Suzuki’s James Stewart Earns 1st Podium of 2014 Supercross at A2
2014 Anaheim II AMA Supercross JS7 Podium
Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart was a top pick for 2014 AMA Supercross, considering the Floridian picked up much steam towards the end of 2013, which culminated in winning the Monster Energy Cup.
But the season opener at Anaheim didn’t go well; Stewart suffered a DNF due to a crash. He had better luck in Phoenix for round two, finishing fourth.
But at Anaheim II this past weekend, the Suzuki RM-Z 450 pilot finished on the podium following a second-place finish behind TwoTwo Kawasaki’s Chad Reed. Taking third was Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen.
Stewart achieved the podium feat while still struggling through a lingering illness. Regardless, he qualified third fastest in the 450 SX field; this was after JS7 dominated his heat race.
When the main began before 22 past Supercross Champions for Anaheim’s 40th Supercross Anniversary race, Stewart began second behind holeshot-winner Ryan Dungey (Red Bull KTM SX-F 450). But on lap six, Dungey made an error on the whoops, giving first to Stewart.
Behind, three-time AMA Supercross Champion Ryan Villopoto began chasing down Stewart. He caught up on lap 14, and took the lead for a moment. But Villopoto would crash, and rejoin the grid in fifth.
Meanwhile, Reed was charging through the field and made a pass for the lead on lap 17. Reed extended his lead, and Stewart finished a lonely second. Due to his third-place finish, Roczen now holds the lead with 60 points, one ahead of Villopoto. As for Stewart, he’s in sixth with 44.
James Stewart (Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z 450 Supercross) says: “In all honesty, I was just a tick off all day. I was happy to win my heat race and I rode pretty good in the main event. I led for a little while and the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was running great.
“But then a guy got by me with about three or four laps left. It’s frustrating to lose like that but I’m happy to be on the podium for the first time this year. I’m still fighting this cold but I’m getting stronger. So right now, it’s about limiting my mistakes, not throwing it away and getting what I can get. I’m just looking forward to going to Oakland and making things happen.”
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s next event is the fourth round of the 2014 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship on Saturday, January 25, at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.