders