James Stewart Crashes at Anaheim 1 Supercross
Following a 16-month suspension due to a failed drug test, Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart was finally back in action this past weekend for the opening round of 2016 Monster Energy Supercross in Anaheim, Calif.
But just before the finish line of the third lap at Anaheim 1 Supercross, Stewart and Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey – the reigning SX Champion – collided. This sent Stewart hard to the ground, causing a red flag.
Stewart was taken off the track by the Asterick Mobile Medical Crew, and was deemed unfit for a restart.
“James came in ready to race,” said Yoshimura Suzuki Team Manager Mike Webb. “Everything was going to plan, maybe even better than we expected. He was strong in timed qualifying, went out and qualified directly into the Main from his Heat race, had a great start in the final and then out of nowhere he ends up on the ground due to no fault of his own. It’s a real shame for all the work he put into this comeback, but I’m hopeful he’ll be able to bounce back soon and quickly put this behind him.”
Officials say Stewart is being evaluated day-to-day, and is questionable for nest Saturday’s San Diego Supercross. The Yoshimura Suzuki team will issue a release on any updates when available.
When Anaheim 1 SX began, Stewart was quick, finishing third aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 during qualifying. He followed this up a third in his heat race, which easily placed the two-time Supercross Champion into the main.
After qualifying, Stewart said “I’m encouraged by how I feel in the comeback. I’m excited, the whole team is excited and it’s great to be back in the competition.”
But Yoshimura Suzuki says, “On the third lap, Stewart ran a wide arc through a 180-degree turn and then cut down to try to repass eventual winner Jason Anderson (Husqvarna), when suddenly Stewart’s Suzuki was slammed by another rider. Stewart was flung-off the high-side of his Suzuki, landed hard and knocked unconscious. He came to rest in a bad part of the track and officials red-flagged the race for the rider’s safety.”
Stewart was the only Yoshimura Suzuki rider at Anaheim 1 Supercross; his teammate, Blake Baggett, continues to recover from pre-season injuries, but is expected to return at the Oakland Supercross at the O.co Coliseum on January 30.