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MOTORCYCLE RACING

Reed Wins, Carmichael Rallies for Second

January 05, 2003|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

There will be no repeat of last year in the 2003 AMA Supercross Series. There will be no reason for Ricky Carmichael to stage the greatest comeback in supercross history.

Carmichael, who had won 15 consecutive series races, fell twice in the first three laps Saturday and was unable to recover to win and make it a sweet 16.

Instead, he finished second while Australian rookie Chad Reed won the season-opening 250cc event in dominating fashion on his Yamaha before 45,050 at Edison Field, the stadium's ninth sellout in 10 races since 1999. Reed led by more than 23 seconds going into the last of 20 laps.

Tim Ferry finished third aboard a Yamaha.

Carmichael finished last in the season opener a year ago -- he suffered a concussion and facial lacerations in his crash -- and then won 11 races en route to his second consecutive championship.

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Kawasaki rider James "Bubba" Stewart, 17, won his qualifying heat by 23.6 seconds, but finished second to defending champion Travis Preston of Hesperia after starting 21st in a 22-man field in the 125cc Western Region Supercross Series.

Last season, Stewart, from Haines City, Fla., became the youngest main event winner in supercross history by winning his second race.

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Seven-time champion Jeremy McGrath, the winningest rider in supercross history, retired Thursday and said goodbye Saturday, taking a ceremonial lap. He was also given the Mickey Thompson Award of Excellence for a career that included 72 victories.

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