Stewart Okay, Ready For Vancouver

Paul Carruthers | December 5, 2006

The following is from Live Nation…

Yamaha’s Chad Reed put an early jolt into the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP with a season-opening victory last week in Toronto, setting the stage for what will be another exciting race at Vancouver’s B.C. Place Stadium this Saturday December 9.

Kawasaki’s James Stewart, who went down hard after colliding with Honda’s Travis Preston, announced late on Tuesday that he plans on racing in Vancouver. Stewart won Vancouver last year and has been cleared by his doctor to compete this weekend.

“I had good luck in Vancouver last year, and I plan on going there this weekend to repeat that performance,” said Stewart. “My MRI came ok, so I am planning on being ready for this weekend.”

In what figured to be a three-man battle in Toronto, it was the consistency and steadiness of Reed that paid off as he gained the early momentum heading into Vancouver. Reed took the lead early in the main event and overcame separate challenges from his main rivals, Suzuki’s Ricky Carmichael and Stewart, the defending Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP champion.

I’m motivated,” said Reed. “I’ve had two years that I would like to forget, but I think that they’ve been two of the most important years of my life. I’ve learned so much from them, and I am so happy that I have a race team around me that is so supportive and fun to be around. So, as the season goes on, I will approach each race with a positive attitude.”

Carmichael’s challenge came in the early part of the race, but a crash on lap three dropped him out of early contention. Reed held claim of the lead but would soon come under pressure from Stewart as the two began battling for the top spot, with the lead changing several times.

“Overall, it was a great weekend for me, despite the crash,” said Carmichael. “I’m disappointed that I didn’t give myself a chance to win the race. But, at this level, to come back from as far as I did is something I am very proud of. I’m just a fighter; I’m going to go down swinging.”

The biggest moment of the night, and potentially of the season, was when Stewart flew off the track while in the lead. With Reed slipping by, Stewart attempted to re-enter the track and was hit by Preston, who was a lapper and had not seen Stewart behind the landing of the finish-line jump. The crash not only stripped Stewart of any chance of winning in Toronto, forcing him to finish in third place.

This year mark’s the third time that Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP has visited Vancouver and a return to the scene of Stewart’s runaway victory in 2005. After earning a hard fought victory in last season’s opener in Toronto, Stewart turned up the heat on Carmichael the following week with a wire-to-wire at B.C. Place Stadium.

The early-season battle in Canada would set the stage for what turned out to be one of the closest battles in supercross history. The Stewart/Carmichael battle went down to the season finale in Las Vegas with Stewart walking away with his first Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP title.

The entire Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP season will be broadcast on CBS and SPEED. The Supercross one-hour show from Vancouver is scheduled to air on SPEED, Sunday, Dec. 10 at 6 p.m. (E.S.T.). An additional Supercross Lites one-hour show is slated for SPEED, Friday, Dec. 15 at 12 noon (E.S.T.).

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.