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2003 AMA Supercross Series review

Published April 6th, 2003





Ricky Carmichael won his third straight AMA Supercross Championship. It’s his tenth AMA Pro-Racing Championship. (Three 125 outdoor, one 125 East supercross, three 250 outdoor, and three 250 supercross).



Chad Reed made it interesting until the very end. He won eight races this season, and finished seven points behind ‘RC’ in the championship series. The season started in early January back at Edison International Field in Anahiem, California. You can view the results to all the races via the links below.



Mike Goodwin is the man behind bringing motocross racing to the masses – the ‘inventor’ of supercross. The first supercross race held inside a major football/baseball stadium was in the summer of 1972 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. That first race was won by Marty Tripes.



The 125 race you saw on TV today is a once a year ‘shootout’. It’s not for any points towards a championship, but it’s the first time of the year that the best 125 riders from ‘East’ and ‘West’ divisions get to race against each other. It’s mostly for bragging rights. The 125 class is split into two divisions during the rest of the season: the 125 West series, which runs at eight of the sixteen events, and the 125 East series, which runs at seven of the 16 events.



The 125 class is sometimes considered a ‘junior’ division, and the training ground for riders hopefully graduating to the premier 250 class. However, the 125 class has it share of stars too, as evidenced by the extremely popular and talented James ‘Bubba’ Stewart, who won the 125 West series.



Branden Jesseman won the 125 East supercross series. Right after that, he got hurt while practicing for the upcoming AMA/Chevy Trucks U. S. Motocross Series, and is out of action for the next couple of months with a thumb injury.



2003 could also be known as the ‘Year of Injuries’. Who wasn’t hurt at some time? Major players out of action for extended periods included Seb Tortelli, Travis Pastrana, Stephane Roncada, Tim Ferry, Mike LaRocco, Grant Langston, Travis Preston, Ezra Lusk, David Vuillemin, Michael Byrne.



Here’s a short and simple description of what happened in supercross 2003:



The big story coming into 2003 was Jeremy McGrath’s retirement announcement made in late December. Jeremy’s name is the first one that comes to mind when talking about supercross. Why? He’s won a record seven AMA 250 Supercross Series Championships, and a record 72 individual supercross wins.



Round 1: Chad Reed won the first round at Anaheim back on the first Saturday in January. Ricky Carmichael finished second. At one point in the main event, ‘RC’ was in last, but never stopped trying, never gave up, and came all the way back to second. Travis Pastrana provided some excitement, as he passed Ricky in their qualifying heat. Later on they crashed together, with Travis getting the wrong end of that. Travis Preston won 125 West Main Event, with James Stewart second.



Round 2: Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. Surprise surprise surprise. Ezra Lusk wins! Reed finished second. Carmichael finished fourth. James Stewart won his first race of 2003 in the 125 West.



Round 3: Back to Anaheim. RC wins his first event of the season. James Stewart wins again in the 125 class. Pastrana injured his shoulder during the week, and it out of action until the outdoor Nationals in May.



Round 4: First time venue in San Francisco’s Pac Bell Park. Carmichael and Stewart win again. Dirty riding and accusations in the 125 class.



Round 5: Back to Anaheim for a third time (Don’t ask). RC and ‘Bubba’ Stewart roll on. Another sell out crowd. Seb Tortelli of Team Suzuki is out for the season with an injured knee.



Round 6: San Diego. Chad Reed battles back, and wins. Carmichael third. Stewart wins his fifth 125 West event in a row.



Round 7: The series heads East, with a new East series beginning for the 125 riders. RC wins. Reed gets sixth. Stephane Roncada breaks his leg. Branden Jesseman scores first win for the 125 East series.



Round 8: Atlanta. Almost 64,000 fans in the Georgia Dome. Carmichael wins again. Reed is second. Brock Sellards strikes back in the 125 East with the win.



Round 9: Indianapolis. Carmichael and Jesseman win again. Reed is third in the 250 class. 54,000 plus fans. Mike LaRocco is going to be out for a while with an injured shoulder.



