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James Stewart: A1 Supercross Return

Anaheim 1 SX Report

In front of a sold-out crowd at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, in one of the most highly anticipated motorcycle races of any AMA Supercross season, the Anaheim 1 series opener went-off without a hitch, as the Red Bull Yamaha rider James Stewart finished third after a hard-fought battle from the back of the SX pack.

After retiring from the 2010 SX series early due to a career-threatening wrist injury, a podium at A1 was exactly what JS7 needed to kick-off the 2011 Supercross season with confidence.

After rounding turn one, during the qualifying race round, in the fifth spot to start, San Manuel Yamaha Red Bull’s James Stewart methodically picked his way through the pack to take over the lead by the end of lap five. The rest was history, as JS7 motored on to an impressive heat win.

Stewart’s Supercross second heat (Heat #2) win was an impressive ten seconds quicker than the top finisher in Heat #1, so it was natural to assume that James would be untouchable in the main.

Instead, when the gates dropped, Stewart got pinched off heading into turn one, and eventually rounded the opening lap in 12th spot. However, by the midway point of the race, Stewart had impressively worked his way back up into fourth place.

On the final lap, James in third closed the gap on the second-place rider (defending champ Ryan Dungey) to within two seconds, but was unable to challenge for the position before the wave of the checkers.

In his first Supercross since Anaheim 2 last year, JS7 finished a very creditable third place to kick off the 2011 racing season. In so doing, Stewart set the fastest lap time in the main event by almost a full second.

James Stewart (Yamaha YZ 450) says: "I almost went down a few times," comments the crowd-favorite Bubba. "Next week, I’ll work on my starts and be prepared for Phoenix. I tried my best to get up there. Once I got into third, I tried to make up some time on Ryan (Dungey) but ran out of laps." 

2011 Anaheim 1 Supercross Results

  1. Ryan Villopoto – Kawasaki KX 450 F
  2. Ryan Dungey – Suzuki RM-Z 450
  3. James Stewart – Yamaha YZ 450 F
  4. Trey Canard – Honda CRF 450 R
  5. Chad Reed – Honda CRF 450 R
  6. Kevin Windham – Honda CRF 450 R
  7. Ivan Tedesco – Kawasaki KX 450 F
  8. Brett Metcalfe – Suzuki RM-Z 450
  9. Josh Grant – Honda CRF 450 R
  10. Andrew Short – KTM 350 SX-F

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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