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Anaheim: Round one news and notes

EA SPORTS Supercross: Round One Edison International Field, Anaheim, Calif., February 5, 2002 Ferry's Out: Team Yamaha's Tim Ferry, who finished sixth overall in last year's EA SPORTS Supercross season, will miss the first round of...

EA SPORTS Supercross: Round One
Edison International Field, Anaheim, Calif., February 5, 2002

Ferry's Out: Team Yamaha's Tim Ferry, who finished sixth overall in last year's EA SPORTS Supercross season, will miss the first round of competition due to knee surgery. Ferry, Largo, Fla., crashed earlier this week and is expected to return next weekend.

Winning Streak: Defending champion Ricky Carmichael, who will enter his first supercross race aboard a Honda, has 13-consecutive wins and has a chance to break the all-time record he shares with seven-time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath if he wins this weekend. Carmichael shares the record of most wins in a season (14) with McGrath.

New Sponsor: McGrath enters the 2002 season with his new sponsor Bud Light after a disappointing 2001 season. The last time McGrath and Carmichael competed against one another was at the U.S. Open, where McGrath fell victim to a first-turn crash. However, McGrath rallied after the crash to earn second place. In the off-season McGrath hired trainer Todd Jacobs and appears to be in the greatest shape of his life.

Bubba Erupts: The weekend's opening round of 125cc Western Regional competition will feature Team Chevy Truck Kawasaki's James 'Bubba' Stewart, who broke Carmichael's record of most amateur national championships. Stewart, who is close friends with Cincinnati Reds all-star Ken Griffey Jr., presented Griffey Jr. with his record-breaking motorcycle, which will be on display in his game room.

'Metzed Up': One of the founding members of the ever-so-popular freestyle motocross movement Mike Metzger will compete in 125cc Western Regional competition this weekend. Metzger, who left racing a few years back because of injuries, has been training with former supercross and motocross champion David Bailey. "The kid has a lot of heart," said Bailey. "He has been working extremely hard during the last few months."

$500,000 Jack Pot: This weekend's opening round of EA SPORTS Supercross is also the opening round of the Vans Triple Crown of Supercross, a three-race series built into the tour that offers $500,000 to the winner of all three selected rounds. In its fourth year of existence, no rider has won all three rounds of the Vans Triple Crown of Supercross. If no rider wins all three rounds, the rider who scores the most points at these events walks away with $25,000. Past recipients of the $25,000 include: Ricky Carmichael ('01), David Vuillemin ('00), and Ezra Lusk ('99).

Protect the Playing Field: In an effort to protect this weekend's Dirt Wurx-built track, director of supercross Todd Jendro ordered his troops to cover the field with plastic on Wednesday night due to rain. On Thursday the sun baked the track and dried things up a bit.

Anaheim History:

McGrath's House: McGrath, who won last season's opening round at Edison International Field, holds the stadium's all-time win record of eight.

Lucky Lusk: Ezra Lusk, a new member of the Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki team, won two rounds at Edison International Field in 1999 aboard a Honda. Although Lusk, Acworth, Ga., has not won a 250cc main event since Indianapolis in '99, he finished second at last year's opening round.

Record Holder: McGrath holds the record for most combined wins, including 125cc motocross, 250cc motocross, and 125cc supercross and 250cc motocross at 89. At 57 wins behind, Carmichael is in hot pursuit of becoming the sport's all-time winningest rider.

Moving Up: Reigning 125cc Regional champions Travis Pastrana (Eastern) and Ernesto Fonseca (Western) have moved up to the 250cc division for the 2002 season. Fonseca, who is the only rider to win 125cc Eastern and Western Regional championships, captured last year's opening round of 125cc Western competition en route to the championship. While waiting for the 125cc Eastern Regional tour to kick off in 2001, Pastrana tried his luck at 250cc competition at Edison International Field, earning and impressive fifth place.

First Winner: Honda-backed Marty Smith was the first rider in history to win a 250cc race in Anaheim on 12/4/76. The win was Smith's second 250cc supercross win.

Role Reversal: From 1976-1979, the Anaheim round of supercross was the season's final round of competition. For the past four years, the event has been the season opener.

League Leaders: Honda has won more 250cc main events at Anaheim than any other brand with 13. Yamaha has seven, Kawasaki has three and Suzuki has 2.

Eight of 12: Of the 12 250cc races McGrath has entered at Anaheim, he has won eighth of them. He also has two 125cc wins at Anaheim.

Notes From Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki

Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki rider Ezra Lusk is healthy and ready for the start of the EA Sports Supercross Series opener Saturday night (Jan. 5) at Anaheim Stadium. Lusk, 26, has 21-career wins during his nine-year career, including two 250cc victories at Anaheim (both in 1999).

Lusk returns to Kawasaki where he raced for Kawasaki Team Green as an amateur starting in 1984. Finished in the top four in 250cc standings from 1996-99.

James Stewart made his Anaheim debut on Thursday. Well, sort of. Stewart and Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki attended press day activities at Edison Field. Stewart and the rest of the riders rode a short portion of the unfinished track for the media and showed that he's been doing his homework in the off-season.

Cincinnati Reds all-star outfielder Ken Griffey and his family are in town to support Stewart as he prepares for his entrance into the professional ranks The Stewarts and Griffeys are close friends and often ride together on the Stewart's practice tracks back located on their 31-acre home in Haines City, Fla.

Stewart, who just turned 16 last month, graduates from amateur racing as the winningest rider of all-time after securing his 10th and 11th Amateur National titles last August.

Stephane Roncada returns for his second season of 250cc competition with Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki. He spent the off-season on the track and in the weight room and is looking for good results in his sophomore season.

Roncada sustained a slight strain in his right shoulder while practicing for a warm-up race last weekend (Dec. 29) at Glen Helen in San Bernardino, Calif. He has undergone treatment and, despite experiencing some soreness, the 22-year-old Frenchman does not expect the shoulder to slow him down this weekend.

-ama/cce-

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , David Vuillemin , Travis Pastrana , Jeremy McGrath , Ezra Lusk , Ernesto Fonseca , Stephane Roncada , Mike Metzger , James Stewart