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Reed ignites AMA battle, Georgia next
23 February 2005
Just when it seemed nobody could stop Ricky Carmichael, who was enjoying a five race win streak in the 2005 THQ AMA Supercross Series, defending champion Chad Reed took his first victory of the season last weekend in San Diego.
And this Saturday, February 26, the 22-year-old Australian is hoping to continue that new found momentum and start a win streak of his own as the series move to the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Reed breathed new life into the championship by moving his Yamaha past the Suzuki of Carmichael on the final lap of a tense San Diego event and is now hoping to repeat his achievements during the second half of 2003 when he closed out the year with six-straight wins over RC.
It's going to take that kind of run for Reed to have a chance to catch three-time AMA Supercross champ Carmichael - who sat out the 2004 indoor season through injury. Despite losing to Reed last week, Carmichael has won five of the seven rounds and holds a commanding 29-point lead over Reed.
Nevertheless, the exciting last-lap pass and win last week in San Diego is certain to go down as one of the most memorable victories for Reed, who appeared moved in accepting the trophy on the podium.
“I've asked a lot of my team this year,” Reed said after winning San Diego. “They've risen to the occasion and this win is a credit to them. I never expected it would take so long get a win this year and hopefully this will be the first of many more this season.”
Reed's victory last weekend was the 19th of his career and it tied him with Damon Bradshaw for sixth on the all-time AMA Supercross wins list.
Carmichael crashed trying to re-pass Reed in San Diego, but was able to remount his Makita Suzuki and still salvage second. While not thrilled with his performance Carmichael seemed to take his first loss in six races in stride.
“Chad rode a great race and I got beat plain and simple,” Carmichael admitted. “The loss will give me the incentive to go home and practice that much harder. Sometimes when you win so often you start to lose some motivation and this is the kind of thing that will keep me motivated to continue to improve.”
Ricky will be aiming to give Suzuki its first Atlanta Supercross win since 1983.
Meanwhile, veteran Mike LaRocco moved back into third in the standings over Amsoil Chaparral Honda team-mate Kevin Windham after taking third last weekend. LaRocco is a former Atlanta Supercross winner.
Georgia will also see the AMA 125 East Supercross Series resume with round two. Georgia's own Davi Millsaps leads the standings after winning the 125 East opener in Indianapolis on his factory Suzuki a few weeks ago.
Millsaps turned 17 last week and is one of the leading up-and-coming riders in the series, but if he is to hang on to his series lead he will have to hold off former AMA Motocross Champion Grant Langston, who comes into Atlanta ranked second, and Josh Hansen, a second generation pro racer who is third in the series.
Matt Walker is another home state hero in the 125 class and comes into Atlanta ranked fifth.
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