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MOTOR RACING

Carmichael Rallies From Fifth to Win

February 02, 2003|Martin Henderson

Ricky Carmichael was booed when he was introduced during opening ceremonies at Edison Field on Saturday, but the American Honda rider from Havana, Fla., delivered a crowd-pleasing performance at the end of the night.

With his Honda hooking up through a slow S turn on the unique Edison Field layout that gave riders an option of taking a slower, shorter route or a faster, longer route, Carmichael came back from fifth place to win his third consecutive race in the AMA THQ Supercross Series.

"The tires were working good in the hardpan," said the two-time defending 250cc champion. "That's what everyone wanted to see, me and Chad race."

Carmichael finished 0.595 of a second ahead of Australian Chad Reed, who also is second to Carmichael in the series and won the season-opening event at Anaheim. Carmichael has 115 points, Reed 106, and Ezra Lusk and David Vuillemin are tied for third with 87.

Michael Byrne, another Australian aboard a Honda, led the first eight laps before Carmichael overtook him. Reed also passed Byrne, who ultimately finished fourth, behind Yamaha rider Vuillemin of Corona.

Kawasaki rider Lusk held off French Suzuki rider Stephane Roncada for fifth place.

Carmichael's victory was his 29th, moving him into second place all-time, ahead of Ricky Johnson. It came in front of 45,050, the 10th sellout in the last 12 races at Edison Field. More than 134,000 watched the three races at Anaheim over the last five weekends.

The only rider who is hotter than Carmichael is James "Bubba" Stewart, 17, of Haines City, Fla., who won his fourth consecutive race in five events this season, running away from the field by more than 21.5 seconds in the 125cc main event.

Stewartextended his lead to 28 points over Travis Preston.

-- Martin Henderson

*

A Porsche GTS RS was out front in a tight five-car battle at the halfway point of the Rolex 24 sports car endurance race at Daytona Beach, Fla. Timo Bernhard of Germany regained the lead minutes before halfway when a Porsche-powered Fabcar Daytona Prototype driven by Scott Goodyear of Canada slowed and pitted with a flat tire, losing two laps.

-- Associated Press

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