CARMICHAEL AND ALESSI HEAD OF THE CLASS IN AMA MOTOCROSS PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 13, 2006) -- Ricky Carmichael and Mike Alessi are the class leaders as the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF comes to Budds Creek, Md., this...
CARMICHAEL AND ALESSI HEAD OF THE CLASS IN AMA MOTOCROSS
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 13, 2006) -- Ricky Carmichael and Mike Alessi are the class leaders as the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF comes to Budds Creek, Md., this Sunday June 18, for round four of the 12-event series.
Carmichael comes to Budds Creek heavily favored to win the premier AMA Motocross class on his Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. It's easy to understand why the six-time AMA Motocross Champion is the clear-cut favorite. He's never lost an AMA Motocross national at the popular Maryland track since moving up to the premier class in 2000. He'll be going for an unprecedented seventh victory in the class this Sunday. In addition, Carmichael is coming off a victory in Southwick, Mass., last Sunday. The victory extending the Floridian's lead over Australian Chad Reed, of Team Yamaha, to 14 points.
Honda's AMA Motocross class rookie Davi Millsaps continued his strong freshman season in the series by scoring his second podium result at Southwick. A tight back flared up on the young Georgian last week. He's hoping to stay loose at Budds Creek so he can prolong his solid run.
Kawasaki's number one rider James Stewart continued his hot and cold season last week. He won the first moto before a reported mechanical problem led to a crash in the second moto. The winner of the season opener scored a fourth overall at Southwick and sits seventh in the standings. Stewart has made history at Budds Creek before. In 2003 Budds Creek was his first race back after being injured during the AMA Supercross season. Even though he wasn't 100 percent that year, he shocked everyone by making a triumphant return and winning the Motocross Lites class (then called 125 class).
The rivalry between Carmichael and Stewart has raised the bar in AMA Motocross this year. The two are pushing their bikes right up to and often beyond the limits in their high-speed battles.
"Either I'm crashing or he's crashing nearly every weekend," Carmichael said. "At this level something is bound to happen. I'm just trying to keep stringing good motos together. We usually get heat and humidity at Budds Creek. Those are just the kind of conditions I practice in all the time, so I'm looking forward to another good battle there."
Reed is looking for his first win at Budds Creek. The well-liked Aussie has finished on the podium at every round this year and as a result is as close to Carmichael at this point in the season as he's ever been.
"I feel pretty happy about the way things are working out," Reed said. "Good things can happen when you ride clean and so far so good. I'll stick to this program and see how everything plays out."
Stewart rode well last week in spite of dealing with nagging injuries from his crash in Mt. Morris, Pa., last month.
"I want to thank my team and Doc Augustine for getting me ready to race," he said. "I'm trying to do my best to hang in there even though I'm not totally healthy."
Red Bull KTM rider Mike Alessi is quietly getting the job done in the AMA Motocross Lites class. After scoring victory in the series opener, the young Californian scored a pair of third place finishes to keep him atop the class standings.
"Keeping consistent is my plan," said Alessi, who is 25 points ahead of Honda's Andrew Short. "I think I'm the only rider to finish on the podium in every race so far. I hope I can keep that streak going at Budds Creek."
Short moved up to second place in the standings after winning at Southwick last week. He's eager to use the win as a launching pad.
"Getting the overall win at Southwick is a great way to get my season turned around," said Short, who scored a sixth and fifth-place in the first two Motocross Lites rounds. "We need for Alessi to have a little bad luck to get up there in the points. That may be asking for a lot since he's been so steady. Fortunately we've got a lot of racing to do yet this season."
Budds Creek Motocross Raceway is located 35 miles south of Washington, D.C., in rural Maryland. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) just announced that the 62nd Annual Motocross of Nations will be held at the track in September of 2007.
For ticket information call (301) 994-9555 or visit the website www.buddscreek.com.