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Carmichael takes win streak to Anaheim III
3 February 2005
It doesn't seem to matter what type of motorcycle he rides or who steps up to challenge him, Ricky Carmichael always figures out a way to come out on top.
After a year's absence from the AMA Supercross Series the 25-year-old Floridian is back to his old dominating ways, carrying a three-race winning streak coming into Anaheim III, this Saturday (February 5).
The three-race streak has moved the Suzuki into a solid 16-point lead over Honda's Kevin Windham, while defending champ Chad Reed, of Team Yamaha, currently sits third in the standings, another 10-points behind Windham.
Carmichael is achieving the type of success in AMA Supercross that Suzuki hasn't experienced in many years. In fact, if RC wins this Saturday at Angel Stadium it would mark the first time in history that a Suzuki rider has won four AMA Supercross races in a row.
But while Ricky looks to be well on his way to winning his fourth AMA Supercross title, the veteran rider remains only cautiously optimistic regarding his 2005 campaign.
"It's a long season and I'm sure Chad (Reed) is going to step up his game," Carmichael said. "I'm going to have to continue to work hard, but I'll admit that I am pretty happy with the way this season's started."
Reed got a good start last weekend in San Francisco and led the first seven laps of the final before Carmichael passed him and gradually pulled away to a five-second lead at the finish of the 20-lap main. Despite not getting a victory so far this season Reed feels he's making progress.
"I'm making a bunch of little mistakes and Ricky's riding flawlessly right now," he said. "I have to put together 20 good laps and I should be OK. I challenged at Phoenix and crashed, then I challenged in San Francisco and didn't crash so I feel like I'm improving. I'm excited about Anaheim III. The weather's been good in Southern California and we should have a great track to race on."
Anaheim I winner Windham crashed in San Francisco resulting in a ninth-place finish, his worst this season. Factory Connection Honda team-mate Mike LaRocco took third in San Francisco and is fourth in the series coming into this Saturday's race. Privateer Nick Wey is fifth in the standings on his MDK Moto Honda.
While Carmichael has won three of the four races in the main 250 class, the AMA 125 West Supercross Series has been wide open with four winners in four races. The latest of which was Honda rider Billy Laninovich, who earned his first career AMA 125 Supercross win last weekend moving him into the top 10 in the series standings.
By contrast, series leader Ivan Tedesco (lower pic) was involved in a crash with Nathan Ramsey at San Francisco last weekend. Despite the tangle, Tedesco piloted his Pro Circuit Kawasaki from 16th to third by the chequered flag to preserve his series lead.
"I think I'm the only one among the winners this year that hasn't suffered a DNF," said Tedesco. "I just have to keep my consistency going and hopefully that will be what it takes to earn the championship."
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