After a long hiatus from racing due to an injury early in the 2010 AMA Supercross season, Team San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart made his return to racing at the infamously gruelling Unadilla race track.
Having had only a few short weeks to prepare for the longer moto format of the Outdoor National Series, the Team goal was to race, qualify and "have some fun" in Stewart's own words.
James Stewart's day started strong. Posting the fastest lap times in both practices with an amazing 2:05.839, proving he has the speed he's known for, Stewart began Moto 1 with a solid start.
In 4th position on Lap 1, he quickly but strategically worked his way into 3rd by Lap 2. Continuing to advance, Stewart moved into 2nd place by Lap 6, holding that position for several laps.
Towards the end of Moto 1, Stewart dropped back one position, but with a solid hold, finished the race in 3rd, making the podium in his first return to the track in several months.
On the podium, when asked if he had anyone to thank, he credited the support of his fans on the track for helping him push through the challenging race, along with that of his family, team and sponsors.
In Moto 2, Stewart didn't fare as well. A rough start landed him in the 15th position in the first lap and despite working his way into 11th place by Lap 4, Stewart was forced to pull off the track.
James Stewart says: "We're not 100% yet, but I'm confident in myself and my team that things will only improve from here."
Larry Brooks (Team Manager) says: "This was a learning experience for our Team. Though many of us have years of Motocross racing experience, as a team, we have not raced Motocross in a long time. We had some challenges but we learned a lot today and will do what it takes to improve before Southwick."