AMA

St. Louis: Event preview

Carmichael looking to fie McGrath's three wins at the St. Louis Supercross. PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Two-time defending AMA Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael comes to the Edwards Jones Dome this Saturday, March 22, in a position to tie Jeremy ...

Carmichael looking to fie McGrath's three wins at the St. Louis Supercross.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Two-time defending AMA Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael comes to the Edwards Jones Dome this Saturday, March 22, in a position to tie Jeremy McGrath's record of three victories at the St. Louis Supercross. Carmichael, 23, of Havana, Fla., is leading the 2003 AMA Supercross Series having won seven of the last eight rounds. His victory in Daytona Beach, Fla., on March 8 was significant in that it gave Carmichael a 25-point cushion in the series standings over Australian Chad Reed. The 25 points is the equivalent of a race win, so Carmichael could completely miss a race and be no worse off than tied with Reed.

Carmichael has simply gotten stronger as the season has progressed. At the Daytona Supercross, he rode his factory Honda CR250 flawlessly and lapped every rider in the race with the exception of Yamaha teammates Chad Reed and Tim Ferry. It marked the fourth win for Carmichael in the Daytona Supercross, arguably the season's most important event of the year, matching the record four-straight wins in the prestigious race set by Jeff Stanton. But while Carmichael has to be happy with the way his season has gone so far, he still sounds cautious when talking about his chances of winning a third-straight AMA Supercross title.

"We still have six races to go," Carmichael explains. "As we know in this business anything can happen. I try never to look past the next race. I'm just trying to do the best I can each week and if I can do that, the championship will take care of itself."

Reed, who is racing in his first full season in the premier 250 class, still feels he has a shot at catching Carmichael in the points chase. He vowed after Daytona to do what it takes to get to the point that he can seriously challenge the champ. "Ricky is riding very solidly right now," Reed conceded, "and I'm just going to have to work harder to get to where I need to be." Reed won the 125 East race in St. Louis last year.

David Vuillemin is third in the series standings coming into St. Louis, but he crashed hard in Daytona. The status of his season is in question right now. That means that Tim Ferry will likely take over the third-place spot in St. Louis. Ferry's best finish on the season is third, which he's done four times coming into this weekend's race. Kawasaki's Ezra Lusk rounds out the top five. Lusk won the Phoenix Supercross in January, but has struggled since then.

With Carmichael pulling away in the 250 class, much of the attention will focus on the AMA 125 East Region Supercross battle. With two wins in the four rounds leading up to this Saturday, Suzuki's Branden Jesseman leads that series, but Kawasaki's Mike Brown closed to within five points of lead with a breakthrough win at Daytona. Yamaha of Troy's Brock Sellards is very much in the title hunt as well, sitting third, just 13 points out of first.

Despite earning two wins so far this season, Jesseman feels he can do better. "It's great to have the points lead for sure," said Jesseman after taking the runner-up spot at Daytona. "I just want to go back and do some more work because I feel like I can go faster, but I've just got to get more time on the bike. So I've just got to go back, work hard and I feel like I can come up with a win."

This marks the eighth year the AMA Supercross Series has visited the Edward Jones Dome (formerly the Trans World Dome). While it's one of the newer venues in the series, the Dome has been the site of several memorable races. Perhaps the most memorable was the first race there in 1996. That year Jeff Emig beat Jeremy McGrath in a thriller. That defeat kept McGrath from having a perfect undefeated season in the 1996 series. Supercross legend McGrath won races in St. Louis in 1997, 1999 and 2000. He retired before the start of this season, but is slated to make a farewell appearance for his many fans in St. Louis.

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
The Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis Missouri

FRIDAY MARCH 21, 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 22 , 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

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , David Vuillemin , Jeremy McGrath , Ezra Lusk , Chad Reed , Branden Jesseman , Mike Brown , Ed Jones , Jeff Emig