2009 Supercross -Starting the season off with Ricky Carmichael
Sweet!! The Supercross.com Blogs are geared up and ready to go; So get ready as I catch up you on all the interesting Supercross action I’ve seen so far this year. Of course I want to start this story off from the very beginning and so it begins; the first Press Conference of the year, January 2nd, 2009.
James Stewart, Tim Ferry, and Ryan Villopoto Team USA 08 awarded with medals”
The start of every Supercross season begins with a Press Conference and gathering of people involved in the sport. This year Ryan Villopoto would move up to the Premier Supercross class alongside seasoned riders such as Chad Reed, Kevin Windham, and James Stewart; this was a sneak peak of the four before the big showdown on Saturday.Ã‚Â The press conference is definitely a great event filled with interesting moments, presentations, and a small media showcase of the best riders; the focus then moves to the track as the riders take to the dirt for the first time.
As I made my way out of the very busy room I was pleasantly surprised to see Ricky Carmichael. It was great to see Ricky and reminisce about life, the family and about some of those first interviews we did back in 2001. This seemed like the perfect moment to get some words and thoughts from Ricky about the 2009 Supercross series and also to check in on his upcoming racing schedule.
Check it out and let me know what you think!
Angela: Ricky, it’s great to see you out here at the Anaheim Press Conference, but wait you are not racing Supercross, you must be getting ready to race the Truck series, so what’s going on with you, how are things?
Ricky: Yeah, I always like to come out to the 1st Supercross race of the season, and check it out. It’s like the 1st day of school, you know it really is.Ã‚Â I love this sport, it’s what I’ve done forever, it’s giving me every opportunity I’ve had and have now, so I like to come check it out, see what it’s all about. I also had a couple of business matters I needed to take care of out here, so it worked out perfect.
A: Well then, let’s talk Supercross; this season we are going to see some great racing, with some outstanding competitors on the track and now here we have Chad Reed on the Suzuki, a bike you retired on, that’s a new twist on things?
R: It’s really good. My racing days are long gone, and we used to be competitors, but at the end of the day we are all just human, and I want him to do good obviously now because he is on a Suzuki. I want the team to do well and they can do well with him there, so I am here to help.
A: Recently you were out at the test track with Chad, what was that experience like for you?
R:Ã‚Â Oh that was fun. The last place I thought I would ever be is riding with Chad Reed but we are all human and my days of racing are gone and the competitiveness between us is gone; I am just happy to help him and help Suzuki.
A: You’ve really maintain a great relationship with Suzuki!
R: Absolutely! I was happy to retire with them, they are a great bunch of people, and I am very thankful for the opportunity that they gave me and believing in me.
A: That’s very cool; now what about this stacked 450 class; what’s your take on this class going into the season opener and your expectation for the series?
R: Well, it looks like the 1st two positions are locked up, with James and Chad; those two are confirmed that they will be 1 and 2 unless something tragic happens. From 3rd to 10th it could be any one but I think Ryan Villopoto will do well or he could have some growing pains. Just listening to the press conference he kind of admitted to that Ã‚Â so I think it’s going to be really exciting racing all around.
A: Ã‚Â Very true, so what kind of advice would you have for Ryan Villopoto and the others guys who are making their rookie debut move into the Supercross Class?
R: Ã‚Â Yeah, I just think he needs to take his time and don’t ride over the limit. I really think that’s important and if he does that, he’ll be good.
A: Okay enough Supercross, what about you RC; what’s been keeping you busy these days?
R: I’ve been trying to get my car racing deal sorted out for this year. Last year I participated in a regional series that NASCAR puts on and I finished up 6th, so that went well. This year we are going to go for the Camping World Truck Series. We will run a limited schedule with Kevin Harvick Inc. Ã‚Â I am looking to do good there and someday be a Nextel cup driver. That’s my long term goal and plan, so we will see what happens.
A: What are some things that you like about the Camping World Truck Series?
R: I like how I can get the competitive fix that I used to get when I was racing motorcycles. So I get that and on top of that I really enjoy the people in the industry and sport. There’s a bunch of good people and everyone is a little more relaxed so I have fun with it.
A: And the Series starts soon, right?
R: Yeah, it starts on the 2nd weekend in February. Ã‚Â
A: How many races will you enter and race?
R: It could be anywhere from 10 to 15 races, that’s what we are hoping for, we will see what happens. Like I said, it’s a big project, getting the sponsors and all the funding worked out, and everything that goes on behind the scenes that you just don’t realize, that is hard. One day you have it and another day you don’t. Fortunately in my position we are really close and I am looking forward to it.
A: Well, I can’t wait to see you out there Ricky; So, how’s the family and everyone at home?
R: The home front is great, my wife Ursula is doing great, the children are super, my mother and father are doing really good. I am very fortunate to be able to provide a great life style for us and the family, that’s what it’s all about.
A: Just how it should be, great! So, I’m curious…here we are at the season opener, How much do you miss being in the middle of the racing action?
R: I miss the racing part 100% ABSOLUTELY! I wish I could just take off time and race but you can’t do that, you have to do it FULL TIME. That’s the cool thing about NASCAR is that you can take weeks off and still be competitive. But then that’s what makes Supercross such a great sport, the harder you work the better your results are.
A: And the 2009 Supercross series, what do you want to see from the guys?
R: I want to see good racing, I want to see the guys work for it, it will make it that much sweeter for whoever wins. We’ll see what happens.
A: Thank you very much Ricky!
R: Alright thanks!
Ricky Carmichael and the No. 4 Monster Energy / KHI All-Stars team will beÃ‚Â racing aÃ‚Â handful of racesÃ‚Â in the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Ricky’sÃ‚Â schedule is listed below; if you want a complete list of all the races and more details about the series visit their website~ www.truckseries.com
April 25 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Kansas City, KS – O’REILLY AUTO PARTS 250
June 5 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ft. Worth, Texas – WINSTAR WORLD CASINO 400
June 19 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Milwaukee, WI – CAMPING WORLD RV SALES 200
June 27 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Memphis, TN – O’REILLY 200
July 18 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Sparta, KY – BUILT FORD TOUGH 225
July 24 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Indianapolis, IN – NASCAR CAMPING WORLD 200
August 1 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Nashville, TN – TOYOTA TUNDRA 200
August 28 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Chicago, IL – CHICAGOLAND 250
September 5 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Newton, IA – IOWA 200
September 12Ã‚Â Ã‚Â St. Louis, MO – CAMPING WORLD 200
September 26Ã‚Â Las Vegas, NV – QWIK LINER LAS VEGAS 350
October 31 Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Talladega, AL – MOUNTAIN DEW 250