CARMICHAEL WINS HIS FIFTH AMA SUPERCROSS SERIES TITLE PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 8, 2006) -- Ricky Carmichael found yet another way to win a championship. In the past he has often dominated and clinched titles early. This time around he proved he...
CARMICHAEL WINS HIS FIFTH AMA SUPERCROSS SERIES TITLE
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (May 8, 2006) -- Ricky Carmichael found yet another way to win a championship. In the past he has often dominated and clinched titles early. This time around he proved he could win under intense pressure. Carmichael earned his fifth Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series championship by earning a runner-up finish in the series finale at a sold-out Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 6. The race was nationally televised live on SPEED.
Carmichael, 26, of Havana, Fla., came out on top in an historic series battle in 2006 that saw just two points separating him from rivals James Stewart and Chad Reed in the final points tally. Stewart and Reed tied for second in the standings with 336 points to Carmichael's 338. It marked the closest three-way battle for the title in the history of the series.
"It's hard to beat that first one against Jeremy [McGrath]," Carmichael said when asked how this championship compared to the other four he's won. "This one is really special though since I'm going part time next year. This is a great way to go out. I can't say enough for Suzuki and my entire team. I've been in a slump, but everyone came together and was really behind me. I'm pumped about the way this championship went down. Chad and James are great competitors and it's awesome to come out on top in such a tight battle for the championship against these guys."
This marks the 14th AMA national title for Carmichael. In addition to his five AMA Supercross Series titles Carmichael has also won the AMA Motocross Championship six times and the AMA Motocross Lites (formerly 125) title three times. He also earned a regional title, the AMA Supercross Lites East in 1998.
This year Carmichael took six AMA Supercross wins. That pushed his career AMA Supercross wins total to 46. He is second to Jeremy McGrath on the series all-time series wins list.
Carmichael came into the Las Vegas finale tied with Yamaha's Chad Reed with red-hot Kawasaki ace James Stewart only five points back. Carmichael had to finish in front of Reed and make sure no one was between him and Stewart to ensure the title.
"All week I was thinking about this race," Carmichael said after finishing second to Stewart and just ahead of Reed in the final round. "I wasn't feeling super confident coming into Vegas, but I talked myself into this one. Chad's always done well here and I just went out and rode as hard as I could. I tried to set my sights on James and not concentrate on where Chad was."
Suzuki announced earlier in the week that Carmichael would remain with the team for three more years, but only race in select events after this season. Carmichael however, did not rule out another run at the AMA Supercross Series in 2007.
"If I come out and do well in the early rounds next year there's nothing to say I won't go for the championship," Carmichael said. "I have that option."
After a brief break Carmichael is set to defend his AMA Motocross Championship title as the 2006 series begins on May 20-21 at the Hangtown Motocross Classic in Sacramento, Calif.