Interview: Ricky Carmichael
I love motocross because…
There are a lot of reasons! The travel is nice. We get to meet a lot of great people. It’s a lot of fun too!
Tell us about your plans and expectations for this season.
Well, I’d like to be in the top five consistently, then maybe on the podium consistently, and then I’d like to win some races. I’m going to try and be up front as much as I possibly can.
What goes on during the week when you are in the racing season?
Lots of riding, and lots of training! It’s a seven-day per week job. We get paid a lot of money to do what we do. We spend most of our time either on the bike, or training.
What responsibilities come with being a factory racer?
You have to take care of your fans. You have to be respectful, and do your “homework” during the week.
Tell us about the 2000 Team Chevy Trucks Kawasaki KX 250.
It’s different from last year’s bike. I have the suspension set-up and the bike as a whole set-up more to my liking. I definitely have it set-up a lot better than I did last year.
You are gone from home to attend a race. You come home and see you have phone messages. There are also a lot of responsibilities during the week. How do you handle all that?
My mom pretty much takes care of all that stuff. She is a tremendous help to me, and she has a good handle on all that.
When you are racing… are you racing against other riders, or are you just competing against the race circuit?
I try to just race against the track itself.
What would you like fans to know about you personally?
I’m a fun person. I always try to help people out as best as I can. I’m a ball of energy that’s always on the go.
Do you have a favorite race circuit?
My favorite tracks are Steel City, Mt. Morris, and Budds Creek.
What kind of music are you listening to these days?
I like a variety of things. Lately it seems as though I’ve been listening to a bit of everything.
Your ideal woman is…
My girlfriend Ursula! She’s tall; she’s 5’11”. She’s got blonde-brown hair, blue eyes, and she’s fun to be around. She has a good attitude, and keeps me on top of stuff.
You meet many fans from all over the world – any stories about them that immediately come to mind?
There are a few fans that really put in the effort. They make banners and stuff like that. I have a few fans that I keep in close contact with.
The biggest thrill in your life has been…
Probably winning my first 125 Supercross down in Atlanta in ’97. That was great.
We are going to name some riders – tell us what you think:
Emig – I like Jeff a lot. As a teammate he was really fun to be around. He’s keeps things happening, and he’s a fun person.
McGrath – Of course, Jeremy’s a great rider, and he’s really good to the fans. He’s a good person. What more can I add to that?
Albertyn – Greg is very nice. I’ve talked to him a little bit. I don’t know him all that well, but he seems to be a pretty straightforward kinda’ guy.
LaRocco – Mike has the heart of a lion. He’s definitely a bulldog.
Ward – Larry’s a lot like Emig… he livens things up around the team.
Tortelli – I don’t really know a lot about Sebastien. I haven’t been around him enough.
What do you think of yourself as a rider?
I’m just young. I’m full of energy, and I want to make things happen.
When is the best, and worst time for a fan to approach you?
The best time would be either at the beginning of the day, or at the very end. In between races it’s tough to do anything other than concentrate on racing.