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SUPERCROSS: Las Vegas press day notes, part I

Art Eckman, Media Prof. Las Vegas: * Of the nine 250 winners at Las Vegas, all but Ricky Carmichael won their first 250 or 125 supercross, or their last 250 supercross in the city that never sleeps. * The first race in Las Vegas was staged in...

Art Eckman, Media Prof. Las Vegas:

* Of the nine 250 winners at Las Vegas, all but Ricky Carmichael won their first 250 or 125 supercross, or their last 250 supercross in the city that never sleeps.

* The first race in Las Vegas was staged in mid season (3/17/90). It was won by Jeff "Chicken" Matiasevich. It was Jeff's first and only 250 SX win.

* 1990 was also the year in Las Vegas that Jeremy McGrath won his first 125 race. It was his first professional season and his only career victory on a Kawasaki.

* Other first time250 winners in Las Vegas: Mike LaRocco (1991) and Jeff Emig (1995) * It was in 1995 that the electrical power went out at Sam Boyd Stadium. Jeremy McGrath who had wrapped up the title two races prior in Cleveland decided along with others including race winners Henry & Kiedrowski not to race with portable lighting. LaRocco who won two races that year was out with an injury.

* The Yamaha team chose to leave it up to the individual riders whether conditions were safe enough to ride in '95. Jeff Emig decided to run and won his first of seven 250 supercross races. It moved him from fourth to third in the season's final standings. Larry Ward on a Noleen privateer Yamaha took second. He would finish the highest in the standings for a privateer in supercross history (2nd) John Dowd completing his first year on a factory SX ride (Yamaha) took third place in the race.

* Las Vegas didn't become the final race of the season until '93 when Jeff Stanton won his final 250 supercross. (the last of 17 wins)

* Other riders who won their last 250 supercross in Las Vegas: Jean-Michel Bayle ('92) and Doug Henry ('97). * This will be the first time since 1997 that the 250 championship will be decided in the last race of the season. That year Jeff Emig needed a ninth if Jeremy McGrath won the race. Emig finished in 5th winning the title while Jeremy finished in 7th 15 points back in the final tally.

* The most significant fact when Doug Henry won his last 250 supercross victory in '97 was that he became the first ever to win a 250 class supercross on a four stroke. (Yamaha)

* The 250 championship also went down to the final race in 1992, not in Las Vegas however. It was the last year the points leader going into the race lost the title in the final round. That year at the LA Coliseum Damon Bradshaw needed a third or better to win the crown if Jeff Stanton won the race. Bradshaw had a record breaking nine wins that season but a sixth at Charlotte, a 19th at Indianapolis, and a ninth at Las Vegas opened the door for Stanton. Bradshaw admitted he blew it finishing fifth while Stanton won the race and the title. (3points)

* Jeremy McGrath is the "King of Las Vegas". Despite choosing not to ride in 1995 he won four times at Sam Boyd stadium. ('94, '98 through 2000) He also won three straight 125 races in Las Vegas.

250's

* If Chad Reed wins Las Vegas, Ricky Carmichael needs a fifth or better to win the title. If he should place in sixth and Reed win the race both would have 360 points and Reed would be awarded the title with eight wins on the season to Ricky's seven.

* This is the first season since the 125 class was created that every 250 winner is a former 125 East champion. * The same three riders have finished on the podium in the exact order the last five consecutive races. 1) Reed 2) RC 3) Fonseca. Four of the five races they were the only factory team riders in the field.

* Longest seasonal win streaks in 250 supercross: 1) 1996 Jeremy McGrath - 13, 2001 Ricky Carmichael - 13, 3) 1978 Bob Hannah - 6, 1988 Rick Johnson - 6, 2002 Ricky Carmichael - 6, 6) 1992 Damon Bradshaw - 5, 1995 Jeremy McGrath - 5, 1999 Jeremy McGrath - 5, 2003 Chad Reed - 5.

* We have had only three riders take the checkers this season, which is extremely unusual. Not counting the first two seasons when there was only four and three races in a season, we've had three or fewer different winners in a campaign only five times in 28 years. Two of those seasons ('96 & '01) there were only two winners.

* The 1985 season saw the most winners with eight. (Johnny O'Mara, Broc Glover, Ron Lechien, Mark Barnett, Bob Hannah, Jeff Ward, Rick Johnson and David Bailey)

Ricky Carmichael:

* Ricky will try for a three peat at Las Vegas. So far this year he is two for eight in three peat tries. He was successful at Atlanta, and Minneapolis. He also kept a win streak alive at Daytona with his fourth in a row. He was denied three consecutive wins at Anaheim, Phoenix, St. Louis, Houston, Irving TX, and Salt Lake City.

* Hasn't won since Daytona. It is his longest losing streak (5) since the end of the 2000 season. * Ricky is tied with Chad Reed in wins with seven, leads Reed 6 to 5 in second place finishes. Both have one third place. Ricky's worst race of the season was a fourth at Phoenix.

