Pro Diaries: Team Solitaire - Kingdom - FLY Update - Orlando, Florida - Dirt Rider Magazine

For the second weekend in a row, the 2007 AMA Supercross Series did battle on the sandy soil of central Florida. Orlando's Citrus Bowl, located minutes from downtown Orlando and just north of Disneyworld, was transformed into a Supercross battleground for Saturday night's event. Here is a quick look at how it all panned out.Most of the team stayed in Florida this week to work while I flew home to do some riding and spend time with my family. Ricky Renner did some testing over the week and came up with a few new settings that would help him find a little more comfort on the bike. Everything looked great when I rolled up to the stadium on Friday afternoon.Practice: I posted 16th fastest lap over the course of the two timed qualification practices, while Ricky logged 19th in the "lites" practice. We would both be on the gate during the night."Lites" Heat One: Ricky looked to have a good start but when the dust settled after the first turn he was left on the ground. It took him several kicks to get restarted, and when he finally did he was at a huge deficit. He would be unable to get himself back into qualification position and would have to go the LCQ."Supercross" Heat Two: I had a decent jump off the gate and rounded the first corner in sixth. In the second turn I got pushed high and lost a few positions. I ran ninth for a lap or two before Davi Millsaps got by me in the whoops. I was ninth for the next few laps but closing in on Keith Johnson rapidly. On the final lap Ivan Tedesco got the better of me and I knew I would have to get back by him or Keith to make the transfer. In the final turn I went for the block on KJ but just wasn't quite close enough. I too would be in the LCQ."Lites" LCQ: Ricky had a good start and by the end of the first lap he was securely in third position. Unlike the Supercross class, four riders advance from the "lites" LCQ, so he was in good position from the get-go. He rode four fast and consistent laps and finished third behind Darcy Lange."Supercross" LCQ: After watching Ricky get the job done, I was psyched up and ready to race. My start was a little slow, but I ducked under in the first turn and pinned it across the inside. Exiting the corner I slid into Michael Byrne, who was on my outside and simultaneously got hit by the rider to my inside, causing a big pileup which caught me up for a moment. The pileup carried outward, so even after the holdup I was still around sixth or seventh down the second straight-away. I wasn't able to make any passes on the first lap, but on the second lap I began to charge through the field. Lap four and five were my fastest of the night, and I was able to get into second and pull a big gap on Eric Sorby who was hot on my heels at the beginning. I finished second to Jacob Saylor and was on my way to the main."Lites" Main Event: Ricky was far outside on the gate due to his trip to the LCQ. After rolling around the first lap near the back of the pack, he began to pick up his pace and really move through the field quickly. He looked very comfortable on the bike and was avoiding the mistakes that many of the riders were falling victim to on the rapidly deteriorating sand-based course. Ricky finished 12th, moving him up two spots in the point standings to 12th. He is only three points out of tenth with three rounds remaining in the East Region Series."Supercross" Main Event: I was on the farthest outside gate due to my trip to the LCQ. I came out of the gate well, but was pinched off in the first corner and had to cut back low to make passes. I would say I was around 16th at the end of lap one. I had a good pace, but so did everyone around me with the extremely one-lined course. I began to make a few passes in the rhythm section and was soon up to 13th and feeling great. Near the halfway mark I knew that I was going to have to get aggressive to make anymore passes, as the riders ahead were basically going the same speed as I was. I decided to go for a block pass on Brock Sellards in the tight right-hander after the finish line double. I came in hot and lost my front end trying to pivot too quickly in the untouched line. It took me about ten or twelve seconds to get going again, but once I did I got back on my pace quickly. It wasn't two laps later that I made another mistake and crashed entering the rutted rhythm section. By the time I was back on course I was really far back from the next rider. I rode hard to the flag but finished last in the main event. I was bummed, as my speed was good but my mistakes really cost me.Summary: It was a scare with both of us having to go to the LCQ, but it all worked out in the end. Ricky continues to impress with his speed and consistency, he just needs another Daytona start to get himself in position for his first top ten. There is so much inconsistency in the "lites" class, so he just needs to continue putting himself in the main event and improving each weekend. I felt fast this weekend as well, but I need to continue to work on my opening laps. I got pushed around in the heat, giving up positions that I should not have. My conditioning is great, I just need to keep myself in the game long enough to take advantage of it. No more mistakes, only smooth, fast laps!Other notes:I did some off-road riding with my good friend and multi-time National Champion Destry Abbott this week. The most interesting day was on Thursday, when we decided to ride up and over the White Tank mountains that lie just West of my house. After four hours of riding up rock walls, pushing bikes through boulders and crashing repeatedly, we made it back to the house with about 30-minutes of daylight to spare. I am still picking cactus thorns out of my skin. The bright side was that I rode Jesse Black's bike, so my bike suffered no damage (sorry Jesse).Orlando marked the end of the illustrious Supercross career of Ricky Carmichael. I have raced against Ricky for the last sixteen years, and wish him all the best in his new endeavors, including auto racing and parenthood. There was a big party for RC after the race where they served ice cream and alcohol (not sure if that is a good combo). Even Stefan Everts was in attendance to say farewell to Ricky. Congratulations to Ricky on an amazing career.Thank you to everyone for your continued support!
Best Regards,
Ryan Clark