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Supermoto Long Beach finle preview

CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE LINE AT AMA SUPERMOTO FINALE PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 25, 2006) -- All three AMA Supermoto Championships will be decided when the series moves to the Troy Lee Designs-promoted "Duel at the Docks" on Nov. 3-5 at the Queen...

CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE LINE AT AMA SUPERMOTO FINALE

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 25, 2006) -- All three AMA Supermoto Championships will be decided when the series moves to the Troy Lee Designs-promoted "Duel at the Docks" on Nov. 3-5 at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, Calif. The event is the final round of the 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship presented by Parts Unlimited.

Jeff Ward, the 2004 AMA Supermoto Champ, is looking to cap off a stellar 2006. Ward has won eight rounds leading up to the series finale and is control of his own fate with a 31-point lead. He needs only a third-place or better finish in the first round at the Queen Mary to clinch his second AMA Supermoto title. Earlier this summer Ward, a multi-time AMA Motocross and Supercross champ, as well as Indy Car standout, was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. In August he also became the oldest male Gold Medalist in the X-Games by winning the Moto X SuperMoto competition.

Even though he's in a solid position going into the finale, Ward is taking nothing for granted.

"I've got a pretty good lead going into Long Beach," allowed Ward, who rides for Troy Lee Designs Honda. "I'm going into the final round with the intention of doing the same thing I did in Nashville. I'll take what the race gives me. If I'm in a position to win I'll do what I can. Fortunately I'm in a position where I can take a second or third-place finish, so I have some options. The thing you worry about is having something strange happen, like it did last year in Reno. So that's what I'll be trying to avoid."

Ward led the championship going into last year's finale, but crashed and lost the title to German Jurgen Kunzel.

Graves Yamaha's Doug Henry is the other rider with a shot at the title. Henry made an incredible comeback after suffering injuries in 2005 and missing the entire second half of the season. Henry has five wins to his credit and still has an outside chance of winning this year's championship.

"I'm just going to try and do my best out there," Henry said after winning the most recent round in Nashville, Tenn. "Some weekends it comes a little easier than others so I'm just taking it one race at a time. I'm going to go into Long Beach to try and get a good set-up. All I can do is try to win and go out happy with whatever happens in the championship knowing I did all I could. It's feels really good going into Long Beach with this momentum."

Ward's Troy Lee Honda teammate Cassidy Anderson is similarly in charge of the AMA Hot Wheels Supermoto Lites Championship. Anderson, of Provo, Utah, has won seven of the nine Lites races this year, but Graves Yamaha's Brandon Currie kept his slim hopes alive with a dramatic come-from-behind win in Nashville.

A 19th-place result or better will bring home the title to Anderson.

"It was disappointing to not wrap it up in Nashville," Anderson said. "I've just got to focus on not making any errors at Long Beach. The team has worked so hard all year and we've had a great season. I'm looking forward to capping it off with a championship."

Currie comes into Long Beach happy to still be alive in the championship. "I know it's a long shot," he said. "But at least we're taking it all the way to the final race."

Four riders are still in contention in the AMA 70/30 Racing Supermoto Unlimited class. Wisconsin's Ben Carlson leads Frenchman David Baffeleuf by four points coming into Long Beach. Promising teenager John Lewis and reigning champ Micky Dymond also come to the finale with an opportunity to win the 2006 title.

Carlson, who rides with Team Red Bull KTM HMC, met his first goal of leading going into the season finale.

"The main thing is we stayed ahead of David and got the points, which are crucial," said Carlson, who has won three races this year. "That's what we needed to do. We should have come out of Nashville with a win; I thought we could do it but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Long Beach ought to be a good race."

The innovative track layout for "Duel At The Docks" features an array of crowd-pleasing obstacles, including a tunnel (an AMA Supermoto first) just after the dirt section, the 40-foot Honda skyshot bridge, and the Parts Unlimited "Urban Cross" jumps which will be utilized at the finish line.

The weekend's action begins on Friday, Nov. 3rd, with practice sessions that are open to the public. Saturday the 4th will feature amateur racing, the AMA Sports Supermoto Grand Championships, in association with NASMOTO (North American Supermoto). The Pro finals will take place on Sunday the 5th.

Tickets are available at www.troyleedesigns.com and at participating Southern California Honda motorcycle dealers. Prices are $15/Friday, $25/Saturday, $35/Sunday, or $50 for the whole weekend. Kids age 12 and under get in free with a paid adult using a voucher available at Honda motorcycle dealers. A limited number of motorcycles will be able to park in the Queen Mary lot, while those in autos will park at the nearby Long Beach Convention Center and take advantage of a convenient stream of shuttle buses and watercraft to and from the racetrack.

About AMA Pro Racing

AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF, the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.

-credit: ama

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Series AMA
Drivers Jeff Ward , Jurgen Kunzel , David Baffeleuf , Micky Dymond , John Lewis , Doug Henry