Supercross champion Stewart fights back

1 of 1

Reigning AMA Supercross champion James Stewart fought back from his second place at the opening round last weekend by leading round two at Phoenix almost from start to finish.

It was Mike Alessi who headed the pack out of turn one, but the Californian youngster’s Makita Suzuki was headed within seconds by both Stewart’s Monster Energy Kawasaki and the San Manuel Yamaha of last week’s victor, Chad Reed. 

Australian Reed, the 2004 champion, stalked his rival for the first half of the race, without being able to make a passing move stick, but as the clock ticked into the second half of the race, Stewart began to eke out a slender lead. On a slick and dusty track, it was a matter of who made the least mistakes, and Stewart was rock-solid all race long to bring home the win.

In contrast, the Lites class featured first-class battling from gate to flag. Torco Honda’s Jake Weimar got the holeshot following his failure to qualify at Anaheim One, but last weekend’s winner Ryan Dungey soon came barrelling through, followed by Broc Hepler on the factory Yamaha. Hepler and Suzuki’s Dungey then began a personal battle that would last two thirds of the race as a crowd of riders began to close behind them - Weimar, Brett Metcalfe, Justin Brayton and Justin Lawrence were all stacked up behind.

Up front, the pressure began to tell as both Hepler and Dungey made mistakes that dropped them down, gifting first place to Weimar - both fought back, with Yamaha of Troy rider Lawrence starting to battle through the lead pack, but Brett Metcalfe on the Pro Circuit Kawasaki made life hard for one of the pre-season title favourites, coming back past him as they made their way past first Brayton, then Hepler.

As the clock ran down, Metcalfe and Lawrence came together, but the Aussie Metcalfe managed to stay on as Lawrence dropped back. Dungey was all over Weimar heading into the last lap, setting up a move in turn four where he’d been quick all night. Weimar knew he was coming and moved to cover it, but gave it too much throttle - the back end stepped out and he managed to hang on to it, but in the process he put a strong block on Dungey who could only double the following jump, as Weimar tripled his way into a small lead and a little breathing space for a win that was met with a standing ovation by an appreciative crowd.

 

Results

AMA Supercross

Round 2, Phoenix

 

1 James M Stewart Kawasaki

2 Chad Reed Yamaha

3 Kevin W Windham Honda

4 Andrew T Short Honda

5 Ivan Tedesco Honda

6 Mike A Alessi Suzuki

 

AMA Supercross Lites West Coast

Round 2, Phoenix

1 Jake Weimar - Honda

2 Ryan Dungey - Suzuki

3 Brett Metcalfe - Kawasaki

 

Supercross standings

1 Stewart 47

2 Reed 47

3 Windham 36

4 Ferry 31

5 Short 31

6 Alessi 30

 

Supercross Lites West Coast standings

1 Dungey 47

2 Lawrence 38

3 Brayton 35

Read the latest stories causing a buzz this week in Sport…

Paul Harris

By Paul Harris