Carmichael Wins Big

Henny Ray Abrams | February 11, 2001

It had been nine years since anyone other Jeremy McGrath had won three supercrosses in a row entering tonight’s race at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. A few hours later, Ricky Carmichael changed all that.

Riding unchallenged from the front, the Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki rider cruised to his fourth win of the season, and third in a row, before a crowd of 55,912 in round six of the AMA/EA Sports Supercross Series. Not only that, but he did it with the largest margin of victory of the season, 12.2 seconds.

“When I get a good start I feel comfortable,” Carmichael said. “Like I said, this year I feel I can ride the pace to win and not be out of control. And that’s the kind of problem I had two years ago. My bike’s working a lot better this year and that makes a big difference.”

The last time a rider other than McGrath won three Supercrosses in a row was in 1992 when Yamaha’s Damon Bradshaw had a five-race winning streak.

Mazda Yamaha’s Jeremy McGrath moved into second just past the halfway mark and was never a threat. By the time he passed Yamaha’s Tim Ferry, he was nearly eight seconds behind Carmichael and couldn’t make up any ground.

“I was doing everything I could to get around Ferry, and by the time I got around him I couldn’t even see RC,” McGrath said.

The reigning Supercross Champion also lost ground in the championship. After six of 16 rounds of the AMA/EA Sports Supercross Championship, Carmichael leads McGrath, 142-136. Amsoil/Doc Martens/Competition Accessories Honda’s Mike LaRocco got his usual bad start and finished sixth, but remains third in points at 111.

American Honda’s Ezra Lusk was third today, just holding off teammate Sebastien Tortelli. Yamaha’s Tim Ferry ended up fifth.

Proving that he’s fully recovered from a recent concussion, American Suzuki’s Travis Pastrana moved into the lead on the third lap and ran away from the rest of the field in the opening round of the 125cc AMA/EA Sports Eastern Regional Supercross Series.

After getting edged out on the holeshot by Yamaha of Troy’s Nathan Ramsey, Pastrana quickly scooted by, only to get passed by Splitfire/Pro Circuit’s Mike Brown. Skimming a set of whoops with only his rear wheel, Pastrana wheelied into the lead on the third of 15 laps and edged away to win by 4.9 seconds, punctuating it with a no-hands jump over the finish line.

“This is definitely the way I wanted to start it off,” a jubilant Pastrana said on the victory stand.

Ramsey made the Eastern Regional debut of the four-stroke Yamaha YZ250F a successful one. The Yamaha of Troy rider passed Brown on the ninth of 15 laps and pulled away to a secure second. Brown said that his forearms tightened up, but he relaxed and rode steadily to third. Ramsey’s teammate, Nicholas Wey, was fourth.

The win also gives Pastrana the early championship lead with 25 points, five ahead of Ramsey, with Brown third at 16.

250cc Main:

1. Ricky Carmichael (Kaw)

2. Jeremy McGrath (Yam)

3. Ezra Lusk (Hon)

4. Sebastien Tortelli (Hon)

5. Tim Ferry (Yam)

6. Mike LaRocco (Hon)

7. Kevin Windham (Suz)

8. Robbie Reynard (Yam)

9. Stephane Roncada (Kaw)

10. David Vuillemin (Yam)

11. Michael Craig (Hon)

12. Casey Johnson (Kaw)

13. Steve Lamson (Hus)

14. Damon Huffman (Yam)

15. Kyle Lewis (Yam)

16. Jean Sebastien Roy (Hon)

17. Michael Byrne (Kaw)

18. Ryan Clark (Yam)

19. Heath Voss (Hon)

20. James Povolny Jr. (Hon)

AMA/EA Sports Supercross Point Standings (After 6 of 16 rounds):

1. Ricky Carmichael (142/4 wins)

2. Jeremy McGrath (136/2)

3. Mike LaRocco (111)

4. Kevin Windham (97)

5. Ezra Lusk (86)

6. David Vuillemin (85)

7. Stephane Roncada (77)

8. Nick Wey (62)

9. Tim Ferry (58)

10. Sebastien Tortelli (55)

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.