AMA

Atlanta: Georgia Dome race report

Carmichael Zeros in on EA SPORTS Supercross Championship Reed Wins Third in a Row in 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross ATLANTA (February 23, 2002) - Ricky Carmichael placed his Honda in the number-one position at the Georgia Dome for Round 8 of...

Carmichael Zeros in on EA SPORTS Supercross Championship
Reed Wins Third in a Row in 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross

ATLANTA (February 23, 2002) - Ricky Carmichael placed his Honda in the number-one position at the Georgia Dome for Round 8 of EA SPORTS Supercross, notching his fourth win of the season, second in a row in front of 69,471. Team Bud Light Yamaha's Jeremy McGrath finished third, his first podium of the season. For the third-consecutive weekend in 125cc Eastern Regional supercross competition, Team Boost Yamaha's Chad Reed was victorious.

Ricky Carmichael broke his hand in Anaheim #1 and it is still healing.
Photo by Greg Gage.

Carmichael found himself in familiar territory through turn one, as he captured the $1,500 POWERade Holeshot Award in front of Sebastien Tortelli, who also rides for Honda, and Team Sobe Suzuki's Travis Pastrana. As the first lap unfolded, Carmichael kept his lead as Pastrana and David Vuillemin, who is leading the series in points, took over the number two and three positions, respectively.

On lap eight, McGrath took over third place when Pastrana pulled off the track due to a violent case of the flu. Carmichael held on for the win, Vuillemin was second and McGrath was third.

"The start is 75% of the race, and I was up there from the beginning," said Carmichael. "I don't know what got into me, but I was in a groove tonight. If I keep winning these races, I can make up enough points to win the championship.

The start of one of the qualifying sessions.
Photo by Greg Gage.

Kelly Smith, who rides for Team Moto XXX/DGY, earned the $1,000 POWERade Holeshot Award in the 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross championship with his teammate Larry Ward and Robbie Horton in tow. Chad Reed, the winner of the opening two rounds of the 125cc series, struggled early on due to a bad start. On lap five Team Pro Circuit's Mike Brown, who came into tonight's race second in points, made his move on Smith for the lead, as Reed advanced to fourth place.

While Brown enjoyed a three second lead at the halfway point, the battle for second was short lived, as Reed tore through Smith and Steve Boniface. He didn't stop there. On lap 12, the Australia native made his move on Brown for the lead and the win, his third on the season.

"I had a bad start and nearly went down," said Reed. "The first few laps were scary because everyone is going all over the place. Mike (Brown) wasn't pulling away, so I knew that I could catch him. I took a few chances, but nothing that would put me on the ground. I want this championship more than anyone. I came to America at the right time. There are a lot of French and South African riders over here, now I have brought Australia into they mix."

Tonight's 69,471 attendance number etched its way into the record books as the second largest crowd in supercross history, the largest crowd at the Georgia Dome as well as the largest crowd of the season.

-ama-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Travis Pastrana , Jeremy McGrath , Sebastien Tortelli , Chad Reed , Mike Brown , Kelly Smith