Round 10: The World Center of Racing – Daytona International Speedway. Carmichael wins, Reed runner-up. Mike Brown wins 125 East event. David Vuillemin injures his back and is out for season.



Round 11: St. Louis – Chad Reed wins. Carmichael second. Jesseman pulls away in the 125 East.



Round 12: Houston. The new Reliant Stadium. Reed continues to make it interesting by winning. Carmichael finishes second after falling and restarting last. They are head and shoulders above anyone else. Brock Sellards wins his second 125 East race, but Branden Jesseman leads Mike Brown heading into the 125 East finale next weekend.



Round 13: Pontiac. Reed and Carmichael are 1 – 2 for the third straight race. Branden Jesseman wins his first 125 East Supercross Championship.



Round 14: Dallas. Reed first, Carmichael second. Again. The 125 West series returns to action, and James Stewart wins and clinches his first-ever 125 West supercross title.



Round 15: Have you heard this before? Reed wins, Carmichael second. It’s all down to next weekend in Las Vegas. Reed trails Carmichael by 10 points. Stewart wins his seventh 125 West main of the year. 125 East Champion Jesseman injures his thumb while practicing during the week – he’s out for three months and will miss most of the outdoor Nationals.



Round 16: Both Carmichael and Reed do what needs to be done. Reed wins the race (his sixth in a row) and Carmichael finishes second to wrap up his third straight AMA 250 Supercross Series Championship. James Stewart crashes out of the 125 East/West shootout, and Andrew Short get his first ever 125 supercross win.



Final AMA 250 Supercross Series standings:



1. Ricky Carmichael – 367

2. Chad Reed – 360

3. Ernesto Fonseca – 225

4. Nick Wey – 203

5. Tim Ferry – 195

6. Heath Voss – 179

7. David Vuillemin – 169

8. Larry Ward – 163

9. Ezra Lusk – 149

10. Keith Johnson – 149



125 West Final Point Standings:



1. James Stewart – 197

2. Travis Preston – 138

3. Andrew Short – 128

4. Billy Laninovich – 123

5. Matt Walker – 110

6. Eric Sorby – 101

7. Chris Gosselaar – 95

8. Josh Hansen – 91

9. Danny Smith – 81

10. Tiger Lacey – 68



125 East Point Standings:



1. Branden Jesseman – 150

2. Mike Brown – 143

3. Brock Sellards – 120

4. Kelly Smith – 105

5. Brett Metcalfe – 89

6. Steve Boniface – 88

7. Matt Lalloz – 85

8. Erick Vallejo – 72

9. Ryan Mills – 63

10. Ivan Tedesco – 62



This coming weekend is the start of a brand new series – the AMA / Chevy Trucks U. S. Motocross Series! Supercross.com offers three ways for you to be ‘in the know’. The site, e-mailed results, and results sent to your mobile phone.



Click on the thumbnails below to view the larger images.

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Andrew Short earlier in the year on a 250

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James Stewart and crew

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This is Mike Brown winning the 125 East at Daytona

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Ricky Carmichael

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Ricky Carmichael and Travis Pastran at round 1 in Anaheim

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The World Center of Racing

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Left to right: Stephane Roncada, Mickael Pichon, Sebastien Tortelli

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Branden Jesseman

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Branden Jesseman won the 125 East title

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Action: Lusk, LaRocco, Tortelli

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Jeremy McGrath retired

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Travis Pastrana

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Travis Preston

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Chad Reed and Ricky Carmichael put on a show

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Pac Bell Park in San Francisco

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James Stewart wowed ‘em every time he rode

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Ricky Carmichael and his crew

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Brock Sellards was in the hunt for the 125 East

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Jeremy McGrath – the King of Supercross

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David Vuillemin – The Cobra – out after Daytona

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Ricky Carmichael’s riding gear for Las Vegas

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Chad Reed gets congratulated in Las Vegas

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James Stewart, before the fall in Las Vegas



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