CARMICHAEL SET TO MAKE FINAL APPEARANCE IN AMA MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP Retiring champion going for AMA win number 150 PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 7, 2007) -- Ricky Carmichael, fresh off winning gold in his first X Games appearance, will return...
CARMICHAEL SET TO MAKE FINAL APPEARANCE IN AMA MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP
Retiring champion going for AMA win number 150
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (August 7, 2007) -- Ricky Carmichael, fresh off winning gold in his first X Games appearance, will return to AMA Toyota Motocross Championship racing action this Sunday, Aug. 12, at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minn., for round nine of the 12-event series. Carmichael, 27, of Havana, Fla., is shooting for an unprecedented 150th combined AMA Motocross/Supercross win.
The race is slated to be Carmichael's final appearance in the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF. The Makita Suzuki rider is the all-time AMA Motocross wins leader and the defending and seven-time series champion.
While Carmichael's final race is the big headline at Millville, there will be several other major stories to follow. A victory for Monster Energy Kawasaki's Tim Ferry at the last race in Washougal, Wash., combined with a second moto crash and DNF by his teammate James Stewart, has moved Ferry within seven points of Stewart in the Championship standings.
The Motocross Lites class is having one of the best two-way battles in years, with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki riders Ben Townley and Ryan Villopoto locked in an exciting title chase.
In addition, a number of young riders will be coming straight from the amateur motocross championships at Loretta Lynn's Ranch in Tennessee to make their pro debut at Millville. Trey Canard (2007 AMA Horizon Award winner), and Nico Izzi are among the top prospects in the new class of 2007.
Carmichael, who is racing part time while he makes a transition to car racing, is making his first appearance in the series since round five on July 1, in Buchanan, Mich. He now comes to Millville trying to win his eighth straight AMA Motocross at the circuit dating back to 2000, his first year in the premier class. Additionally, Carmichael won two AMA Motocross Lites races at Spring Creek.
Carmichael stated before the season that the 150-win plateau would be a great goal to shoot for even though he needed to be a perfect six-for-six in the motocross races he competed in this summer.
"Getting 150 total wins would be icing on the cake for me," Carmichael said. "I never dreamed that one day I would win 100 races. It was almost too hard to believe. Now to have a chance to get to 150, it would be really sweet. Not only would it be an amazing accomplishment for me personally, but a tribute to all the people who have helped me along the way in my career."
After Millville, Carmichael will join Stewart and Villopoto as the three represent the United States in the Motocross of Nations at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Maryland on Sept. 22-23. The three riders were named to Monster Energy AMA Team USA at a ceremony on July 31.
However, before that, Stewart remains focused on capturing the 2007 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship and Millville could prove to be pivotal to that quest. Stewart crashed and injured his left knee at Washougal on July 29. Kawasaki issued a statement after Washougal saying the extent of the injury was not yet known, but due to minimal swelling, the team was optimistic about the remainder of the season.
Ferry scored the surprise win at Washougal and now finds himself in the thick of the championship race.
"I have been through some really tough years," Ferry said. "I probably physically shouldn't have been able to come back. I have had the types of injuries that have ended peoples' careers. I didn't let all the critics and the doctors get to me. They told me that I had a problem and my career was over. I focused on getting back to being healthy and able to ride a motorcycle. However, I never expected to be able to be back on a team like this and winning overalls. I cannot possibly explain how it feels."
In the Lites class Ben Townley earned the victory at the last round and broke the deadlock with teammate Villopoto, but not by much. Just two points separate the pair coming into Millville. Villopoto suffered a crash in Washougal, but still managed to score second overall.
"It's good to be ahead a little bit, but you can't get ahead of yourself," said Townley. "It's still really, really close. Something could happen to me just like it did to Ryan and I would be in his shoes."
Millville has hosted AMA nationals since 1983 and is known for some of the most challenging obstacles in the series, including the infamous Millville Whoops, a long section of energy-sapping jumps.
Tickets are still available for the Honda Pro National Weekend presented by Unbound Energy and Scott USA at Millville. Visit www.springcreekmx.com for additional information.
The AMA Motocross race from Millville will receive special same-day coverage on SPEED starting at 6:00 pm. The Lites class will air on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 3:00 pm.
WHAT: Honda Pro National Weekend presented by Unbound Energy and Scott USA, round nine of the 12-round AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF.
WHERE: Spring Creek Motocross Park, follow Hwy 52 to Zumbrota, on south side of Zumbrota take the Hwy 60 East, exit to Zumbro Falls, follow Hwy 60 East - 21 miles to Cty. Rd. 11, turn right onto Cty. Rd. 11 - all park entrances are on right side of Cty. Rd. 11.
WHEN: Aug. 11-12, 2007.
COURSE: 1.2 miles (approx.) hard pack and soft dirt, sand.
2006 WINNERS: AMA Motocross: Ricky Carmichael (Suzuki). AMA Motocross Lites: Broc Hepler (Suzuki).
SCHEDULE: Saturday - Pro timed qualifying, 1:00-4:35 pm., Lites Consolation Race 4:45 pm; Sunday - Pro Motocross Consolation Race 9:15 am. Qualifying 10:00 am. Opening Ceremonies begin at 12:30 pm with final events beginning at 1 pm.