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Hall Of Fame: Ricky Carmichael

The man they call the GOAT was finally inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame last week.

Hailing from Florida, Ricky Carmichael will go down as the greatest motocross rider that America has ever produced.

RC won 10 straight outdoor National titles – he won every AMA National motocross championship he contested! And in two outdoor seasons (2002 and 2004) he won all 24 motos! Indoors Carmichael was also a wining machine. He won the 1998 East Coast 125 championship as a teenager before winning five AMA 250 supercross titles on three different brands.

Carmichael was known for his immense determination and ruthless, single minded focus on winning. He once famously said: ‘Anyone can be a champion – it’s just how much you much you want to sacrifice.’

Well, Carmichael sacrificed everything else in order to win. And he demanded the same desire and dedication to win from the people on the various teams he rode for. Winning was all that mattered to RC and he saw off every challenger put in his path.

RC won his first two supercross titles against the King of supercross, Jeremy McGrath. He then took on and beat the new up and coming riders from Travis Pastrana to Chad Reed and then James Stewart – RC found a way to beat them all.

But perhaps Carmichael’s greatest achievement was to inspire a whole generation of American riders to work hard and give it their all during the week in training and in every second of every race. The party scene of the 90s ended when RC started winning and all the top young US riders ever since have used the same formula for success that Carmichael had – hard work and total dedication.

When Ricky was practicing as a kid his mum made he do a turn twenty times perfect before he was allowed to stop, if he did it wrong on the tenth go, he had to start all over again. During his amateur career Carmichael got passed on the outside, his mum was not happy and made him practice doing outside corners the next week because she didn’t want to him to get passed like that ever again!

Carmichael continued to practice his corners on a specially built corner track at his Florida compound until he finished racing in 2007. Despite his success, RC never lost sight of the dedication and maintained his work ethic and commitment, even to cornering, until the day he retired from the sport he dominated.  That is why he is the GOAT.

Below is a quick video of Carmichael’s career highlights used by the AMA at the presentation.It features some insightful comments by those close to Carmichael and footage of him in the early years.


We also have the video of Carmichael’s emotional acceptance speech that gives you an indication of the sacrifice made by not only himself but his family, friends, sponsors and teams to achieve the success he had.


Article by Jonathan McCready

MX Vice Editor || 25

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