For the last decade, impressing your non-riding buddies with Supercross predictions was easy. Just before the gate dropped, it was as simple as saying, “Watch that McGrath guy. Ten bucks says he holeshots and pulls away within a few laps, leads the entire race, and does a Nac-Nac over the triples on the last lap.” To your friends’ astonishment, you called the race and took their ten bucks with your remarkable insight into the sport. Well, if you used that trick this year, your buddies were laughing all the way to the bank! 2001 has proved to be the year of the Redhead, and without a single gate dropping on the grueling outdoor tracks that he is accustomed to dominating, Ricky Carmichael has begun a new reign, in the process bringing the thrill of battle back to the indoor fans. Never before has SFX experienced the record ticket sales that they have had in ’01, and they owe it all to the kid who put his nose to the grindstone and worked against the odds to upset the Champ. No matter the outcome, Ricky has proven to Jeremy that things aren’t going to be as easy as they were in the past. Supercross has once again become an unpredictable conflict, and there’s nothing the sport needed more to solidify it as an on-your-feet, screaming, adrenaline-rushing spectacle. Anyone that saw Ricky and Jeremy swap leads for the umpteenth time in a 20-lap main this year can attest to the health of our sport and the fact that Supercross is as enticing as ever and going strong into the new millennium. Whether or not MC will come back swinging in ’02 remains to be seen, but one thing is for sure: Jeremy realizes he needs to step it up to an even higher level of training and preparation to keep up with Carmichael, so with an eight month break, Supercross promises to be even better next year!