AURORA, Ill. (November 27, 2006) -- Ricky Carmichael, the all-time winningest motocross racer, previewed the Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP championship that kicks off this Saturday at Rogers Centre with a media teleconference last week. Tony...
AURORA, Ill. (November 27, 2006) -- Ricky Carmichael, the all-time winningest motocross racer, previewed the Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP championship that kicks off this Saturday at Rogers Centre with a media teleconference last week.
Tony Gardea: So, what I'll do is, just for everyone here, we've got Ricky's press conference tonight, and then Chad Reed is going to do one tomorrow at five o'clock Eastern, 2:00 p.m. Pacific. And this one and that one will be transcripted, and Denny or I will get it to you on the following day.
But now that we've got Ricky, and it sounds like we've got just about everyone on board, I want to get this started.
As most of you probably know, Ricky's 27 years old, and he's entering his 11th season of professional motocross racing.
So, we're entering our Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP season next Saturday, December 2nd, in Toronto. Ricky has 15 AMA championships to his resume, plus one additional 125 Supercross championship and one World Supercross championship that he won in 2005.
Ricky, I'll start with one question ...
Tony Gardea: Ricky, let's talk about, I guess, last season. You won the AMA Supercross title. You won your tenth consecutive outdoor title. And then you finished the season by captaining the motocross donations team over in England.
How did that work out for you? Or, you know, give us your thoughts on that.
Ricky Carmichael: Yes, you know, last year was a dream come true, I'll tell you. It was -- I did a lot better than I expected to do. I had a lot of bumps and bruises along the road.
Obviously, I had a lot of bumps and bruises in the Supercross. And still, to come back and win that title was just simply amazing and a great way to accomplish all my goals, and just very -- and was very excited about it.
Tony Gardea: And my last question -- and then, guys, if you could maybe state your names and your affiliation prior to asking Ricky the question. But I'll leave it with this one, and I'm sure we'll get to the four-wheel questions and all, you know, your future stuff as far as what you're doing this year and what not. I'm sure we'll get there.
But you've raced in Canada twice before, twice at Toronto ...
Ricky Carmichael: Yes.
Tony Gardea: ... winning there two years ago. You won the title in 2005, like I said.
How do you feel the sport's received there? And what's your perception of the fans?
Ricky Carmichael: Well, I think that the fans are very gracious, and I enjoy going there. Actually, that's, you know, the abbreviated schedule that I'm doing. That's why I picked to do both of those races. I enjoy it. I enjoy the cities. I enjoy the venues.
And, you know, obviously, I think Toronto is a little bit bigger showing than Vancouver, obviously. But I think it's growing. You know, I think last year with myself and James (Battle) in Toronto. I'm looking for it to be a great crowd and a great turnout.
But the main thing that I can say is just the growth from the two years that I've gone, it's growing and getting to where it needs to be.
Q: How's it going, Ricky?
Ricky Carmichael: Hey, what's up, my man?
Q: Hey, brother. Hey, you're kind of in unfamiliar territory here going into a partial season Supercross and motorcross. With the injury after Glen Helen, how is your preparation going into this season with preparing for limited season, as well as coming off of an injury, as you were, you know, maybe, as opposed to last year at this same time?
Ricky Carmichael: Yes. Great question, Dave. I'm preparing 100 percent like I'm racing the full series. I think in this sport, you -- it's very, very physically demanding. And I don't want to hurt myself at this day and age.
So, I'm preparing like I'm going to race the whole series.
And the injury is good, you know. I still have to baby it here and there as far as stuff at the gym. But actually riding there's no pain, and it's 100 percent riding.
So, everything is going good. And I'm going through my boot camp right now. And training, you have to be fit, so I'm training like I always do.
Q: Hey, Ricky, this is Jim Kimball with AMAmotocross.com.
Ricky Carmichael: Yes.
Q: I have a question about your -- you mentioned, and (Tony Gardea) mentioned, your abbreviated season.
Have you decided, then, what Supercross races you'll be doing?
Ricky Carmichael: I have. I have decided which Supercross races I'm doing. As far as making an announcement, that's yet to be determined. So, as soon as I, you know, we come up with the right plan and when we feel the right time is necessary, we'll do that. But I've got a pretty good general idea of which ones I am racing.
Q: How about this? Could you maybe just add on about how many of the events you might do?
Ricky Carmichael: Well, I know I have to do -- you know, I've got to at least do 15 more races, so I know I'm going to be doing at least eight to 10 more Supercrosses this year and, obviously, a few outdoors. And I want to do the Motocross of Nations in Maryland. So, that's the plan.
