Stewart Takes Texas-Sized Win in Houston

Shan Moore | February 10, 2007

HOUSTON, TEXAS, FEB 10: James Stewart came from behind to easily take his fifth win of the season at round six of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series held at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Meanwhile, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto fended off a spirited challenge from Boost Mobile Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence to win the Lites division.

In the Supercross main event, Stewart’s Kawasaki teammate Tim Ferry grabbed the $1,500 Progressive Direct Holeshot Award with a vaulting start, while Stewart found himself making up ground back in seventh place when the 20-rider field rounded the first turn.

By the end of the first lap, Sobe/Samsung Honda’s Kevin Windham had moved around Ferry to take the lead, as Stewart passed Sobe/Samsung Honda’s Travis Preston and Makita Suzuki’s Ivan Tedesco to move into fourth.

Chad Reed, riding his San Manuel Band of Mission Indians/L&M Racing YZ450F, ran in third position, several lengths behind Ferry.

Over the course of the first six laps, Stewart methodically worked his way past Reed, then Ferry and finally Windham to take the lead. From there, the Floridian ran a conservative race and finished over 17 seconds ahead of Reed.

Windham, who was making one of his best rides of the year, tightened up in the end and gave up the final podium position to Ferry, while Preston and WBR/Rockstar Suzuki’s Michael Byrne came home in fifth and sixth, respectively.

“I had a big crash earlier in practice and I knew that this track could come back and bite me,” said Stewart, who moved into a tie for 10th on the all-time series win list with Supercross legend Jean-Michele Bayle. “But, I have the points lead and couldn’t afford to back down because things can get bad when you start to let up.”

The win gives Stewart an 18-point lead over Reed in the Amp’d Mobile World Supercross GP standings and he enjoys a 21-point margin in the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series.

In the Lites race, Ryan Villopoto grabbed the holeshot and the early lead at the start of the 15-lap main event, however, Lawrence took over the point with an aggressive pass before the end of the first lap. Two turns later Villopoto returned the favor with a pass in the sand section and held the lead until tangling with a lapper on the sixth lap. Both Villopoto and lapper went down, however the Kawasaki rider remounted in second and eventually ran down Lawrence to take the lead for good on lap nine.

“A lapped rider just jumped right off the table top, hit a tuff block and went down right in front of me,” said Villopoto. “I had nowhere to go and ran right into him. I got back up and chased Lawrence down for the win.”

Lawrence held on for second, while Sobe/Samsung Honda’s Josh Grant finished third.

Supercross Final:

1. James Stewart (Kaw)

2. Chad Reed (Yam)

3. Tim Ferry (Kaw)

4. Kevin Windham (Hon)

5. Travis Preston (Hon)

6. Michael Byrne (Suz)

7. Heath Voss (Hon)

8. Ivan Tedesco (Suz)

9. Paul Carpenter (Kaw)

10. David Vuillemin (Hon)

Lites Final:

1. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

2. Jason Lawrence (Yam)

3. Josh Grant (Hon)

4. Josh Hill (Yam)

5. Martin Davalos (KTM)

6. Jake Weimer (Hon)

7. Matthew Lemoine (Yam)

8. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)

9. Chris Gosselaar (Kaw)

10. Troy Adams (Suz)

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.