Professional rider on closed course competition.

Team Makita Suzuki Racing’s Ricky Carmichael on the Podium in Exciting Season-Opening Supercross Race

January 11, 2006

Round 1 - Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series

Anaheim, CA

Angel Stadium

Jan. 7, 2006

Team Makita Suzuki Racing’s Ricky Carmichael carded a podium finish in the highly anticipated season-opening round of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series at Angel Stadium, on Saturday night before a screaming, sold-out Anaheim, Calif., crowd of 45,500. Carmichael’s Makita Suzuki teammate Ivan Tedesco captured an impressive top-five finish in his first AMA Supercross class race.

Carmichael started the cool, dry evening by winning his eight-lap heat race aboard his Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. “I’m having a blast,” he said from the podium. “This was a great start for me and it’s just good to be out here at the start of the season.”

Although Tedesco crashed in his heat race, he won his six-lap semi and advanced to the main. He attributed the victory to racing the two World Supercross GP events. “The Canadian races were good to get a feel for where I’m at,” he said. “The team’s been working really hard on the RM-Z and I’ve been working really hard on myself.”

For the main event, Carmichael and his Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 rode hard for all 20 laps but a mid-race get-off resulted in his forfeiting the win. When the starting gate dropped, Carmichael got a good jump off the line but got caught up in the madness of turn one. Even so, he charged ahead and was battling for the lead when he went down in the whoop section. In spite of the get-off, Carmichael recovered and got a spot on the podium.

“I felt really good tonight,” Carmichael said afterward. “It’s a shame that I fell and that I couldn’t put it together for my team and for myself. I’ve always wanted to win Anaheim 1 but I’ve never done it in my whole career and I’m running out of time. I really wanted to win, but it didn’t happen so we’re moving on to the next race.”

Meanwhile, Tedesco got a great start in the main and was battling for the lead on the first lap. Unfortunately, he stalled a few laps later and fell back in the field. Undaunted, however, he pushed his Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 hard and in the end walked away with a fifth-place finish.

“The weekend didn’t start out great,” admitted Tedesco. “In practice, I was off the pace. Then, in my heat race I was doing good but I went down with (Michael) Byrne. But I won my semi and that helped my confidence. In the main, I was in second and trying for the lead but I couldn’t quite get it. Then I stalled the bike, but my Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 fired right up; at first, I rode a little tight but then I mellowed out for the last five laps.”

With the pressure of the 2006 season’s first AMA Supercross officially out of the way, Team Makita Suzuki Racing heads for Phoenix, AZ, and round two this weekend. “I love going to Phoenix,” said Carmichael. “I got my first 250 podium there and my wife and I have family there. I just really love the city and the venue. Overall, my speed has been pretty good and I’m definitely energized. I look forward to the challenge of racing with these guys.”

Likewise, Tedesco is excited about next weekend’s event. “I’m real excited about Phoenix,” he said. “We know what direction we want to go in with the RM-Z450 and Phoenix is kind of a home-town race for me because all of my family from New Mexico comes out.”

In the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP, Carmichael and Tedesco are in second and fourth positions overall, respectively.

Supercross Class Top 10 Finishers:

1. James Stewart, Kawasaki

2. Chad Reed, Yamaha

3. Ricky Carmichael, Team Makita Suzuki Racing

4. Mike LaRocco, Honda

5. Ivan Tedesco, Team Makita Suzuki Racing

6. Ernesto Fonseca, Honda

7. Nick Wey, Honda

8. Travis Preston, Honda

9. Michael Byrne, Kawasaki

10. David Vuillemin, Honda

(Kyle Lewis, holeshot)

Supercross Lites Class Top 10 Finishers:

1. Andrew Short, Honda

2. Ryan Villopoto, Kawasaki (holeshot)

3. Billy Laninovich, Honda

4. Grant Langston, Kawasaki

5. Darcy Lange, Kawasaki

6. Paul Carpenter, Honda

7. Jake Weimer, Honda

8. Brett Metcalfe, Yamaha

9. Mike Alessi, KTM

10. Eric Sorby, Honda

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