Ricky Carmichael has won a record fifth Daytona Supercross after taking victory in his home event on Friday night - a result which also puts the defending champion back into the 2006 AMA points lead.

Carmichael's fellow Floridian, James Stewart, grabbed the holeshot at the start of the 20-lap main event - but the Kawasaki star fell just a few laps later, handing Carmichael a lead he was never to lose.

Yamaha's Chad Reed, the third of the 'big three', went on to collect second place after finishing over 30secs from RC, with Stewart's team-mate Michael Byrne third. Stewart meanwhile, fought his back through the pack to claim sixth at the flag.

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"My goal was to come here and do better than I did last year," said Carmichael, who finished second to Reed at Daytona in 2005. "In the main, I felt super-comfortable on and I just rode my own race. I'm glad to get out of here with the points lead."

The victory was Carmichael's sixth of the season, third in a row, and marked Suzuki's first Daytona victory since 1981.

"When I was at the gate I heard the announcer say that the last time Suzuki won here was in 1981 and I was two years old," said the defending AMA and World Supercross Champion. "I'm happy to get the win, but I'm really, really happy for my team."

After Daytona - which only counts for AMA points and not World Supercross GP - Carmichael now holds a slim 2-point lead over Reed, with Stewart facing an uphill battle after slipping a further 24-points back. Carmichael already leads the World SX GP points chase.

Meanwhile, popular American Honda rider Ernesto Fonseca missed the Daytona event after fracturing his C-7 vertebra - and bruising his spinal cord - in a fall at his private test track on March 7. The full extent of damage to the Costa Rican's spinal cord is currently unknown, but Fonseca has already undergone an operation to stabilise the injury and is said to be in good spirits as he begins what looks like being a lengthy recovery.

Finally, in the Daytona Supercross Lites class, American Honda's Davi Millsaps rode to a convincing victory after overtaking early leader Chris Gosselaar on the opening lap. Kawasaki mounted Gosselaar later lost a further position to Sobe Honda's Josh Grant, but held on to take third at the flag.

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross results - Daytona:
1. Ricky Carmichael, Suzuki
2. Chad Reed, Yamaha
3. Michael Byrne, Kawasaki
4. Travis Preston, Honda
5. Nick Wey, Honda
6. James Stewart, Kawasaki
7. Ivan Tedesco, Suzuki
8. Tim Ferry, Honda
9. Billy Laninovich, Honda
10. Heath Voss, Yamaha

Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Lites results - Daytona:
1. Davi Millsaps, Honda
2. Josh Grant, Honda
3. Chris Gosselaar, Kawasaki
4. Thomas Hahn, Honda
5. Branden Jesseman, Yamaha
6. Kelly Smith, Honda
7. Josh Summey, Honda
8. Bryan Johnson, Yamaha
9. Jay Marmont, KTM
10. Michael Blose, Honda