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MOTOCROSS

Carmichael Begins Defense

May 11, 2003|Martin Henderson

Ricky Carmichael, who won all 24 motos in last year's 12-race Outdoor National Series, begins defense of his title today in the AMA/Chevy Trucks U.S. Motocross Championship at Glen Helen Raceway in San Bernardino.

Carmichael, fresh from winning his third consecutive Supercross title with a seven-point victory over Yamaha rider Chad Reed, is more at home in the outdoor series and hopes to pilot his 250cc Honda safely around the treacherous Glen Helen layout. Several riders are returning after being injured during the Supercross season, among them Travis Pastrana, Ezra Lusk and Mike LaRocco. The field also includes David Vuillemin, Tim Ferry, Nate Ramsey and Grant Langston.

James "Bubba" Stewart, the heavy favorite to win the 125cc title after winning the West Region Supercross title with seven victories in eight races, is out with a concussion and broken collarbone, and East Region champion Branden Jesseman is out with a broken thumb. That leaves the field open for Andrew Short, winner of last week's East/West Shootout in Las Vegas, Ivan Tedesco, Michael Byrne, Mike Brown, Eric Sorby and Stephane Roncada.

Heats begin at 9 a.m., opening ceremony is at noon and professional classes begin racing at 1 p.m.

-- Martin Henderson

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