Carmichael To Step It Up at X Games

GOAT fans get one more chance to witness RC on his Suzuki in 2008.

July 25, 2008 - Encinitas, CA - When talk turns to motocross it's not long before Ricky Carmichael's name dominates every conversation. Before focusing his full-time attentions to Camping World NASCAR East series stock car racing, the GOAT (ie: Great Rider of All Time) rewrote the record books with 15 championship titles and 150 motocross and supercross main event wins. And just like the promise he showed grasping a set of handlebars in his hands from the age of 5, his early showings behind the wheel of the Ken Schrader owned #4 Monster Energy Drink Chevrolet hint of great things to come. In the first 5 events he has captured two top 5 finishes, one top 10, and a pole position. While this may be news to some it comes as little surprise to fans who followed his motorcycle career. "Afterall," offered one observer, "His last name starts with the word 'CAR'."

Despite Carmichael's new job description and the fact that he's won it all on a motorcycle, he's eager to add more X Games motorcycle event medals to his trophy room, which by now is about the size of a Costco. Last year he medaled in Moto X Racing during his first X Games visit but now the 29-year-old father of twins has the STAPLES Center plugged into his GPS and Step Up event in his crosshairs. With an admission price of only $20 Friday, August 1, don't miss RC, Tommy Clowers, Brian Deegan, Mike Mason, and Ronnie Renner in the high-flying event.

"I really enjoyed X Games 13 last year. I loved the atmosphere - it was competitive by nature but relaxed and fun which is quite different from my career in motocross and supercross," said Carmichael. This year I'm concentrating on Step Up and hoping to have a better showing than I did at the recent NAVY Moto X World Championships. Hopefully the take-off and landing ramp issues that caused my crash will have been sorted out for the X Games."

Carmichael's performance at the NAVY MXWC raised the challenge level of the Step Up event exponentially. From the get-go, Carmichael's take-off's were jaw dropping but an unfortunate hard landing eliminated him from contention and effectively handed the win - at the 35-foot level - to veteran X Games medalist Matt Buyten.

To suggest that RC's pre-crash performance was impressive is a gross understatement. Once airborne, his Monster Energy Drink/Fox Racing sponsored Makita Suzuki soared so high above the scoring crossbar that he was able to read his entire Bill Center interview (posted that morning in the San Diego Union Tribune) before touching down. Critics insisted that RC only skimmed the article but that fact remains that he flew high, very high. Fans and rivals alike look forward to his next trip skyward at the STAPLES Center next Friday night, August 1st.

"Besides competing in Step Up I'm looking forward to providing commentary during the Moto X race," he continued. "There's also a slim chance that I'll ride the Best Whip contest, too, if all goes well. I may crazy because I've never even hit a ramp, but I think I'd enjoy."

A little known fact about Carmichael is that he's as much a student of motorcycle riding and racing as he was the sport's champion. Years of "up close and personal" rider evaluation (just ask all the riders he beat) have honed his diagnostic skill set to the Ph.D level. Charts and graphs aside, RC's pre-X Games watch list scores Chad Reed, Kevin Windham, and Ronnie Renner in high regard.

"I think Reed will take the Moto X this year but I would love to see he and Windham together. Reed is fast but K-Dub is really good on hard pack like the X Games track will be. That'd be a great battle, for sure," said Carmichael. As for his own main event "I'm hoping to do well in Step Up but there are some great, experienced riders like Renner in there to compete against and I think Renner's got the absolute best style for Step Up. Plus, after losing in San Diego he's got something to prove."

The X Games makes a sixth appearance in Los Angeles July 31-August 3 with events staged at the STAPLES Center, the Home Depot Center, and the Event Deck at LA Live. New events on tap this year are BMX Street, Moto X Best Whip, Women's Moto X Racing, Moto X Speed & Style, and BMX and Skateboard SuperPark.

To purchase X Games 14 tickets visit: ticketmaster.com/artist/976171. Ticket are $10 and $20.

Be in attendance at the STAPLES Center Thursday night, July 31st and during the break between Moto X Best Trick and Moto X Best Whip finals Carey will award one of his personal supermoto bikes to a lucky fan. No raffles or extra tickets needed for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

X Games Venues: STAPLES Center, BMX and Skateboard Big Air, Moto X Best Trick and Step Up will be featured. The Event Deck at LA Live (across the street from STAPLES Center and debuting as a first-time venue for X Games 14) Skateboard and BMX street events. The Home Depot Center features X Fest, the ultimate action sports festival featuring sponsor & industry booths, BMX and Skate Vert competitions, interactive parks, athlete appearances, demos and new-to-the-X Games BMX and skateboard SuperPark. Competitions to include BMX and Skateboard Vert, Moto X Men's and Women's Racing, Moto X Speed & Style, Moto X Freestyle, Skateboard and BMX SuperPark, and Rally Car Racing.

X Games on TV: A total of Twenty (20!!!) hours of live X Games programming will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC - all showcased in high-definition and aired July 31-August 3.

X Games Online: ESPN International, EXPN.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN360.com, SportsCenter, and ESPN2's X Center will also provide coverage. For additional X Games 14 info go to www.expn.com