Yamaha’s radical new 2010 YZ450F with the rear-slanted and repositioned engine is acquitting itself quite nicely in the opening rounds of Supercross. After James Stewart won on the new YZ450F in Anaheim, Josh Hill gave the new Yamaha its second podium appearance in as many weeks at Chase Field in Phoenix last Saturday.
After setting the fastest time on the YZ450F in practice, Stewart suffered a bad crash during his heat race and left trackside in some pain. It was questionable whether Stewart would return. In discomfort, Stewart came back to win the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) and qualified for the main event.
James Stewart Speaks…
“I had a big crash in practice,” he said. “I almost got into a head-on collision with Fabien Izoird, but I came out of that and didn’t get hurt. I just got good starts, which is something I don’t usually do, so it was awesome. I was just able to keep a good track position.”
In the main event, Chad Reed tangled with James Stewart causing him to be lapped. Reed retired for his second DNF and apparently is now on the sidelines with a broken hand. Stewart, always a fighter, was able to solider through the second mishaps in finish the main event in 15th.
On the other side of Yamaha pits, Stewart’s teammate Josh Hill earned his first podium for the team on the 2010 Yamaha YZ450F. Hill rode to a steady 3rd under the opened Chase Field canopy behind the race winner Ryan Dungey and second place finisher Ryan Villopoto.
Stewart secured 6 points towards his repeat championship effort but has slipped from 1st to 7th in the standings after 2 of 17 meetings in the 2010 schedule. Josh Hill survived his own scare prior to his run to 3rd position, leaving him 3rd in the overall championship.
The new 2010 YZ450F and the Yamaha riders will have their next chase to showcase this new bike during round three, which is scheduled for January 23rd back at Angel Stadium in Anaheim (2), California.