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SUPERCROSS: Anaheim 2 race notes

Carmichael collects first THQ Supercross victory. Stewart wins first career Supercross in Anaheim. ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 18, 2003) - Honda's Ricky Carmichael, the two-time defending supercross champion, won his first 250cc THQ Supercross of...

Carmichael collects first THQ Supercross victory.
Stewart wins first career Supercross in Anaheim.

ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 18, 2003) - Honda's Ricky Carmichael, the two-time defending supercross champion, won his first 250cc THQ Supercross of the year at Edison International Field in front of 44,732 fans. Team Kawasaki's James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., logged his first 125cc Western Regional Supercross win.

Carmichael passed Sebastien Tortelli, who won the $1,500 SXGP.com holeshot award, in the second turn of the 250cc main. Last week's winner, Ezra Lusk, was third out of the gate. Yamaha's Chad Reed, who shared the series points lead with Carmichael coming into tonight, started in eighth and slipped back to 17th after a crash.

Lusk, of Bainbridge, Ga., followed Tortelli for 17 laps before moving into second. Before Lusk went down in the whoops, Honda's Mike LaRocco passed him for second. Carmichael won and took over the points lead. LaRocco was second and Tortelli third.

"I had two bad races and made some mistakes," said Carmichael. "Now I am back to where I was. It's funny how you can have some bad races and everyone thinks you should retire. I worked hard all week to get this win."

Team Red Bull/KTM's Billy Laninovich earned the $1,000 SXGP holeshot award but Stewart, who came in to tonight's event tied for first place with Team Honda's Travis Preston, quickly passed him for the lead. Preston, who missed Friday's practice due to illness, started mid-pack and struggled to get to the front.

Stewart led by more than 25 seconds with four laps remaining and lapped the entire field up to fifth place before taking the checkered flag.

"I said to myself before the start that I needed to get to the first turn early," said Stewart. "I had 15 solid laps ... I wanted this win bad."

Team Solitaire's Ryan Clark leads in the Nissan Frontier privateer bonus award. Nissan will award the top-finishing privateer a brand new Frontier at the end of the season.

Competition heads north to for the first ever supercross at San Francisco's Pac Bell Park next weekend, January 25.

-cce-

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About this article
Series AMA , Other bike
Drivers Ricky Carmichael , Ezra Lusk , Sebastien Tortelli , Chad Reed , James Stewart , Mike LaRocco