This is a press release from AMA Pro Racing...
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Sept. 6, 2005) -- Newly crowned champ Ricky Carmichael comes to San Bernardino, California’s Glen Helen Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 11, for the final round of the 2005 AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF seeking his third undefeated season. While Carmichael is hoping to add another chapter to the record books, Monster Energy Drink Kawasaki’s Ivan Tedesco and Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi will settle the season-long battle for this year’s AMA 125 Motocross Championship at Glen Helen.
Prior to 2002 no one seriously considered the possibility of an AMA motocross racer going unbeaten for an entire season. Even as Ricky Carmichael closed in on that record during that historic campaign three years ago he doubted that it could ever be accomplished. “Too many things have to come together perfectly for an entire season,” Carmichael argued. “I seriously doubt anyone will ever have a perfect season.” Carmichael then went on that year to become the first rider in AMA Motocross history to win every moto and every overall event. For good measure he duplicated the feat last year.
Once again a major task faced Carmichael as the 2005 AMA Motocross Championship began at the Hangtown National in May. He was now riding for Suzuki, a team that had such tough luck in AMA Motocross for so long that whenever something bad happened to one of the team’s riders it was famously dubbed the “Suzuki Curse”. Carmichael obviously was not superstitious. He was also to finally face James Stewart, the Kawasaki phenom who had broken most of Carmichael’s records in the 125 class.
As the series comes to a conclusion Sunday at Glen Helen, Carmichael is on the verge of turning in yet another undefeated season, making a feat once considered impossible seem almost routine. The Suzuki Curse and challenge from Stewart both fell to the wayside. The only blemish in this year’s record was a second-place moto finish at Unadilla Valley Sports Center in New York, back in July. Despite being beat up from a mid race crash Carmichael was still able to rally and win the second moto to preserve the overall victory at Unadilla and keep his 2005 winning streak alive.
“I’m looking forward to Glen Helen,” said Carmichael, who clinched this year’s championship with his victory last Sunday at Steel City Raceway in Delmont, Pa. “It would be nice to win 12 in a row again. I’d especially like to do it for Suzuki. The team has really gotten behind me this year. I didn’t expect to have the kind of season I’ve had this year. It’s been a pleasant surprise, but we put in a lot of work to make it happen. It’s great to see all the work Suzuki put in finally pay off.”
Carmichael is seeking his fourth straight win and fifth overall at Glen Helen in the 250 class. He also scored three wins at the challenging Southern California circuit in the 125 class in the late 1990s.
Ivan Tedesco and Mike Alessi hope to join Carmichael in putting their name in the record books on Sunday by winning the AMA 125 Motocross Championship. Tedesco is in control of his own destiny. The New Mexico native needs to score 16 points to secure the title. Alessi needs a little help if he’s to steal the title away at the last minute.
Tedesco sounds relaxed and confident coming into this weekend’s deciding race. “I like racing at Glen Helen,” said Tedesco, who was considered a Supercross specialist prior to this year’s performance in the nationals. “I’ve had some decent finishes there in the past. There’s a little more pressure going into this weekend no doubt, but I’m going to just go in there and treat it like any other race.”
Alessi admits that his chances are slim.
“Realistically the championship is out of my hands,” said the rookie from Apple Valley, Calif. “In a way that makes things simple for me. I go into Glen Helen with one goal and that’s to win. Whatever happens happens. The championship would have been nice, but I’m still happy with the way my first full season has gone.”
While all eyes will be on Tedesco and Alessi this weekend a host of other 125 riders are hoping to close out the 2005 season with a bang. Suzuki’s Broc Hepler was blazingly fast last week at his home track, winning his second-career national. He has to be considered a leading contender this weekend. Tedesco’s Kawasaki teammate Grant Langston is sure to be riding with a point to prove as well. The former champ led the series early before injuries slowed him. He’d like nothing better than to go out with a win. Langston won this race in 2001.
On Thursday, Sept. 8, several riders will take part in the annual Racer X, Chaparral, Glen Helen Invitational Golf Tournament benefiting the Emergency Trauma Care Center at Loma Linda University Medical. Visit www.glenhelen.com to get more information on the golf benefit and this weekend’s race or call (909) 880-3090.