Q: Quick question here. How are you going to find a balance of what you're going to do on each day? Like, when are you going to arrive and when are you going to drive a car?
Ricky Carmichael: Actually, I've got some car testing coming up pretty soon, next month. So, looking forward to that.
But my car driving stuff, you know, MB2 has been very, very willing to work with me during the Supercross season, because obviously it takes a little more work and spending more time than outdoor does for me. So, they don't have much, too much stuff going on right now. So, it's been pretty easy to juggle for me.
But, you know, I'm going to ride a lot. I'm that kind of person that takes a lot -- I require a lot of riding, and the driving is just for a day here and there. So, that's the easy part.
Q: Good. Your car team officially changed its name today.
Ricky Carmichael: OK, yes.
Q: OK. So now we've got to go from MB2 to (again) racing.
Ricky Carmichael: All right.
Q: The other -- I want to know, have they told you -- do you have, not a schedule so much, but as a stepping stone order of what you're going to be driving this year?
Ricky Carmichael: Yes. I'm going to -- Bill, I'm going to start out doing some late model testing and some ARCA testing, and start out, as far as racing, do some late model racing and see how that goes, and then go on to ARCA after that.
I know that we're going to start out in the late models, just a lot easier. And actually, Mark Martin's got some stuff down by Daytona, so it's easy for me to get down there and drive with him and get the coaching that I need.
But they want me to also get into a ARCA car, too, and test that, because it's a bit heavier, and it's more along the lines of what we're going to be, what our goal is to race someday.
So, but late model and ARCA is going to be most of my stuff going on next year.
Q: If I could follow up, are there are any plans, if it goes well, to get into a Busch car at the end of the year? Or is that still a year away?
Ricky Carmichael: I would -- you know, I'm very -- you know, I always -- the glass is always half empty for me. So, I would say it's going to be -- all that focus is going to be in '08.
But if I go in there and just light the world on fire and do good, they want to move me up as fast as we can. But also, we don't want to move up too fast. But if they feel that I'm ready, then -- if they think I'm ready for a Busch car, then we're going to move up to a Busch car.
Q: Hey, do you have any motorcycle plans beyond '07?
Ricky Carmichael: Yes. I'm going to be affiliated with Suzuki. I have a -- I signed -- I'll be with Suzuki through '09, actually, doing some testing, still attending some races, and helping the younger guys out.
So, but as far as actually racing, I'm not sure. I have the option to race some selected events, if I want to. But as far as right now, I have nothing committed after this year to ever race.
Q: But, hey, I was just talking to Chad the other day. And he said that he thinks because you haven't won this first Anaheim one, that it's probably going to be best to stay out of your way at this race, because you're going to be more hell-bent (than ever) on winning.
Is this one that you're gearing up for more than you have ever before?
Ricky Carmichael: No, it isn't. You know, I just, I think it's good to do the first race of any event.
But I think the guys have a lot of trust in me, and I've never been the kind of guy that's just going to go out and take someone down just for a win. You know, those guys are going for a title, and I don't want to mess anything up. But, man, I'm just -- I don't want to put myself in danger, either.
So, I'm just going to do the best, and hopefully it'll work out for me.
Q: Is that going to be maybe your last Anaheim race? Are you going to maybe come back and do one of the other ones? Or is that pretty much going to do it for you?
Ricky Carmichael: Yes, that'll be the last Anaheim race for me. Then I'll be at the next race in Phoenix, actually. But that will be probably the last Anaheim.
Q: For good? No more coming back?
Ricky Carmichael: Yes, I mean, yes, not this year. Not this year.
Q: Got a question for you. Will you ever race, though, 125 outdoors again to get the most wins back from James Stewart?
Ricky Carmichael: No. No, man. You know, records were made to be broken, and obviously, he broke mine. And I don't think anything could come out of that but bad for me.
So, no 125 stuff for me that I know of right now, and not planning on doing anything.
Would I like to? Yes. I mean, I love riding those bikes. But, yes, I'm just so -- I'm real busy with other stuff.
Q: Awesome. Thank you.
Ricky Carmichael: Yes.
Q: I've got to ask you the question about the San Diego Supercross. I know it's also the Daytona weekend.
Will you miss San Diego?
Ricky Carmichael: I'm not sure yet about that. We're kind of juggling some stuff. I know that they'll probably want me down in Daytona. But that one I haven't committed to yet, just because of that reason.
But San Diego, that race is special for me, because that was the first time I ever won a 250 Supercross. So, I do, you know, I do like that place, so we'll have to see. I'm up in the air on that one.
Continued in part 2