Beat-up from Supercross round 2, James Stewart got a terrific start to round 3. Riding through some serious pain, Stewart was second off the first turn at the 2010 Supercross race at Anaheim 2. Breathing the fumes of his teammate Josh Hill for a brief stint, Stewart then busted into the lead during the first lap.
We had the chance to walk the track with James prior to the Anaheim 2 race. Spending most of the week in therapy, James was certainly walking slower than normal. His mood was more sedate than normal. He made no mention of knocking over Chad Reed’s motorcycle after the race in Phoenix and I was left wondering where is his fight? I got the sense he was just going to ride around to gather some points.
At the same time, I was not surprised to see James Stewart take the race lead. As Keith McCarty, Yamaha’s Race Manager, said before the race, Stewart knows the score. This is not weak-man’s sport. James is going to ride hard no matter his condition.
The round 3 Supercross battle was unfolding and you could tell it was going to be a dogfight. This is the mark of a champion, no different then say a Kobe Bryant who is known for playing through injuries. James Stewart was going to let his riding do the talking, at least for the first 6 laps.
Josh Hill passed Stewart for the lead, then 5 long laps later charging Ryan Dungey took Stewart for second place. Dungey made the pass on Hill for the win, clearing himself from the pack in the points chase.
James Stewart is now three race into the season with 51 points and buried back in 5th in the championship point standings. He is surrounded by Windham with 51, Short with 52, Villopoto with 52, Hill with 57 and young rookie Ryan Dungey leading the way with 72. We could not have predicted such a tight title chase but once again Stewart has an uphill this season.
With back-to-back schedule and little chance for more recover time, James Stewart heads to round 4 next weekend in San Francisco. Surrounded by a pack of wolves, Stewart has 14 more rounds to check his health and make a run for the leading Dungey.