REED GOING FOR FOUR STRAIGHT AT SAN DIEGO
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (February 8, 2006) ? Yamaha?s Chad Reed will be going for a rare four-peat in the San Diego Supercross this Saturday, Feb. 11 at Qualcomm Stadium. Reed has yet to score a victory in the first five rounds of this year?s Amp?d Mobile AMA Supercross Series, but last year used his San Diego Supercross victory to launch a strong second half of the season charge that saw him make a serious bid for the championship. Reed, a 24-year-old Australian, came up just short of catching Ricky Carmichael, but this time around he hopes to win back the AMA Supercross title he last held in 2004.
Reed comes into San Diego this Saturday ranked second in the series standings; 13 points behind defending champ Carmichael. He?s gotten to that position by way of four runners-up finishes in the five races leading up to this weekend?s event. The environs of Qualcomm Stadium have always been good to Reed. He?s won every race at the stadium since he moved up to the AMA Supercross class full time in 2003. After taking second in Anaheim last weekend Reed said he felt he was making progress.
“I just need to find a little more speed,” Reed said. “It?s simple things like a bit faster cornering, or cutting out little errors during the races. So far things are better than they could have been. I had a bad result in San Francisco, but am still in second in the series. If I can make slight improvements in the coming rounds I think I?ll be able to build on that. San Diego?s been a turning point for me before. Maybe it will be again this time around.”
While Reed is still looking to step up in San Diego, series leader Ricky Carmichael is hoping to build on the momentum he holds. The No. 4 Suzuki rider won for the third time this season last weekend in Angel Stadium. Carmichael has opened up the biggest lead of the season, putting a little breathing room between himself and rivals Reed and James Stewart. Surprisingly Carmichael, who is a four-time AMA Supercross champ, hasn?t won at San Diego since 2001. He seems inspired by the challenge from Reed and Stewart.
“So far this season has been the one that Supercross fans have been waiting for,” Carmichael said. “James [Stewart] has the speed, Chad [Reed] has been consistent, while I?ve been plugging away and getting victories where I can. It?s a long season and a lot of things can happen. I look forward to another good battle in San Diego.”
Stewart has been the fastest rider at most races this season, but that speed has come at a cost. The Kawasaki factory rider crashed three times on a slick, hard-packed Anaheim Supercross track last weekend and fell to third in the standings, 14 points behind Carmichael, after a season worst eighth-place. The youngest of the “Big Three” will be looking to get back on track this weekend in his first San Diego appearance in the premier Supercross class.
Another rider to watch for in San Diego is Carmichael?s Suzuki teammate Ivan Tedesco. The two-time AMA Supercross Lites West champ is starting to find his speed on the bigger bikes. He scored his first AMA Supercross podium finish last weekend and hopes to build on that success.
“Tonight was a great night for me and for Suzuki,” said Tedesco after the Anaheim race. “It?s been a goal of mine all year to get on the box and I finally put it all together tonight and was able to put in 20 consistent laps on my Makita Suzuki RM-Z450. I?m not used to running up front yet but I?m getting more comfortable with it. I?m looking forward to taking this to San Diego next weekend.”
Former San Diego Supercross winners David Vuillemin and Jeremy McGrath are also expected to be in the field Saturday.
Saturday will be the last AMA Supercross Lites West round before a two-month break while the series moves back east. The Lites West Series is one of the best in years with the top four riders running within seven points in the standings after five rounds. Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki rider Grant Langston holds a one-point lead over Honda?s Andrew Short after Langston earned his second win of the season last weekend in Anaheim.
“Winning races is the best way to pick up the championship, and that is what I plan on doing for the rest of the season,” said Langston after taking the victory last Saturday. “Our team has been working hard this season, especially after last week?s race, where there was mud everywhere and things were a mess. This was an important win for me and for Kawasaki.”
The San Diego Supercross will receive next-day coverage on CBS starting 12:00 pm Eastern.
Doors open to the public Saturday at Qualcomm Stadium at 12:30 pm and the main event starts at 7:00 pm. Tickets are available at the Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, all participating Yamaha Dealers or charge by phone at 619-220-8497.