Courtesy AMA Pro Racing
The 32nd Annual AMA Pro Racing Championship Banquet returned to The Rio
All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Sunday. Hosted by Jamie
Little and Todd Harris, the star-studded evening honored the leading
riders who have competed in AMA Supercross, Motocross, Superbike, Flat
Track, Supermoto and Hillclimb.
The highlight of the banquet was the announcement of the AMA Pro Racing
SPEED Athlete of the Year Award recipient. Last year, Ricky Carmichael
became the first rider in AMA history to win the Athlete of the Year
Award for a fourth time. Last night he became the first to win the
award for a fifth time.
Carmichael and Team Makita Suzuki took six victories in the 2006 AMA
Amp’d Mobile Supercross Series on the way to winning the championship
title. During the 2006 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by
FMF, Carmichael earned nine overall wins and clinched the title with
two rounds remaining on the schedule. In 2006 he also set a record of
70 career AMA Motocross wins, and completed yet another record-setting,
dual-championship year – the sixth of his career.
Carmichael was selected from a field of nominees including: Chris Carr,
seven-time AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Champion and FIM World
motorcycle land speed record holder; Josh Hayes, the 2006 AMA
Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Champion; Ben Spies, the 2006 AMA
Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited Champion; and Ryan Villopoto,
the 2006 AMA Toyota Motocross Lites presented by FMF Champion.
The 2006 AMA Pro Racing Rookies of the Year were recognized, including
Sam Halbert, the AMA Ricky Graham Flat Track Rookie of the Year; Roger
Lee Hayden, the AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year; and Ryan Villopoto,
the AMA Supercross/Motocross Rookie of the Year.
The 2006 Motocross of Nations Champions – Team AMA USA members James
Stewart, Ivan Tedesco, Ryan Villopoto and Ricky Carmichael – were also
Awards were also presented for Sportsman of the Year, Mechanical Excellence, and Advertising.
Infineon Raceway Vice President of Facilities Jere Starks was named the
AMA Pro Racing Sportsman of the Year. Starks organized and promoted the
3J’s benefit track days at Infineon Raceway, which raised $95,000 for
injured racer Vincent Haskovec, who was in attendance.
The Award for Mechanical Excellence was presented to Rick Hobbs. Hobbs
has built bikes for six championship riders, including the Erion Honda
ridden by 2006 AMA Formula Xtreme Champion Josh Hayes.
AMA Pro Racing Advertising Awards were presented to three recipients.
One Industries won the Award for Best Ad. The Award for Best Campaign
went to The Creative Works for their work with Suzuki. A special
Advertising Recognition Award was presented to Dailey and Associates
for their work with Honda.
Courtesy AMA Pro Racing