Denny's Notes: Round 8, New Orleans, La. Things appear to be going the same way they did in 1999 for Team Yamaha of Troy/Fox's Nathan Ramsey when he won the 125cc Eastern Supercross Championship. The Corona, Calif., native won last weekend's...
Denny's Notes: Round 8, New Orleans, La.
Things appear to be going the same way they did in 1999 for Team Yamaha of Troy/Fox's Nathan Ramsey when he won the 125cc Eastern Supercross Championship. The Corona, Calif., native won last weekend's race in Atlanta's Georgia Dome in front of 55,641 fans. Finishing second to Team Suzuki's Travis Pastrana at the opening round of 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross competition, Ramsey pulled into the series points lead with a decisive victory last weekend. Pastrana, who was involved in a nasty first-turn pile up that took out Team Factory Connection/Journey/Honda's Brandon Jesseman, finished a lonely 14th, placing him 5th in the series points standings.
The premier 250cc class has one of the most heated battles supercross has ever seen. Seven-time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath has been unable to beat to Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki's Ricky Carmichael in the last four races. McGrath, riding for his own Team Mazda/Yamaha, won the opening round at Anaheim and then again at Round 3 in Anaheim but has failed to find the No.1 position on the podium since. The Wiley veteran McGrath can hardly be counted out as he sits a mere nine points behind Carmichael. Rather than getting frustrated, McGrath realizes the importance of consistency and has placed himself where he needs to be mistake he needs to be in the event that a Carmichael mistake takes place - hence what happened to Pastrana in the 125s.
The Superdome is one part of the clean-sweep season that Ricky Carmichael nailed down in 1998 as he won every 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross event - a feat no other rider has been able to do.
Can Team Mazda Yamaha's Jeremy McGrath bounce back and win New Orleans? McGrath has never won the event in the "big easy" and has not won a supercross in 2001 since Anaheim Round 2.
Last year's winner, David Vuillemin, showed up for press day and talked about his victory in 2000. "McGrath followed me the entire race last year," said Vuillemin. "He was on my back wheel for the entire 20 laps." Vuillemin has yet to win in 2001, can he step up and earn his first win this weekend?
<pre> Last Year's New Orleans Finish 1) David Vuillemin 2) Jeremy McGrath 3) Kevin Windham
Past Champions Of New Orleans
1998 Ricky Carmichael 1999 Ernesto Fonseca 2000 Stephane Roncada
1977 Marty Smith 1978 Bob Hannah 1979 Steve Wise 1980 (doubleheader) Mike Bell and Mark Barnett 1998 Kevin Windham 1999 Ezra Lusk 2000 David Vuillemin
</pre> Bob Hannah is the only 250cc rider to win the New Orleans event as well as the season championship.
Ricky Carmichael, Ernesto Fonseca , and Stephane Roncada won the 125cc New Orleans event and the season championship.
Coming into New Orleans, Ricky Carmichael has won 71% of EA SPORTS Supercross events.
Seven-time supercross champion has 29% win average in 2001 EA SPORTS Supercross events.
In 1996 McGrath boasted a 93% win average as he won 14 of 15 events in supercross.
Mouth of the south. EA SPORTS Supercross floor announcer Erv Braun suffered a broken arm during a riding session in Southern California's "Comp Park" a few weeks ago. However, that has not hindered his performance; Braun can still out-talk just about anyone, anywhere.
Travis Pastrana said in a press conference Thursday that in order to win the championship he will need to win just about every 125cc Eastern Regional Supercross event this season. The fate of Pastrana's championship run will also depend on Nathan Ramsey's finishes as well.
Brandon Jesseman's nasty first turn crash last weekend in Atlanta resulted in a broken thumb that has placed him in the disabled list for this weekend.
Nick Wey, Team Yamaha of Troy/Fox, and Mike Brown, Team Pro Circuit/SplitFire/Kawasaki, are tied for second place with 38 points apiece. Ramsey has 38 points in 1st place.
- Denny Hartwig