Professional rider on closed course competition.

CARMICHAEL WINS ALTLANTA SUPERCROSS

February 27, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 26, 2006.

Ricky Carmichael raced to overall victory in Saturday evening’s Atlanta Supercross at Georgia Dome despite being told days earlier he’d been stripped of his victory in San Diego over an alleged rule infringement.

The Makita Suzuki rider took the 20-lap Supercross Main event by 2.9 seconds from series leader Chad Reed (Yamaha) and James Stewart (Kawasaki) as team mate Ivan Tedesco put his RM-Z450 into fourth place.

For Carmichael, the win was bittersweet. On the one hand, the Atlanta race is close to his Florida home and the defending Supercross Champion was racing in front of friends and family. It was also his fourth career win at the Georgia Dome and his 100th career Supercross-class start. But all of this came on the heels of the AMA docking Carmichael 25 points for allegedly using illegal fuel at the San Diego race, which knocked Carmichael out of the points lead.

“It was a race win,” said Carmichael matter-of-factly after the race. “I don’t have much to say. It’s a shame and unless a miracle happens, I’m just out here racing to race. I’m disappointed for my team because we put in too much work, too much training and way too much money to sit on the sidelines and watch two other guys go at it for the championship. But life goes on and we’re gearing up for the Outdoors season.” As usual, the Makita Suzuki riders’ evening began with the Supercross-class heat races. Both riders finished in second place in their respective eight-lap qualifiers, each advancing to the Main.

In spite of the circumstances, Carmichael put his head down in the 20-lap main and rode for all he was worth. He got a pretty good start and used the first half of the race to move into position to take the lead. Once he was out in front, he rode smoothly and consistently to the chequered flag.

“It was a great race,” acknowledged Carmichael. “I saw James Stewart go down in turn one and I saw I could catch Chad Reed. I knew I could get up there. I got into second and put in some good hard laps and when I got around Chad, he was right on my tail. As the track got worn out, it was harder to go faster and harder to pass. I gave it my all and tried to run consistent laps. Even so, no championship for me.”

Tedesco got a tremendous start and was in second place from the start. He held on to that position for the first several laps before being passed by Carmichael and settling into third. Eventually, however, he was overtaken by the competition and finished just behind the podium-finishers in fourth.

“I struggled with the track all night and I’m pretty happy with fourth considering how the weekend went,” admitted Tedesco. “I felt pretty strong at the start and I tried to run a good pace, though it wasn’t good enough for the top three tonight. I’m just looking forward to racing my Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 at Indianapolis next weekend.”

In the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP, Carmichael still leads the points chase and Tedesco remains in fourth position overall.

Supercross Main: 1 Ricky Carmichael (Makita Suzuki), 2 Chad Reed (Yamaha), 3 James Stewart (Kawasaki), 4 Ivan Tedesco (Makita Suzuki), 5 Ernesto Fonseca (Honda), 6 Michael Byrne (Kawasaki), 7 Nick Wey (Honda), 8 Mike LaRocco (Honda), 9 Ryan Clark (Honda), 10 Travis Preston (Honda).

AMA Supercross Points (after 8 rounds): 1 Reed 171, 2 Stewart 152, 3 Carmichael 140, 4 Tedesco 126, 5 Byrne 118, 6 Wey 117, 7 Fonseca 110, 8 LaRocco 108, 9 Preston 90, 10 McGrath 67.

World Supercross Points (after 10 rounds): 1 Carmichael 217, 2 Reed 211, 3 Stewart 211, 4 Tedesco 173, 5 Byrne 164, 6 Wey 163, 7 Gibson 113, 8 Clark 112, 9 Thomas 110, 10 Evans 94.

For more stories about Ricky Carmichael, click here . For photos, click here .

For more stories about Ivan Tesdesco, click here . For photos, click here .

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