PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 7, 2005) — Ricky Carmichael clinched the 2005 AMA 250 Motocross Championship presented by FMF Sunday with a victory at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. The championship was the sixth straight for Carmichael in the 250 class and his 13th AMA national title overall. His tally now reads ¿ six AMA 250 Motocross Championships, three AMA 125 Motocross Championships and four AMA Supercross Series titles.
Carmichael came into this year¿s motocross season facing the task of helping rebuild Makita Suzuki into a championship-winning team. He was also set for a showdown with fellow Floridian James Stewart, who moved up to the 250 class after breaking many of Carmichael¿s records in the 125 class. The challenge from Stewart never really materialized as the first-year 250 rider was beset by injuries most of the season. However it appeared that Carmichael was ready for Stewart and the rest of the 250 field regardless of how well prepared they might have been. Even riding the new and unproven Suzuki RM-Z450 Carmichael was dominant. He served notice of his intentions by dominating the opening round at the Hangtown National in May and he never looked back winning every round through Steel City last weekend.
If Carmichael is victorious at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino, Calif., this weekend, he will score his third undefeated season in AMA 250 Motocross.
Throughout the 2005 season Carmichael extended his records. This year he doubled the legendary Hall of Famer Bob Hannah in terms of number of 250 national wins. Hannah is second-ranked on the all times wins list. At many tracks Carmichael gave Suzuki its first win since the days of Kent Howerton and Mark Barnett in the early 1980s. This championship marked the first 250 title for Suzuki since Greg Albertyn won the big prize in 1999.
¿I don¿t know what to say,¿ Carmichael said, ¿except the wins keep coming. I¿ve had a great career and I¿ll try to get as many more as I can. I know that when I signed with Suzuki, I didn¿t know it was going to be as good as it was,¿ he added. ¿I was confident in my abilities and in the team and you¿ve just got to give it up for Suzuki and all my sponsors ¿ it¿s a long list, my wife, my parents. It¿s been a long career and a fun one.¿
In his nine years in AMA Pro Racing Carmichael has become the most dominant rider ever in American motocross. Carmichael was also the most successful amateur racer as a youth. He was named AMA Motocross Rookie of the Year in 1996 after competing in only one race. He began professional racing in earnest in 1997 and has won championships every season since then. He¿s never failed to defend a title in a series in which he¿s competed.
At Steel City Carmichael also won the Monster Energy Drink Triple Crown of Motocross ¿ a $25,000 bonus for sweeping the High Point, Red Bud and Steel City rounds of the 2005 AMA Motocross Championship. He donated a commemorative motorcycle to be auctioned for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
After the Glen Helen season finale Carmichael says he will turn his attention to America¿s return to the Motocross of Nations (MXoN). Carmichael dominated the Olympic-like motocross competition in Zolder, Belgium, in 2003, but the American team finished second. Carmichael was part of the American team that won the event in 2000, and he hopes, along with teammates Kevin Windham and Ivan Tedesco, to bring the MXoN trophy back to the U.S. this year.
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.