Indy marks start of second half of the 2003 AMA Supercross series. PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The first half of the 2003 AMA Supercross Series closed last weekend in Atlanta with Honda's Ricky Carmichael in a very familiar place -- atop the winner's...
Indy marks start of second half of the 2003 AMA Supercross series.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The first half of the 2003 AMA Supercross Series closed last weekend in Atlanta with Honda's Ricky Carmichael in a very familiar place -- atop the winner's podium. The second half of the 16-race AMA Supercross Series gets underway this Saturday, March 1, at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Carmichael comes into Indy halfway home in his quest to win his third straight AMA Supercross championship. Last year at mid-season, David Vuillemin led Carmichael by 20 points, but shortly afterwards the Frenchman injured his shoulder in a photo shoot, missed the Daytona round, and it was all Carmichael in the second half. This year Vuillemin's Yamaha teammate Chad Reed is hoping that he can emerge from a 17-point series deficit to catch and pass Carmichael by season's end.
This season is playing out very much like Carmichael's first championship season. In 2001, the Florida native won six of the first eight rounds en route to winning the title over now retired AMA Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath. This year Carmichael has won five out of eight and is starting to put a little daylight between himself and Reed. This despite Carmichael suffering crashes in three races this year. In Atlanta, Carmichael sounded like a rider who learned from his early-season errors. "I have made some mistakes this year and hit the ground," Carmichael said. "So I am doing my best to ride mistake free. There are a lot of races coming up that I really enjoy, Indy being one and of course Daytona."
For his part, Reed, riding his first full season of AMA Supercross, still believes he's in a good position to put pressure on Carmichael during the second half of the season if he can shore up a few riding errors of his own. "I didn't really focus on my starts last week," said Reed, who won the AMA 125 East Region Supercross Series race in Indianapolis last year. "I guess it showed in the main (in Atlanta). This week I have to go back and practice my starts. There's still a lot of time left in the season and I feel fast. If I can get my starts in order then I think Ricky and I can have a good bar-to-race race like everyone has been hoping for."
Defending Indy winner David Vuillemin is third in the standings and in a good position to take advantage should either Carmichael or Reed stumble. Tim Ferry is fourth in the series, putting three factory Yamaha riders in the top five. Kawasaki's Ezra Lusk rounds out the top five coming into Indy. Lusk won in the RCA Dome in 1999.
Indy fans continue to hold out hope that favorite son Mike LaRocco will finally win his home AMA Supercross. The 32-year-old Hoosier racing veteran, from South Bend, has been hampered with a shoulder injury this season, but still finds himself 10th in the standings. LaRocco, who is nicknamed "The Rock," is participating in his 16th season in AMA Pro Racing.
The AMA 125 East Region Series is highly competitive this year with the top-three riders separated by just seven points. Brock Sellards, of Sherrodsville, Ohio, holds a two-point lead over Pennsylvanian Branden Jesseman. Sellards is coming off a victory last week in the Georgia Dome. Tennessee's Michael Brown is a close third. This Saturday will mark the third round in the seven-race 125 East Series.
For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log onto www.USMotocross.com.
<pre> SCHEDULE OF EVENTS RCA Dome- Indianapolis, IN
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2003 1:00 pm - 1:10 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 1:13 pm - 1:23 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B 1:26 pm - 1:41 pm - 250 Factory Riders Practice 1:44 pm - 1:59 pm - 125 Factory Riders Practice 2:02 pm - 2:12 pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 2:15 pm - 2:25 pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B 2:28 pm - 2:38 pm - Break 2:40 pm - 2:50 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 2:53 pm - 3:03 pm - 250 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B 3:06 pm - 3:21 pm - 250 Factory Riders Practice 3:25 pm - 3:40 pm - 125 Factory Riders Practice 3:43 pm - 3:53 pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group A 3:56 pm - 4:06pm - 125 Privateer Riders, Practice Group B
* if less than 40 Riders, Group A & B will be combined
SATURDAY MARCH 1 , 2003 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm - 125 Practice 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm - 250 Practice 2:15 pm - 2:45 pm - Track Maintenance 2:45 pm - 3:00 pm - KTM Practice 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm - 125 Practice 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm - 250 Practice 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm - Qualifying Heats 5:30 pm - 5:45 pm - KTM Practice 5:45 pm - 6:45 pm - Track Maintenance 7:00 pm - 7:20 pm - Opening Ceremonies 7:30 pm - 7:40 pm - 125 Heat #1 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main) 7:40 pm - 7:50 pm - 125 Heat #2 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main) 7:50 pm - 8:00 pm - 250 Heat #1 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 1) 8:00 pm - 8:10 pm - 250 Heat #2 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 2) 8:10 pm - 8:25 pm - Junior Supercross Exhibition- 3 laps - 15 riders 8:25 pm - 8:35 pm - Track Maintenance (10 minutes) 8:35 pm - 8:40 pm - 125 Last Chance Qualifier - 4 laps - 22 riders (1st - 4th to Main) 8:40 pm - 8:50 pm - 250 Semi #1 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ) 8:50 pm - 9:00 pm - 250 Semi #2 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ) 9:00 pm - 9:10 pm - Track Maintenance 9:10 pm - 9:20 pm - 250 Last Chance Qualifier - 6 laps - 22 riders 9:20 pm - 9:25 pm - 125 Rider's Parade Lap 9:25 pm - 9:45 pm - 125 Main Event - 15 laps - 22 riders 9:50 pm - 9:55 pm - 250 Rider's Parade Lap 9:55 pm - 10:15 pm - 250 Main Event - 20 laps- 20 riders