We’ve heard that Ricky Carmichael will, indeed, race the US Open in Las Vegas next weekend, but according to Chad Watts, RC’s wrench, this is definitely not the case.
“At the moment, I would say that there is a 40% chance that we will be there racing,” said Watts in a phone call on Tuesday evening. “Ricky has been enjoying a little vacation time, but he is feeling more and more comfortable on his bike.
“It looks like everyone is racing – MC, Lusk, Ferry, K-Dub. I know that Ricky is thinking about racing because he is tired of everyone talking so much crap about him not racing. Me? I think that it is gonna be a two-man race whether Ricky races in Las Vegas or waits until Anaheim. I don’t think Ricky beat Jeremy last year just because he was in better shape, he was a better rider. I know that MC has put his head down and is busting his butt, and he will be our toughest competition in 2002, for sure.
“But as far as the US Open goes, it’s hard to say. If Ricky wants to go, we’ll go. It doesn’t matter to me. I think he’s ready and he is definitely faster on his new bikes. We’re all jazzed, and I can’t wait for the world to see what he’s got. Whether or not we show up in Vegas will be determined next Monday, when he gets here to California for some testing.
“I’ll be in Las Vegas either way. I can sit at the blackjack table or wrench on a bike – either is fine with me. The way I look at it – one way I will make money, the other way I will lose it!”
Keep your fingers crossed – if RC decides to show, this will definitely be the greatest US Open in the event’s three-year history! We’ve also heard that Iron Mike LaRocco has been tearing it up on a CR250R at the Honda test track down the street, and is anxious to break in his ’02 race bike in Las Vegas. Stay tuned!