Before St. Louis Supercross, San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart suffered an eight-race losing streak – the longest of his career.
But the Haines City, Fla., native took St. Louis with style, displaying the winning ways Stewart is known for. And in Qwest Stadium, Seattle, Saturday evening, Stewart again showed his winning ways, taking the Supercross victory with a wire-to-wire win.
After capturing Seattle, Stewart now has five victories in 2011 AMA Supercross (Phoenix, Oakland, Anaheim II, St. Louis, Seattle). This helped him achieve 284 points with two rounds remaining. Although he is in fourth place in the points, he is only nine behind the Supercross leader, Ryan Villopoto (Monster Energy Kawasaki).
Stewart started the Seattle Supercross weekend out well, posting quick lap times during practice at a wet and rutted circuit. Again he won his heat race, taking the lead on the first lap and leading all eight. When the second Heat was complete, Stewart’s time in Heat 1 was 17 seconds faster than the entire field of riders.
When the main event began, Stewart got out of the gate second aboard the Yamaha YZ450F, but grabbed the lead halfway through the first lap. He then lead for the rest of the 20-lap event, finishing almost three seconds ahead of GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham.
James Stewart (San Manuel Yamaha YZ450F) says: “That was a perfect night in Seattle. The main event was so gnarly, but it kind of played to my skills. I rode really consistently and it feels great to get a win again.”
“It was coming easy for me. I had some good lines through the whoops and once I got a lead, you know, I just kind of backed it down and just kept the gap like it was.
“I felt good all day. The bike was working fantastic, really good. I knew the ruts…you know, the track was going to get technical. I was trying to just play it smart and I was able to get a good lead and make it happen after that.”
After a week-long break, the AMA Supercross series returns for the penultimate round of 17 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, April 30. A total of 50 points remain, which can help Stewart achieve his third AMA Supercross title.