S. Louis Supercross: Gateway to 2002 Championship? PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Yamaha's David Vuillemin comes into the St. Louis Supercross at a crossroads. The Corona, California-based Frenchman led the entire first half of the AMA EA Sports...
S. Louis Supercross: Gateway to 2002 Championship?
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Yamaha's David Vuillemin comes into the St. Louis Supercross at a crossroads. The Corona, California-based Frenchman led the entire first half of the AMA EA Sports Supercross Series before a shoulder injury forced him to miss round nine last month at Daytona International Speedway. It was there that he lost the series lead. In the meantime Honda's Ricky Carmichael has gone on a five-race winning tear that has moved him into a 17-point lead over Vuillemin coming into this Saturday's, April 6, race at the Trans World Dome. While predicting results in AMA Supercross is anything but certain, chances are that Vuillemin will have to start winning again, and soon, to have a realistic shot to catch Carmichael in the championship.
Beating Carmichael at St. Louis will be tough. After a sub-par start to his 2002 campaign the 22-year-old Floridian has won seven of the last eight races. He is also the defending series champ and last year's winner at St. Louis. Even worse for his competition is the fact that Carmichael is taking nothing for granted. "I need to stay focused to the end of the season," said RC in a recent interview. "Just because I have a lead in the championship is no reason to back off. I approach every race with the feeling that I have to win."
Vuillemin is expected to be close to 100 percent at St. Louis after a two-week break from the circuit has given the former World Supercross Champion a chance to recover from his shoulder injury. The 24-year-old rode in obvious pain in his first race after the injury at New Orleans, but said he felt much better at the Houston outing two weeks ago. Kawasaki's Ezra Lusk has made a strong surge in the second half of the season. The 26-year-old Georgian has finished on the podium twice in the last three races. While happy that he finally seems to be adjusted to Kawasaki's race bikes after several years on Hondas, Lusk is anxious to prove that he can win. Look for him to turn in a strong showing in St. Louis.
Jeremy McGrath is another rider who has yet to win a race in 2002. The 30-year-old Californian would love to have a breakthrough at St. Louis, especially since it's the home of his sponsor Bud Light.
The AMA 125 East Region Supercross riders return to action this weekend in St. Louis. Australian Chad Reed has been one of the big stories of the AMA Supercross season. The Boost/Mobile Yamaha of Troy rider is a perfect five for five in 125 East action. Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Mike Brown is still within shooting distance of Reed in the championship battle, thanks to consistent podium finishes. Like Vuillemin in the 250 class, Brown is going to put a stop to Reed's momentum with a win this weekend in St. Louis if he's to catch the series leader.
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for professional motorcycle sport in the United States. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.
<pre> SCHEDULE OF EVENTS Trans World Dome, St Louis, MO
9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Rider registration and Tech Inspection at the Venue 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Bonus Awards Participant/Mechanic registration at the Venue 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Rider Track Walk 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Junior Supercross Riders Meeting (Mandatory) 12:00 noon - 12:15 p.m. - Riders Meeting (Mandatory) 12:15 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Junior Supercross Practice 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - 125cc Practice 1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - 250cc Practice 2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. - Track Maintenance 2:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - 125cc Practice 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. - 250cc Practice 3:45 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Qualifying Heats 5:30 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. - Junior Supercross Practice 5:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. - Track Maintenance 7:00 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies 7:30 p.m. - 7:40 p.m. - 125cc Heat #1 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main) 7:40 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. - 125cc Heat #2 - 6 laps - 20 riders (1st - 9th to Main) 7:50 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - 250cc Heat #1 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 1) 8:00 p.m. - 8:10 p.m. - 250cc Heat #2 - 8 laps - 20 riders (1st - 4th to Main) (5th - 20th to Semi 2) 8:10 p.m. - 8:25 p.m. - Junior Supercross Exhibition- 3 laps - 15 riders 8:25 p.m. - 8:35 p.m. - Track Maintenance (10 minutes) 8:35 p.m. - 8:40 p.m. - 125cc Last Chance Qualifier - 4 laps - 22 riders (1st - 4th to Main) 8:40 p.m. - 8:50 p.m. - 250cc Semi #1 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ) 8:50 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - 250cc Semi #2 - 6 laps - 16 riders (1st - 5th to Main) (6th - 16th to LCQ) 9:00 p.m. - 9:10 p.m. - Track Maintenance/ EA Sports Challenge Main 9:10 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. - 250cc Last Chance Qualifier - 6 laps - 22 riders- (1st & 2nd to main) 9:20 p.m. - 9:25 p.m. - 125cc Rider's Parade Lap 9:25 p.m. - 9:45 p.m. - 125cc Main Event - 15 laps - 22 riders 9:50 p.m. - 9:55 p.m. - 250cc Rider's Parade Lap 9:55 p.m. - 10:15 p.m. - 250cc Main Event - 20 laps- 20 riders