San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart toasted his first supercross victory in more than twelve months as he rode superbly on his 2011 Yamaha YZ450F to win the second round of seventeen in the AMA Supecross series at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.
The 25-year-old motorcycle racer erased the painful memories of the same SX event in 2010 where a crash fractured his scaphoid and ultimately was forced to the sidelines for the rest of the campaign.
Stewart also had to overcome his nerves, a factor that led to a small crash during the heat race prior to the main event.
Seizing the holeshot later in the evening the 2009 champion was able to control the 20 lap sprint from the front and keep last week’s winner Ryan Villopoto at bay for half of the distance until the latter slipped off. Stewart was then able to roll to the chequered flag for his fourth triumph at Phoenix.
James Stewart (Yamaha YZ450F) says: "The track was tough and really slick tonight, it was so easy to over-ride it," said Stewart who is the only rider to win at Phoenix in both the SX and SX Lites classes.
"I wanted a good start and with the holeshot I then did my own race. I was confident and Ryan [Villopoto] rode really well, we were both pushing the limits of traction out there and it was cat-and-mouse for a little while. It has been a long time since I won a race so this feels good. I just need to keep getting the starts and ride smart."
Yamaha was the motorcycle of choice for the fastest riders at Chase Field as four YZ450Fs gained slots in the top ten. Justin Brayton finished 6th while Kyle Chisholm was 9th and Stewart’s new teammate, Kyle Regal, showed signs of improvement by grabbing 10th.
Stewart is two points behind Villopoto as the championship heads for the first time to the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for round three this coming Saturday.
2011 AMA SX United States – Chase Field 01/17/2011 20 Laps
- James Stewart Yamaha USA 16’40.207
- Ryan Villopoto Kawasaki USA 0’05.144
- Trey Canard Honda USA 0’11.924
- Chad Reed Honda AUS 0’13.963
- Ryan Dungey Suzuki USA 0’14.922
- Justin Brayton Yamaha USA 0’32.502
- Andrew Short KTM USA 0’37.716
- Brett Metcalfe Suzuki AUS 0’44.187
- Kyle Chisholm Yamaha USA -1 Laps
- Kyle Regal Yamaha USA -1 Laps
- David D Millsaps Yamaha USA -1 Laps
- Nicholas Wey Yamaha USA -1 Laps
- Weston Peick Yamaha USA -1 Laps
- Ivan Tedesco Kawasaki USA -1 Laps
- Chris Blose Kawasaki USA -2 Laps
- Thomas Hahn Yamaha USA -2 Laps
- Jeff Alessi Yamaha USA -5 Laps