CARMICHAEL WORLD SUPERCROSS CHAMPION!

Ricky Carmichael clinched the THQ/ FIM World Supercross Championship at Saturday night's Seattle Supercross in America.

The 25-year-old Team Makita Suzuki rider raced to third place and 20 points to win the 18-round series - which started with two rounds in Toronto and Vancouver in December - with an unbeatable 372 points from Mike Larocco (311) and Makita Suzuki's Sebastien Tortelli (236).

In the 16-round THQ/ AMA Supercross series, the Florida rider now holds a 30-point lead over reigning champion Chad Reed with two rounds - and 50 points still up for grabs - remaining in Houston and Las Vegas next month.

Said Carmichael: "It feels great to win the World Series and I'd like to thank Clear Channel and the FIM for making this possible. It's a great opportunity for the sport to grow Worldwide. It's the only title I didn't have and hopefully there will be another one soon."

In the 20-lap 250cc Main Event, he gated second behind James Stewart (Kawasaki) as reigning champion Chad Reed (Yamaha) crashed and remounted dead last. Stewart pulled out a nine second lead in the following five laps and Reed - a minute down on the leader - started an amazing comeback that almost got him on the rostrum.

Carmichael's team mate Sebastien Tortelli, riding the new RM-Z450 four stroke, clawed back from 17th to seventh before slipping off just past the halfway stage and undoing all his hard work. He eventually finished 16th with five points which was enough to secure third place in the World Series and hold seventh in the AMA Supercross standings.

With three laps to go, Stewart increased his lead to 13 seconds from Carmichael, who was now under fire from Honda's Kevin Windham and a fast-charging Reed, who passed Mike Larocco and set his sights on the duo.

Windham pulled alongside Carmichael in the whoops section and made a pass on Turn 6, which demoted Carmichael to third on the podium.

Said Carmichael: "Bubba was riding good. He was the guy tonight so congratulations to him. Kevin also deserved it tonight. I knew he was closing, but all of a sudden, he was on my tail and got by.

"I'm a bit disappointed with my result. I thought I was riding hard tonight but I'm not the guy I was at the beginning of the series. I'm not going to lie down and take it though. I want to win races and I'm pumped for the title.

"I struggled a bit tonight - especially in the whoops - and I've got to admit the other guys were head and shoulders above me. It's a tough pill to swallow as I really thought I was charging, but wasn't.

"I had a big crash mid week and needed medical attention but I'm not making excuses. It's been a tough couple of weeks for me. I'm not riding how I want to - I was dominating in St Louise but since then I've been struggling and I really don't know what the problem is. But I've got a great team behind me and I'm going to the next round in Houston to win," he added.

In the 125cc West Coast Championship, Makita Suzuki's Broc Hepler returned from injury after missing the last three rounds to claim fourth place behind Nathan Ramsey (KTM), Andrew Short (Honda) and newly-crowned champion Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki).

THQ/ FIM World Series points (after 16 of 18 rounds): 1 Ricky Carmichael (Makita Suzuki) 372, 2 Mike Larocco (Honda) 311, 3 Sebastien Tortelli (Makita Suzuki) 236, 4 Heath Voss (Yamaha) 222, 5 Tyler Evans (Suzuki) 217, 6 Damon Huffman (Honda) 187, 7 Jason Thomas (Honda) 165, 8 Tim Ferry (Yamaha) 155, 9 Nick Wey (Honda) 136, 10 Joe Oehlhof (Honda) 125.

250cc Main Event (20 laps): 1 James Stewart (Kawasaki), 2 Kevin Windham (Honda), 3 Ricky Carmichael (Makita Suzuki), 4 Chad Reed (Yamaha), 5 Mike Larocco (Honda), 6 David Vuillemin (Yamaha), 7 Travis Preston (Honda), 8 Tyler Evans (Suzuki), 9 Heath Voss (Yamaha), 10 Tim Ferry (Yamaha). 16 Sebastien Tortelli (Makita Suzuki).

THQ/ AMA 250cc Points (after 14 of 16 rounds): 1 Carmichael 325, 2 Reed 295, 3 Windham 246, 4 Larocco 229, 5 Vuillemin 211, 6 Fonseca 175, 7 Tortel li 16 9, 8 Voss 134, 9 Evans 119, 10 Preston 113.

125cc Main Event (15 laps): 1 Nathan Ramsey (KTM), 2 Andrew Short (Honda), 3 Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki), 4 Broc Hepler (Makita Suzuki), 5 Jay Marmont (KTM), 6 Billy Laninovich (Honda), 7 Joshua Summey (Honda), 8 Brett Metcalfe (Yamaha), 9 Ryan Abrigo (Honda), 10 Justin Keeney (Kawasaki).

THQ/ AMA 125cc Points (after 7 of 8 rounds): 1 Tedesco 147, 2 Ramsey 116, 3 Short 101, 4 Laninovich 97, 5 Metcalfe 82, 6 Marmont 80, 7 Smith 77, 8 Sipes 67, 9 Hahn 65, 10 Morais 53. 13 Hepler 46.

Next round: April 30, Houston, Texas.

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office



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