Ricky Carmichael’s performance Saturday night at Anaheim III, Round 5 of the AMA Supercross series, looked every bit like a turning point in this sport. Seven-time supercross champion Jeremy McGrath has never been caught and passed quite like he was by Carmichael on Saturday.
The world’s greatest outdoor motocross rider, Carmichael has a reputation for taking a championship series points lead and never looking back. Once he gets his confidence level up, he can absolutely devastate the competition. Last year’s 250 Outdoor National championship is a good example, where Carmichael had some inconsistency early in the season, but started winning and then proceeded to break Bob Hannah’s season win record while dominating the field.
Carmichael is sounding just as confident, now, about Supercross. The way he rode Saturday night, he has good reason to be confident, and the competition has good reason to be worried. The competition includes, of course, McGrath, and McGrath is a cool, seasoned veteran. McGrath, however, may already realize that Carmichael has more speed than he has . . . and Anaheim is a West Coast track which favors McGrath.
Assuming Carmichael stays healthy, and with the East Coast tracks and Daytona still ahead, it’s pretty hard to bet against him at this point. Carmichael’s dream was to not only win the AMA 250 Supercross championship, but to dethrone McGrath in his prime. He is on his way to doing both.