James Stewart Dominates Phoenix SX

2011 AMA Supercross

In an amazingly show of speed and strength, James Stewart dominated the second round of the 2011 AMA Supercross season with a convincing win at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. on Saturday, Jan. 15.

The San Manuel/Red Bull/Yamaha YZ450F racer set the pace throughout the day, setting fastest lap time in practice, and then grabbing the holeshot and leading every race lap to record his first main event win of the year and the 38th Supercross win of his career.

The Supercross victory also pulls him within two points of Ryan Villopoto in the standings as the series heads to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the first time Saturday, Jan. 22.

In Phoenix, Stewart’s go-for-broke riding style caused him to crash the Yamaha in his heat race, but he rebounded to ride fluidly in the main event.

Rarely during the race did Stewart look ragged at all, even though the Phoenix track was slippery and tricky in places, catching several top competitors off guard. Just as he promised after getting a slow start in the opening round in Anaheim Supercross last week, Stewart rocketed the Yamaha to the front of the field in the 20-lap main event.

With defending Supercross-titleholder Ryan Dungey and perennial rival Chad Reed outside the top five at first, Stewart’s only tailgaters during the early going were Kevin Windham and then Villopoto. But a fall by Villopoto on lap nine handed Stewart a comfortable six-second lead, and ultimately the win.

James Stewart
(Yamaha Supercross) says: "I really wanted to pull that holeshot. This track was tough tonight but I haven’t won in over a year so I really wanted this one. I was even a little nervous out there but I want to thank everyone on my team for giving me such an awesome bike. This feels great."

Jim Perry (Yamaha Supercross Team Manager) says: "I’m glad to see James Stewart back to his winning ways. It’s very rewarding for the team, which put in a lot of hard work last week. So is the fact that half of the field was riding YZ450Fs this weekend, with four Yamahas in the top 10 including Joe Gibbs Racing’s Justin Brayton in sixth, Moto Concepts’ Kyle Chisholm in ninth and Stewart’s teammate Kyle Regal in 10th."

Meanwhile, farther north in Prairie City, Calif., Kyle Summers and Ricky Dietrich went 1-2 in the opening round of the 2011 AMA District 36 Cross County Championship on Sunday afternoon.

Aboard his Valli Motorsports Yamaha YZ450F, after two hours Summers finished nearly a minute ahead of teammate Dietrich, who was in turn several minutes ahead of the next competitor. It was a particularly strong debut for Dietrich, a former WORCS champion, in his first race aboard a Yamaha YZ450F.

AMA Supercross Results – Chase Field – Phoenix, Ariz – Jan. 15, 2011

1. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha
2. Ryan Villopoto, Pouslbo, Wash., Kawasaki,
3. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda
4. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda
5. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki

AMA Supercross Point Standings – After Round 2
1. Ryan Villopoto, Pouslbo, Wash., Kawasaki, 47
2. James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha, 45
3. Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki, 38
4. Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda, 38
5. Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda, 34