PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Feb. 22, 2005) — Just when it seemed nobody could stop Ricky Carmichael, who was enjoying a five race winning streak in the THQ AMA Supercross Series, defending champion Chad Reed took his first victory of the season last weekend in San Diego. This Saturday, February 26, the 22-year-old Australian is hoping to start a winning streak of his own as the series move into the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Reed breathed new life into the championship run by moving his Yamaha past the Suzuki of series leader Ricky Carmichael on the final lap in San Diego. Reed is hoping to repeat what he did in the second half of 2003 when he closed out the year with six-straight wins. It’s going to take that kind of run for Reed to have a chance to catch three-time AMA Supercross champ Ricky Carmichael, the rider from Havana, Fla., who has sprinted to his best start ever, winning five of the seven rounds coming into the Georgia Dome. Despite losing to Reed last week Carmichael holds a commanding 29-point lead in the series over Reed.
The exciting last-lap pass and win last week in San Diego is certain to go down as one of the most memorable victories for Reed. He appeared moved in accepting the trophy on the podium.
“I’ve asked a lot of my team this year, Reed said after winning San Diego. “They’ve risen to the occasion and this win is a credit to them. I never expected it would take so long get a win this year and hopefully this will be the first of many more this season.
Reed’s victory last weekend was the 19th of his career and it tied him with Damon Bradshaw for sixth on the all-time AMA Supercross wins list.
Carmichael crashed trying to re-pass Reed in San Diego, but was able to remount his Makita Suzuki and still salvage second. While not thrilled with his performance Carmichael seemed to take his first loss in six races in stride.
“Chad rode a great race and I got beat plain and simple, Carmichael admitted. “The loss will give me the incentive to go home and practice that much harder. Sometimes when you win so often you start to lose some motivation and this is the kind of thing that will keep me motivated to continue to improve.
Carmichael will try to give Suzuki its first Atlanta Supercross win since 1983.
Veteran Mike LaRocco moved back into third in the standings over Amsoil Chaparral Honda teammate Kevin Windham after taking third last weekend. LaRocco is a former Atlanta Supercross winner.
The AMA 125 East Supercross Series will resume with round two in Atlanta. Georgia’s own Davi Millsaps leads the standings after winning the 125 East opener in Indianapolis on his factory Suzuki a few weeks ago. Millsaps, of Cairo, Ga., just turned 17 last week and one of the leading up-and-coming riders in the series. If Millsaps is to hang on to his series lead he will have to hold off former AMA Motocross Champion Grant Langston, who comes into Atlanta ranked second, and Josh Hansen, a second generation pro racer who is third in the series.
Matt Walker, of McDonough, Ga., is another home state hero in the 125 class. Walker comes into Atlanta ranked fifth.
The Atlanta Supercross will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2 starting at 5 pm EST on Sunday, Feb, 27.
Tickets for the event are available at the Georgia Dome Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, all participating Yamaha dealers, or you can charge by phone at 404-249-6400.
About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the THQ AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.