AMA Supercross Returns to San Fran

Sean Alexander
by Sean Alexander

AMA Supercross will make its first ever visit to San Francisco when round four of the 16-race series comes to Pacific Bell Park this Saturday, Jan. 25. Defending and two-time AMA Supercross Champion Ricky Carmichael leads the series over Australian Chad Reed coming into this weekend's race.

Bringing the AMA Supercross Series to San Francisco will give Bay Area motorcycle racing fans their first opportunity to watch the AMA Supercross Series in their own backyard in eight years. The last AMA Supercross Series
race in the Bay Area was held in 1995 at San Jose's Spartan Stadium. San Jose hosted
a round of the series from 1990 to 1995. Prior to that, AMA Supercross visited Oakland Coliseum (now called Network Associates Coliseum) in 1979 and 1980.

The AMA Supercross Series, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing and promoted by Clear Channel Motorsports, is one of the most popular forms of motor racing in America. A total of 792,909 fans attended the 16-event tour last year,
averaging nearly 50,000 per event.

The 2003 series has started out as one of the most competitive in years. There have been three winners in the first three rounds leading up to Saturday's event. Honda ace Ricky Carmichael took over the series points lead after winning last Saturday in Anaheim. Carmichael, 23, of Havana, Fla., started the 2003 campaign by crashing in the first two rounds of the series, but recovered in both races to finish well and stay close in the standings to early series leader Chad Reed. It was Reed, a 20-year-old Yamaha factory rider in his first full season of the top division of AMA Supercross, who suffered a crash last weekend
and finished sixth. That dropped him from first to second in the standings, but he's just three points behind Carmichael. Veteran AMA Supercross riders Ezra Lusk and Tim Ferry are tied for third in the standings. Lusk won two weeks ago in Phoenix. It was his first win on the circuit in four years.

Carmichael's Anaheim victory put him in a tie for third with Bob Hannah on the all time AMA Supercross wins list with 27-career victories. Carmichael is chasing recently retired Jeremy McGrath's record of 89 combined AMA Supercross and Motocross wins. Carmichael now has 81. "I would like to (break the 89 wins) record before Vegas," Carmichael said, referring to the final AMA Supercross race in May in Las Vegas. "My ultimate goal right now is to have 90 wins. That is one better than Jeremy. It's going to be tough, but now that I have one race win under my belt I think I can do it. After that, I have nothing to prove to anyone."

Carmichael is coming off the single best season turned in by any rider in the history of AMA Supercross and Motocross. In 2002 he won 11 AMA Supercross races en route to that championship and then managed an incredible undefeated season in the premier 250cc class of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship. It was the first time a rider had gone unbeaten in the history of AMA Motocross. Carmichael was awarded the prestigious AMA/Speed Channel Athlete of the Year Award for 2002.

Supporting the main AMA Supercross event at PacBell Park will be round four of the AMA 125 West Region Supercross Series. Kawasaki's 17-year-old phenom James Stewart leads the 125 series over defending champ Travis Preston. Stewart has won two of the three rounds leading up to this weekend's event and is hoping to win the 125 title this year before moving up to the main 250 class next season.
For immediate post-race results, points, live transponder scoring, in-depth series and rider information, regular columnists and much more, log-on to:
Get in your Inbox
Sean Alexander
Sean Alexander

More by Sean Alexander

Join the conversation