A month ago Ricky Carmichael lost his lead in the Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series after crashing and breaking his Makita Suzuki.
Showing the true grit of a champion, Carmichael has stormed back with three straight wins and after taking his record fifth Daytona Supercross victory last Friday, the defending champ is back atop the point standings as the series moves to the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida, for round 11 of the 16-race championship on Saturday, March 18.
But even though Carmichael has earned back the points lead he still sees a long road ahead of him before he can win his fifth AMA Supercross title.
"The Daytona Supercross win was a great accomplishment and it gives me a strong boost in the championship," Carmichael said. "There's still a ways to go and I know that Chad and James are capable of winning a lot of races. I'm going to have to be on top of my game all the way to the final race in Las Vegas, because the championship will probably go down to the last race."
Carmichael's Daytona win was his sixth of the year and gave the Floridian a slender two-point lead over 2004 AMA Supercross champ Chad Reed, who rode on bravely at Daytona in spite of injuring his shoulder in a practice crash. The rugged Australian is expected to race in Orlando.
"If I could get through Daytona I can get through anything," Reed said after riding the gruelling Daytona round with the right shoulder injury. "I think I'll be OK for Orlando. I may not be 100 percent, but I've had these problems before and, with help from my trainer, have been able to ride through them."
Meanwhile, James Stewart continues a season of showing spectacular speed, but suffering accidents and bad luck in the process. The young Kawasaki ace is still very much in the championship hunt with six races to go. He's third in the AMA standings, but has dropped 26-points behind Carmichael after crashing and finishing sixth in Daytona.
Honda star Kevin Windham is slated to make his comeback from injury in Orlando. Windham suffered a broken arm in pre-season testing and this will be his first race of the 2006 season. Windham's presence could shake up the points race among the top riders.
In the AMA Supercross Lites East series Honda's Davi Millsaps, who grew up in Orlando, is dominating with three wins in four rounds. With his win in Daytona last week Millsaps has pushed his lead to 23 points over Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Christopher Gosselaar.
"I have a lot of friends and family in Orlando so it's always great to get back down there," Millsaps said. "I'm riding really strong right now and I'd like to keep my momentum going this weekend."