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SUPERCROSS: World/AMA Atlanta pre-race notes

In 20 Laps the Amp'd Mobile Supercross Season Changes Direction as Yamaha's Reed Moves into the Points Lead AURORA, Ill. (February 21, 2006) -- In a matter of one week and 20 laps, Yamaha's Chad Reed, of Dade City, Fla., moved into the...

In 20 Laps the Amp'd Mobile Supercross Season Changes Direction as Yamaha's Reed Moves into the Points Lead

AURORA, Ill. (February 21, 2006) -- In a matter of one week and 20 laps, Yamaha's Chad Reed, of Dade City, Fla., moved into the points lead for Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series. This Saturday at Atlanta's Georgia Dome, the season takes on a new look with former World Supercross GP/AMA Supercross Series champion leading by nine points (149-140) over Suzuki's Ricky Carmichael, of Tallahassee, Fla., as the gate will drop in Atlanta for the 28th time in history.

Reed, who has finished on the podium 50 out of the last 55 races, was winless this season, but the 23-year-old Australian moved into the lead last Saturday night on lap 11 and never looked back.

"I knew I could do it," said Reed. "I never gave up. That was all I had, belief in myself because my on-track performance wasn't showing a whole lot (in the past few weeks). So, I just went into the main event knowing that I could do it and I had to do it."

Despite going winless during the first eight Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series races, Reed's win Saturday night may not have been such a surprise. Known for getting hot midseason, Reed has well-established track record for winning in the second half of the season. In 2003, he won six of the last eight races, in 2004, five of the last eight races and in 2005 four of the last eight races.

"When you know you can win and everybody around you knows you can win, it's tough to go home during the week wondering why I feel so good and then be so pathetic on the weekends," said Reed. "It's nice, I'm extremely proud of the team for sticking by me."

Carmichael, who came into St. Louis with an 11-point lead over Kawasaki's James Stewart and 15 points ahead of Reed, was unable to add to his collection of 35-consecutive podium finishes as he did not finish the race (DNF). In turn one, Carmichael crashed with a group of riders and remounted in 17th place before heading to the pits.

"We think that some suspension parts were damaged when Ricky tangled with another rider at the beginning of the race," theorized DeCoster, Suzuki's team manager. "There was no error on anyone's part and no one was at fault -- it was a fluke. That's just racing."

A favorite track of Carmichael's, Atlanta marks his 100th supercross race. Carmichael has won in Atlanta six times during his career, twice on a 125cc and four times in the AMA Supercross class.

"It's a shame that things turned out this way because my lap times were really good in practice and I think this would have been a good race," said Carmichael after the race. "But next week we go to Atlanta, and that's always a special race for me because a lot of my friends and family come out."

Carmichael wasn't the only victim of bad luck at the Edward Jones Dome. After riding in one of the top three positions for the first 10 laps of the race, Stewart crashed, stalled his bike and re-entered the race near last place. Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., was hoping to take over the AMA Supercross class' points lead, but a disappointing 17th-place finish dropped his season standings to third place.

"I had a good race going and I don't know what happened," said Stewart during a post-race interview. "It's hard because I've worked hard all week and tonight was a good chance to take over the points lead. Either way, the Kawasaki team worked hard and we will be back next week."

In the AMA Supercross Lites class, Honda's Davi Millsaps hopes to repeat his winning performance from last weekend when he won the opening race in the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross Lites class. If he does so, he will become the first Honda rider since 1993 to win in this division.

Suzuki's Carmichael picked up his sixth World Supercross GP/AMA Supercross Series race win in front of 62,764 fans last year. Kawasaki's Grant Langston, of Murrieta, Calif., won his first 125cc Eastern Regional Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series race since 2001.

This weekend's race will air on SPEED on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006 at 6:00 p.m. EST. A tape-delayed, one-hour television broadcast of the AMA Supercross Lites racing will air on SPEED on Saturday, March 4, at 6 p.m. EST.

Tickets are available at the Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, all participating Yamaha dealers, or charge by phone at 404-249-6400. Tickets prices: Gold Level: $40; Mid Level: $35; Tread Heads: $10. All seats are $2 more on the day of the show.

-cce-

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About this article
Series AMA , Other bike
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Chad Reed , James Stewart , Ed Jones , Davi Millsaps