After going winless in eight races, Team San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart, of Haines City, Fla., is on a two-race win streak as the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship, closes in on the final two races of the season. Four riders are separated by nine points as the championship heads to Salt Lake City’s Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey, TwoTwo Motorsports/Bel-Ray Racing Honda’s Chad Reed and Stewart round out the top four places, respectively. With Stewart’s win at Qwest Field in Seattle, he’s now tied with Villopoto at five for the most wins this season. On the other hand, Dungey and Reed have only one win apiece.
“I was able to get a good start in Seattle, which made it a lot easier to manage the race,” said Stewart following his fifth win of the season in Seattle. “I went into last weekend’s break with the momentum, and I look forward to coming out swinging heading into Salt Lake City this Saturday.”
Stewart captured the win in Salt Lake City in 2009 en route to his second Supercross class championship.
Reed was able to escape disaster in Seattle when he suffered a horrific crash with two laps to go, handing second place to GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham, who won in Seattle last year. After remounting, Reed held off a hard charging Villopoto to salvage third place. Reed is now six points out of the lead.
“I am not sure what caused the crash, but I am lucky to be safe and have another chance to fight for this title,” said Reed about his late-race crash in Seattle. “I am mad at myself for giving up two points in the title chase, but it could have been a lot worse. The championship is on the line and it’s time to go for it. I am going to give it everything I have to win this year.”
With 11 podium finishes this season, Dungey ran into some bad luck in Seattle, finishing fifth, which is his second-worst finish of the season. The defending Supercross class champion is now seven points out of the lead.
"All in all, it was a pretty good night," said Dungey. "I got off to a good start in my heat and ended up finishing third. The track was really gnarly out there. It kind of wanted to just come up and bite you, especially by the end of the 20 laps. I got off to a decent start, but I fell down in the first lap and I think I was near last. But at that point, I just put my head down and tried to pick off as many guys as I could and was able to move up and finish fifth. Everyone did a great job today. Going forward, we have a nice break and then we'll get into Salt Lake and will be ready to give it a hard push for the last two races."
The first supercross race held at Rice-Eccles Stadium took place in 2001 where 42,135 packed the home of the 2002 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies to watch Ricky Carmichael race to victory. Carmichael holds the all-time Supercross class win record in Salt Lake City with two. Stewart holds the all-time Supercross Lites class win record at Salt Lake City with two.
Ryan Villopoto, Poulsbo, Wash., Kawasaki – 293
Chad Reed, Tampa, Fla., Honda – 287
Ryan Dungey, Belle Plaine, Minn., Suzuki – 286
James Stewart, Haines City, Fla., Yamaha – 284
Trey Canard, Shawnee, Okla., Honda – 255
Andrew Short, Smithville, Texas, KTM – 196
Kevin Windham, Centreville, Miss., Honda – 187
Davi Millsaps, Carlsbad, Calif., Yamaha – 156
Justin Brayton, Cornelius, N.C, Yamaha – 141
Ivan Tedesco, Murrieta, Calif., Kawasaki – 134