Carmichael Clinches Championship

Kit Palmer | August 20, 2006

Although there’s still one moto left, Makita Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael clinched the Motocross-class Championship for the seventh time after winning the first moto at Binghamton’s Broome-Tioga Sports Center in New York today.

Carmichael started the title-clinching moto in third but rode around Kevin Windham and Davi Millsaps to take the lead by the second lap. From there, Carmichael steadily pulled away, taking the win well ahead of eventual second-place finisher James Stewart, Windham and Millsaps.

All told, RC now has 10-straight outdoor titles (three 125s and seven 250/450s) and five Supercross titles.

“I can’t believe it,” Carmichael said from the podium. “I’ve had an amazing career, and I always wanted to go out on top.”

Carmichael will race just selected races in 2007.

In the Lites class, Makita Suzuki’s Broc Hepler pretty much led from start to finish in the first moto, taking the win ahead of Yamaha newcomer Josh Hill, Troy Adams, Ryan Villopoto and Kelly Smith.

The Lites series took a major turn when Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi fell in the second turn after pulling the holeshot; he got up and rode back to the pits with reportedly a damaged bike. A very disappointed Alessi, who was reportedly in tears, held the series points lead going into the Binghamton race, but the DNF gives Villopoto the points lead.

As far as the weather, rain fell most of the night, but the sun broke out around 10 a.m., leaving the track in good condition for the start of the first motos.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.