When the AMA Supercross field launched their machines for Round 8 of the 2011 season, James Stewart got the holeshot aboard his San Manuel Yamaha YZ450F.
A few turns later, it looked as if it would be another first or second for Stewart, but during the final laps of Atlanta Supercross at the Georgia Dome, the Haines, Fla., native would crash and finish fourth.
After grabbing the holeshot, Two-Two Motorsports Honda rider Chad Reed and Muscle Milk Yamaha’s Justin Brayton were in tow. But on lap 2, Stewart would have a bobble, giving Reed the lead for the next 15 laps.
On Lap 18, a lapped rider allowed Stewart to close in on his rival Reed before reclaiming the lead as the pair came to take the white flag. Stewart passed Reed, and the two began a grueling battle involving an aggressive block pass just corners from the checkered flag.
The two collided, allowing the reigning champ Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM450Z) and Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki KX450F). Villopoto took the win, and was joined on the podium by Dungey and Reed. Stewart had to settle for fourth.
On his Twitter, Stewart says he "never saw it coming," adding, "now I am just looking forward to Daytona. The bike and team were great. I’ll be back for another day of racing."
Stewart now stares at a 10 point deficit to standings leader Villopoto while Reed is 11 adrift of the Yamaha man in third spot. Round nine of 2011 Supercross will take place next weekend at the Daytona International Speedway.
Georgia Dome Supercross Top Five: Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki), Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki), Chad Reed (Two-Two Motorsports Honda), James Stewart (San Manuel Yamaha), Trey Canard (American Honda).