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Orlando: Round 11 preview

CARMICHAEL LEADS AGAIN COMING INTO ORLANDO SUPERCROSS PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 15, 2006) -- A month ago Ricky Carmichael lost his lead in the Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series after crashing and breaking his Makita Suzuki. Showing the heart of...

CARMICHAEL LEADS AGAIN COMING INTO ORLANDO SUPERCROSS

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 15, 2006) -- A month ago Ricky Carmichael lost his lead in the Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series after crashing and breaking his Makita Suzuki. Showing the heart of a true champion, Carmichael has stormed back with three straight wins and after taking his record fifth Daytona Supercross victory last Friday, the defending champ is back atop the point standings as the series moves to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla., for round 11 of the 16-race championship on Saturday, March 18.

Carmichael's win at Daytona International Speedway last week was his sixth of the year. The victory gives the rider from Havana, Fla., a two point lead over 2004 AMA Supercross champ Chad Reed. Reed rode on bravely at Daytona in spite of injuring his shoulder in a practice crash. The rugged Australian is expected to race in Orlando. Haines City, Florida's James Stewart continues a season of showing spectacular speed, but suffering too many crashes in the process. The young Kawasaki ace is still very much in the championship hunt with six races to go. He's third in the point standings, but has dropped 26-points behind Carmichael after crashing and finishing sixth in Daytona.

In the AMA Supercross Lites East series Honda's Davi Millsaps, who grew up in Orlando, is dominating with three wins in four rounds. With his win in Daytona last week Millsaps has pushed his lead to 23 points over Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christopher Gosselaar.

Even though Carmichael has earned back the points lead he still sees a long road ahead of him before he can win his fifth AMA Supercross title.

"The Daytona Supercross win was a great accomplishment and it gives me a strong boost in the championship," Carmichael said. "There's still a ways to go and I know that Chad and James are capable of winning a lot of races. I'm going to have to be on top of my game all the way to the final race in Las Vegas, because the championship will probably go down to the last race."

Reed won last year's Orlando Supercross, but he'll be riding this Saturday while nursing his tender shoulder.

"If I could get through Daytona I can get through anything," Reed said after riding the grueling Daytona round with the right shoulder injury. "I think I'll be OK for Orlando. I may not be 100 percent, but I've had these problems before and, with help from my trainer, have been able to ride through them."

Honda star Kevin Windham is slated to make his comeback from injury in Orlando. Windham suffered a broken arm in pre-season testing and this will be his first race of the 2006 season. Windham's presence could shake up the points race among the top riders.

In AMA Supercross Lites East Davi Millsaps has become the rider to beat in the class. The Orlando native, who now lives in Georgia, is eager to defend his victory in the support class at the Citrus Bowl.

"I have a lot of friends and family in Orlando so it's always great to get back down there," Millsaps said. "I'm riding really strong right now and I'd like to keep my momentum going this weekend."

Tickets for the Orlando Supercross are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, all participating Yamaha Dealers, at the TD Waterhouse Centre Box Office, or charge by phone at 407-839-3900. A special Family Section is also available in the Citrus Bowl for non-alcoholic family fun. When ordering tickets through Ticketmaster, request the Family Section for an alcohol-free atmosphere. You can also meet the stars of the AMA Supercross Series at the Citrus Bowl pit party going from 12:30 -- 5:30 pm.

The Orlando round will receive next-day coverage on SPEED Channel, on Sunday, March 19 at 6:00 pm EST.

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Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Kevin Windham , Chad Reed , James Stewart , Davi Millsaps