JEFF WARD: 2006 AMA SUPERMOTO CHAMPION PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Nov. 9, 2006) -- Jeff Ward clinched the 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship presented by Parts Unlimited with a second-place finish in the first leg of the Long Beach Supermoto finale dubbed...
JEFF WARD: 2006 AMA SUPERMOTO CHAMPION
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Nov. 9, 2006) -- Jeff Ward clinched the 2006 AMA Supermoto Championship presented by Parts Unlimited with a second-place finish in the first leg of the Long Beach Supermoto finale dubbed the "Duel on the Docks" on Nov. 5, at the Queen Mary. Ward closed the season in style by winning the final race of the year aboard his Troy Lee Designs Honda CRF450R. It was a series leading ninth victory for Ward in '06.
Ward, who won his first Supermoto title in 2004, earned back the title after losing it to Jurgen Kunzel in the final round last year. This year he won the title over archrival Doug Henry, of Graves Yamaha, by a margin of 36 points (429-393). Chris Fillmore finished third with 356 points.
"I just holeshoted and pulled out a three second gap," Ward said of his win in the last race of the season. "Doug (Henry) got into second and closed up a little bit and it stayed that way until the last two laps. We were matching pace for pace and I had a good pace and the bike worked well. It's nice to win the last moto of the season. It's a nice way to end the season -- a lot better than last year, that's for sure."
2006 will be a year Ward won't soon forget.
In August Ward became the oldest male gold medalist in X Games history when he won the Moto X event. After that Ward was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. His AMA Supermoto title was icing on the cake. Ward took the series lead when he swept the second round in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and held it throughout the year.
"It's been a big year. A lot of stuff happened this year for me. I've had a great career -- all of it has all been good. From my championships in motocross to Indy Cars to now Supermoto. And my sons are riding really good now too. It's just a fun time."
"Motocross has been my life and it's always going to be my life, and Supermoto is a part of it now too, helping it grow. My oldest son (Brandon) runs it well and he might be able to have a career over here if it takes off big enough. And my other son (Ayrton) wants to go road racing and this is a perfect venue to start that with small bikes and the pavement. It's a good sport and I want to see it get bigger and bigger."
Ward now owns a total of nine AMA national championships. He won five AMA Motocross championships and two AMA Supercross titles, primarily in the 1990s. After a successful run racing Indy Cars, Ward came back to motorcycle racing in 2003 and has now added two AMA Supermoto Championships to his Hall of Fame resume.
Ward and teammate Chris Fillmore helped give Troy Lee Designs its second AMA Supermoto Team Championship.
Ward ends 2006 as the all-time series wins leader with 20-career AMA Supermoto victories.