PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Feb. 3, 2004) -- San Francisco's Bay Bridge and the city's famous marina will serve as the backdrop this Saturday, Feb. 7, as the THQ AMA Supercross Series comes to SBC Park for round six of the 16-race series. This is the...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Feb. 3, 2004) -- San Francisco's Bay Bridge and the city's famous marina will serve as the backdrop this Saturday, Feb. 7, as the THQ AMA Supercross Series comes to SBC Park for round six of the 16-race series. This is the second year the series has visited SBC Park (formerly PacBell Park) and it has already become one of the favorite stops in the series for riders and fans alike. Australian racing sensation Chad Reed leads the point standings on his factory Yamaha coming into this weekend's race, but Amsoil/Chaparral Honda's Kevin Windham is doing his best at trying to level the series. Windham is coming off an exciting duel with Reed last week in Anaheim. Windham took the hard fought victory to chip away at Reed's series lead.
With last year's San Francisco Supercross winner Ricky Carmichael sitting out this year's series recovering from knee surgery, the battle between Reed and Windham has taken center stage. Reed has won three races and Windham two coming into San Francisco. The duo is one and two in the series standings. David Vuillemin and Mike LaRocco are just four points behind Windham in the standings and still in the points chase.
Reed crashed last weekend in Anaheim while battling Windham for the lead but was able to recover and turn in a strong finish. "I made a silly mistake," Reed said afterwards. "I was happy I was able to at least get back up and finish second to keep from losing too many points. I'm looking forward to going to San Francisco and resuming our battle."
Windham, who is returning to the series after sitting out most of the past two AMA Supercross seasons, is a veteran campaigner and knows the task in front of him. Unlike in the past, Windham says a new perspective on racing has helped him understand the bigger picture. "I try not to focus on the negative," said Windham, who hails from Centreville, Miss. "In years past I was so intent on winning, that became my life. Now with my family and the fact that my daughter smiles at me the same way after I finish ninth as she does after I win - it gives you a new outlook on things. Being able to rebound from bad performances like I've done this year has a lot to do with my mental frame now."
Based on the first five races of the season it appears that Reed and Windham could sweep the series, but at least one other rider is showing signs of possibly moving up to take a victory in the coming weeks. Mike LaRocco matched his best performance of the season by taking third last weekend. That finish moved the Hoosier native into a tie with Frenchman David Vuillemin for third in the standings.
"I feel like I've been right there all season," said LaRocco, the veteran of the series. "I just need to put together an entire race, including a good start, and I think I'll have a good shot at winning a couple of these." Knowledgeable fans never doubt the likeable LaRocco's resolve.
It's five down, three to go for AMA 125 West Supercross Series leader Ivan Tedesco. Tedesco comes into San Francisco riding a perfect season. Even though Ricky Carmichael accomplished the feat in 125 East in 1998, no one has ever pulled off an undefeated season in the 125 West Series. With the West Series seemingly in Tedesco's grasp, talk has already turned to the season-ending showdown between the best 125 West and East riders in Las Vegas and a potential meeting with 125 East rider James Stewart. In the post-race press conference in Anaheim last week, Tedesco didn't want to talk about a race in May, but rather wanted to focus on the task at hand.
"Right now I'm just working on winning the 125 West title," Tedesco said. "Once I get that accomplished then maybe I'll think about other races."
Visit www.tickets.com to buy tickets for the race. ESPN2 will provide next-day coverage of the San Francisco round starting at 12:00 p.m. Eastern for the 125 West race and 1:00 p.m. for the 250 main.