March 14, 2007

Never Can Say Goodbye

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” - Winston Churchill

This is it. On the evening of this Saturday, March 17th, 2007 in Orlando, Florida. American motocross’ favorite son, Richard “RC”, “The G.O.A.T.”, “The Angry Elf” Carmichael will race his final supercross event. How fitting that he go out on Saint Patrick’s Day!

How big a deal is this? Rumor has it that the OTHER “Greatest Motocrosser of All Time”, Stefan Everts, will jet across the Atlantic in order to be “in the house” to witness this historical event.

[Rumor more than confirmed: Davey Coombs talks to Ricky over at Racer X Online.]

Is it possible to make too much of this day? I think not. Carmichael is doing it the right way: HIS way. Leaving as defending champion, retiring on top. When he takes to the track on Saturday afternoon for the first practice session, it will be with full knowledge that he is still one of the two fastest supercross racers on the entire planet… and that the odds of actually winning his final race are quite good, though it would probably require James Stewart crashing out for it to happen.

But to me, the really cool thing about Rick is that he doesn’t NEED to win Orlando to go out with a huge flourish. The man has nothing to prove to anyone; his accomplishments in motocross and supercross are staggering and one more win, well… who cares?

Besides, how fast will he be able to ride with tears in his eyes? For this is sure to be one very emotional night for the Carmichael clan. Remember Jeremy McGrath choking up during his farewell press conference a few years ago? When RC takes his final bow, there won’t be a dry eye in the place.

Thank you, Ricky Carmichael. Thank you.

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