2011 Supercross: Stewart Heads Yamaha
2011 AMA Supercross
When the 2011 AMA Supercross season kicks off in two weeks in Los Angeles, Yamaha will be seeking their 12th title in the premier SX class since the creation of the championship as an AMA sanctioned series in 1974 (when they were the inaugural champions thanks to Dutchman Pierre Karsmakers).
The Yamaha Supercross team, which will also be after its third championship in the past four years, will be headed by the formidable James Stewart, who returns to Supercross after missing most of the 2010 season due to a broken wrist.
Stewart, the 2009 SX Champion, will compete on the L & M Racing team Yamaha YZ450F during the 17-round 2011 Monster Energy AMA-Supercross Championship, an FIM event.
The supremely talented 25-year-old Stewart from Florida will be one of the main Supercross riders in contention as the paddock gathers at the site of the traditional season-opening venue, the Angel Stadium, on the Californian coast.
Yamaha have won the first Supercross race of the year for the past three editions thanks to Chad Reed, Josh Grant and Stewart respectively.
Stewart gains a new teammate in the form of Kyle Regal, another American who significantly increased his stock with stand-out performances in the 2010 AMA Motocross championship. Stewart is expected to be a main contender in the championship, and rival of reigning SX Champion Ryan Dungey.
Including Stewart, the YZ450F has a fleet of potential race winners armed for the contest that will travel the breadth of the USA, coast-to-coast for almost 17 weeks in succession and even take a deviation to Toronto.
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) will use the skills of former Main Event victor Davi Millsaps and 2009 King of Bercy Justin Brayton (who was one of Yamaha’s top ranked riders within the Indoor arenas in 2010).
Valli Motorsports count on the experience of Nick Wey and the youthful speed of rookie Austin Stroupe. Motoconcepts Yamaha, with former Yamaha supercross great David Vuillemin at the helm, field 2010 Bercy runner-up Kyle Chisholm and Tommy Hahn.
Yamaha will also be prevalent in the AMA SX Lites (West and East Coast divisions) with the YZ250F in the hands of numerous starlets such as Ryan Sipes and Kyle Cunningham.
Keith McCarty (Racing Division Manager of Yamaha Motor Corporation USA) says: "We are very excited to have all of our teams returning to fight for the 2011 Racing series and look forward to coming out of the gate at the opener with a strong start to the season."
"They did a great job representing the Yamaha brand last year and with contingency and parts available in the pits I’m looking forward to an even better finish in 2011 for all our Yamaha racers."