Not too long ago, a red-headed, freckle-faced kid came out of Southern California to dominate the motocross scene. He went on to win every championship there was to win in the sport and now gets his kicks racing Indy cars. His name was Jeff Ward. Today, Team Green?s redheaded, freckle-faced dominator goes by the name of Ricky Carmichael, and as Yankee legend Yogi Berra said, “It?s like deja-vu all over again”.
Carmichael and Wardy?s dominance bears striking similarities: Ricky has nine amateur titles, three 125 Nationals, an East Coast Title, a 250 National, and a Motocross des Nations Victory?all of this at the age of 20! The only thing preventing Carmichael from matching Ward?s dominance in every way is the lack of a 500cc National Title. Suffice it to say, he is Kawasaki?s prodigal son. Dirt Bike caught up with Ricky following his victory in Las Vegas to find out what makes the man who is McGrath?s greatest threat.
“Vegas was a great win for me, not only for the money, but to know that my riding is headed in the right direction for the upcoming year. It?s good to start off fresh and I feel ready to enter the upcoming season and give it all I?ve got.”
We asked about the importance of training as it relates to his success and his response was simple. “For every different rider there?s probably a different training regimen,”Ricky says. “I focus almost entirely on riding.” Seeing the results that a more one-dimensional training program has produced, it would be hard to argue with the outcome.
On the future of motocross and his future in particular Ricky had this to say; “I really see motocross making huge leaps forward in the coming years. It?s already come a long way since I first started and hopefully it can continue. I?d like to see it approach the popularity of NASCAR but unfortunately I don?t think it will happen in my lifetime. When my racing career is over I hope to continue working in the industry in one way or another.”
As for the effect Kawasaki has had on an already dominant race career Ricky feels lucky to be associated with such a great factory. “It?s almost like a family. It?s great to know that the team you race for is 100% behind you in every way.” With a rider as talented as Ricky, Team Green would be well served to “keep it in the family”.