HURRICANE MILLS, Tenn. — Legendary motocross racer Ricky Carmichael was triumphant Tuesday afternoon in his return to competition at the Red Bull AMA Amateur National Motorcross Championship at the historic Loretta Lynn ranch race track.
The 15-time AMA national champion who was racing in the country’s top amateur motocross event for the first time since 1996, was one of 22 riders who were winners on the first day of competition during the week-long event.
Racing in the 25+ class, Carmichael charged to the front and took the lead on the opening lap, leading the remainder of the event.
“For me, it’s just about coming here, having fun and experiencing this race in a different kind of light,” Carmichael said. “When I was here at Loretta Lynn’s during my younger years, it was a different kind of pressure. Now it’s more about bringing my family and really just doing it for my sponsors and all the fans that have been following me throughout my amateur and professional career. I appreciate the support and I’m looking forward to two more races this week.”
After a full day of practice and preparation on Monday, nearly 1,500 racers took to the historic Loretta Lynn’s racetrack on Tuesday morning.
Honda riders Matt Bisceglia and Zach Bell each grabbed a pair of podium finishes in the first set of motos. Bisceglia took the Moto 1 victory in 450 B Stock, before also claiming a hard fought second place finish behind 250 B Mod winner Hector Rodriquez. Bell began his day with a win over a very stacked field of competition in the 250 A class, and then followed up with a third place finish in Open Pro Sport.
Cooper Webb slated two podium finishes in his first day of racing, taking second place in 250 B Stock before accomplishing an effortful comeback in the 250 B Mod class. Webb’s performance gave him a third place spot on the Moto 1 podium. Dakota Alix came into the day with hopes of contesting Webb, but after a setback on the opening lap of the 250 B Mod Moto 1, Alix wasn’t able to put himself into a podium position, although he did secure a third place in 250 B Stock Moto 1.
Adam Cianciarulo claimed the Super Mini 1 (12-15) class-win over Kawasaki teammate Mitchell Harrison in Moto 1. After taking four of six moto wins in 2011, Cianciarulo is going for a perfect slate in his final year in the Youth division, before graduating to the Amateur ranks next season.
Other highlights included Andrew Matusek’s emotion-filled second place finish in the 25+ class, where he came in only 10 seconds behind Carmichael. Robbie Reynard took home the Moto 1 victory in the Vet 35+ class, while picking up an eighth-place finish in 25+ after experiencing issues on the opening lap.
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