CARMICHAEL DEBUTS NEW RM-Z450 IN VEGAS
Oct 16, 2006 - Team Suzuki Press Office – October 16, 2006.
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Team Makita Suzuki Racing’s Ricky Carmichael made his comeback from a shoulder injury to race his new Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 to second overall at the US Open of Supercross at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas at the weekend.
The RM-Z450 that the team raced incorporated a combination of chassis components from both the 2006 and 2007 bikes.
Makita Suzuki Team Manager Roger DeCoster said: “We wanted to use this race as a test and we learned what we needed to learn.”
Said Carmichael: “I’m glad we raced the new bike. Now we know where we need to be for the World Supercross GP rounds in Canada.”
On Friday night, the 25-lap main event started off poorly for Carmichael, who went down in turn one. Despite the mishap, the defending US Open Champion rallied and worked his way up to second place before the race’s end. Team mate Ivan Tedesco got a great start and charged hard to an impressive fourth-place finish.
“I just went in to Turn One too fast,” said Carmichael. “I laid the bike down and I knew I had my work cut out for me. With the Makita Suzuki RM-Z450, we have a new chassis and a new bike and we made a lot of changes between the heat race and the main. We made some pretty big adjustments with suspension and geometry. The thing that disappointed me was that it took me to the Main Event to get the bike dialled in.”
Said Tedesco, “In my heat race I just lost the front, but we made a few changes to the Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 before the Main Event that helped me ride it better in the corners. But my first few laps weren’t great and I made some mistakes. I’m happy overall though with the changes we made to the bike.”
On Saturday night, Tedesco got the holeshot and took the lead before a get-off put him at the back of the pack. “I got a great start, but then I lost the front end and I just couldn’t get going again. I learned a lot about the bike and I learned a lot about myself. Now I know what I need to work on so I’ll go home and come out swinging for the world rounds in Canada.”
Carmichael had tucked in behind Tedesco for the first few laps and then moved up into second place. The newly-crowned Supercross and Motocross Champion was battling for the lead when the first-place rider stalled his bike in front of Carmichael.
“James Stewart stalled his bike and I had nowhere to go,” said Carmichael. “But I surprised myself this weekend. I didn’t expect to do this after hurting my shoulder. I can’t complain, I’ve been very fortunate and this race gives me a lot of confidence going into the World Supercross rounds.”
Team Makita Suzuki Racing will next contest round one of the 2007 amp’d mobile World Supercross GP at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on December 2nd.
1: James Stewart (Kawasaki)
2: Ricky Carmichael (Makita Suzuki)
3: Kevin Windham (Honda)
4: David Vuillemin (Honda)
5: Tim Ferry (Kawasaki
6: Michael Byrne, Kawasaki)
7: Ivan Tedesco (Makita Suzuki)
8: Chad Johnson (Suzuki)
9: Cole Siebler (Honda)
10: Josh Demuth (Honda)
1: Josh Grant (Honda)
2: Jake Weimer (Honda)
3: Chris Gosselaar (Kawasaki)
4: Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
5: Steve Boniface (Honda)
6: Ben Townley (Kawasaki)
7: Troy Adams (Suzuki)
8: Kelly Smith (Suzuki)
9: Thomas Hahn (Honda)
10: Sean Collier (Yamaha)