* "RC" would become the king of AMA titles should he win the number one plate at Las Vegas. It would be his ninth AMA crown. He is tied with McGrath with eight. Rick Johnson and Jeff Ward have seven apiece while Stanton, Glover and Hannah have six each.

* Should Ricky win the title he would become only the third rider in supercross history to win three titles in a row. Bob Hannah and Jeremy McGrath the other two.

Larry Ward:

* This will be Larry's 199th start of a 250 supercross race just one shy of the most in the history of the sport held by the injured Mike LaRocco.

* After two hole shots in three races (Larry leads the hole shot category with 3 on the season) he got a last place start last week in Salt Lake.

* After finishing the first lap in 20th place he worked his way back to 11th saving his top ten position in the standings (9th).

* Larry leads the money winners on the Clear Channel Privateer bonus program making 14 of the 15 main events worth more than $15,000.

* He has three career supercross wins with the last one coming in Seattle in 1999.

Ezra Lusk:

* Has been injured since a crash in practice at Houston. * Won his 12th career victory at Phoenix. Is only one of three winners on the season.

Chad Reed:

* Chad has won five races in a row. A win in season's finale would tie him with Bob Hannah for the longest seasonal win streak in Yamaha's supercross history. Hannah tallied six in a row in '78. Jeremy McGrath had five in a row on a Yamaha in 1999.

* During his 5 race win streak Chad has led 80% of the laps run. (During Ricky's midseason four race win streak he led almost 79% of the laps run.)

* Should Reed upset Carmichael for the championship he would become the fifth Yamaha rider to win the 250 title. ('74 - Karsmakers, '77-'79 -- Hannah, '80 -- Bell, '98-'00 -- McGrath)

* Chad tied Ricky Carmichael in wins (7) with his victory at Salt Lake City. He leads Ricky in laps led - 133 to 130. (44% to 43% of the laps run)

* Chad's hole shot at Phoenix is the only one between the two contenders. * Chad has not won a main event without first winning the qualifying heat. * If Chad should win the title he would continue being the first Australian to gain such status.

Brock Sellards:

* Did not race at Salt Lake City * His best 250 finish this year was a seventh at Anaheim III. * Brock led more laps than anyone in the 125 East (44 of 105) * Despite two wins in the 125 East (Atlanta and Houston) a triceps injury took him out of the title chase.

Ernesto Fonseca:

* Even after a ninth place start he finished third for the fifth straight race last week at Salt Lake City. * Ernesto has continually improved his riding during the second half of the season. For the most part he's eliminated crashes and poor starts. He's gone from averaging a 12.5 finish in the first seven races to a 4.25 average in the last eight. That includes an 11th place finish at Daytona.

Nick Wey:

* Is finishing the season strong posting back to back fourth places. At Salt Lake City he also had his best start of the year in third.

* Nick has had six top five appearances this year, and 12 top 10's. * He's climbed from 19th to fourth in the standings.

Heath Voss:

* Heath moved into second last week in the THQ World Supercross GP season standings. If he can hold off Tim Ferry just five points back and Keith Johnson only eight points behind it's worth $30,000 to the Mach One rider.

* Heath's best results this season were back to back fifth place finishes. (Pontiac & Dallas)

Sean Hamblin:

* After a very good start last week, Sean had to settle for a fifth place finish. * Starting the season as a 125 West rider Sean was asked to remain in the 250's because of the rash of injuries on Team Suzuki. He's come through with promise.

* In eight 250 races Sean has average an 8.3 finish, with a DNF skewing the figure. His best finish was a fourth at Pontiac. He tallied his second fifth pace last week. He has had six single digit races in eight events.

* Sean has one hole shot on the year (Pontiac) and won his very first 250 qualifying heat ever at Houston. * The DNF was caused by a hard crash in qualifying at Dallas. He came back with eyes as big as saucers to take a second in the semi's and make the main, but after a couple of laps decided it was in the best interest of all concerned that he pull off.

* His best 125 finish this year was a fourth at Phoenix.

Keith Johnson:

* Keith ties to hold onto a ten point lead over Ryan Clark for rookie of the honors. That's a $25,000 payday plus a new Nissan Frontier pickup.

* Keith stands to make more than $71,000 from purse money and privateer bonuses.

Ryan Clark:

* Is giving it his all coming into the last race of the season. He moved within 10 points of Keith Johnson for World Supercross Rookie of the Year honors.

* Ryan had one of his best supercross days ever last week getting a sixth place start working up to second then holding onto his best finish of the year. (6th) That would be a career high.

Josh Demuth:

* Had his best 250 supercross finish with an eighth in Salt Lake. He also advanced directly to the main with a second place in the qualifier.

* The two time arena cross champion is starting to get used to supercross.

Ivan Tedesco:

* Didn't race at Salt Lake City after his best ever 250 finish in sixth place in Dallas. He finished up the 125 East season with his first supercross win.

Part II press day notes

-cce-

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About this article
Series AMA , Other bike
Drivers Jeff Ward , Ricky Carmichael , Jeremy McGrath , Ezra Lusk , Ernesto Fonseca , Chad Reed , Heath Voss , Jeff Emig , Mike LaRocco , Doug Henry