Stewart out of Supercross title race
James Stewart has effectively withdrawn from the 2008 Supercross season after a statement from his Monster Energy Kawasaki team announced that the reigning champion would have to undergo knee surgery.
Stewart suffered an injury before Christmas whilst preparing for the new season and had hoped that by not training, and riding as infrequently as he could between rounds, he might sufficiently heal in order to fight to retain his championship but, although he was tied for the championship lead after two rounds, the pain he felt during practice for round three left him no option but to undergo more aggressive treatment.
Originally, it had been hoped that only a handful of rounds would be missed, but the decision to operate means that Stewart is unlikely to return until after the Supercross season ends, but hopefully in time for the start of the outdoor season opener at Glen Helen in May.
Stewart’s absence will also give Chad Reed a golden opportunity to claim his second Supercross crown - the San Manuel Band Of Mission Indians Yamaha team leader has been a regular contender for several years, and was Stewart’s only realistic challenger for the 2008 crown.
Reed will be fully aware that there are still a lot of races to run, but in terms of pure pace it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to match the Australian.