The last time Honda lost a superstar rider to a rival firm (ie Valentino Rossi to Yamaha), it refused to allow him the opportunity to test on the rival’s machinery until the beginning of the calender year marking the end of his contract. By contrast, just two weeks after securing his second perfect MX series for Honda, Ricky Carmichael is aboard his new Suzuki testing at the factory supercross track.
Photos are beginning to emerge of Carmichael aboard the yellow machinery (take a look at his clothing sponsor’s website here). Rumor has it that Carmichael is already quite comfortable, and extremely quick, aboard the factory RM250 two-stroke he will campaign in the 2005 AMA Supercross Series. Carmichael will debut his Suzuki ride next month in Las Vegas at the U.S. Open.
After mastering the Honda CRF450R outdoors, Carmichael has commented that he still feels a 250cc two-stroke has an advantage in the tight confines of a supercross track. His teammate at Suzuki, Sebastien Tortelli, will race the new RM-Z450 in next year’s supercross series, as the team readies the big four-stroke for Carmichael’s assault on the 2005 AMA Outdoor Motocross Championship.