Stewart Slip-Slides To Win

Shan Moore | January 28, 2006

James Stewart took the win at round four of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series held at SBC Park in San Francisco, tonight, in a race that was very reminiscent of last year’s muddy event at Anaheim I, and by doing so moved back to within two points of Ricky Carmichael in the race for the AMA series title.

An all-day rain, which got harder at race time, made for very wet and slimy conditions and left the riders paddling through the ruts in a battle of survival.

At the start of the main event, which was shortened to 12 laps because of the conditions, Nick Wey grabbed the holeshot on his MDK/Motosport/Honda, but Stewart quickly moved his factory Kawasaki into the lead by the end of lap one with Team Makita Suzuki-mounted Carmichael just behind, as the two riders pulled away from Wey and the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Chad Reed, currently third in the series point standings, was in catch-up mode back at mid-pack after a bad start.

By lap four, Stewart had pulled a 4-second lead over Carmichael as the two leaders lapped Reed, who was now in 17th following a crash.

By lap nine, all of the double and triple jumps had turned into single obstacles, with the exception of one triple jump, which the leaders were doubling, and Stewart failed to double it on this lap, which allowed Carmichael to move to within striking distance. Carmichael followed for a lap and then made his move just before the white flag, passing Stewart for the lead.

Stewart, however, was not yet done, and re-passed Carmichael for the lead on the final lap. Wey held on for a surprise third, while Reed miraculously made his way into fifth at the finish, just behind Michael Byrne.

Red Bull KTM’s Nathan Ramsey edged Yamaha of Troy’s Brett Metcalfe by half a length to win the Lites division, while Ramsey’s teammate Mike Alessi took his first-ever Lites podium in third.

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto grabbed the holeshot, but went down in the mud and gave way to Ramsey and Metcalfe.

Rockstar Suzuki’s Jason Lawrence had his best race to date in the series and passed teammate Ryan Mills on the final lap for fourth, while Lites’ points lead Grant Langston, on a Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki, had a day to forget after starting the race in fifth, then ultimately finishing in 15th after a series of crashes.

SX MAIN (12 laps):

1. James Stewart (Kaw)

2. Ricky Carmichael (Suz)

3. Nick Wey (Hon)

4. Michael Byrne (Kaw)

5. Chad Reed (Yam)

6. Tyler Evans (Suz)

7. Travis Preston (Hon)

8. Jeff Gibson (Hon)

9. Ryan Clark (Hon)

10. Jason Thomas (Hon)

SX LITES MAIN (8 laps):

1. Nathan Ramsey (KTM)

2. Brett Metcalfe (Yam)

3. Mike Alessi (KTM)

4. Jason Lawrence (Suz)

5. Ryan Mills (Suz)

6. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

7. Billy Laninovich (Hon)

8. Paul Carpenter (Hon)

9. Ryan Morais (Suz)

10. Marco Dube (Yam)

Shan Moore | Contributing Editor

Moore covers all facets of off-road racing for Cycle News – from AMA Supercross and Motocross to GNCC and National Hare Scrambles events.