Stewart Is Champ

Kit Palmer | April 28, 2007

An emotional James Stewart clinched his first AMA Supercross title and his second FIM World Supercross title after another dominating performance at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington, tonight. Moments after taking the checkered flag well ahead of Honda’s Davi Millsaps and Sobe No Fear/Samsung/Honda’s Kevin Windham, a teary-eyed Stewart got a big hug from his dad, James Sr., while over 47,000 cheering fans looked on.

“I’m definitely happy to be in the position I’m in, and I hope that I can continue to help the sport grow from here,” Stewart later said from the podium. “I also hope that I can continue to kick it up that extra notch to give the fans the show they came to see. I will still be working hard as ever, because there will always be another fast guy coming up to challenge for the win.”

The Seattle win was Stewart’s 12th thus far (there’s still one round left next week in Las Vegas).

“Our entire team puts in so much work that when we win championships like this, it’s a huge payoff,” Monster Kawasaki’s team manager Mike Fisher said. “Our testing staff and riders spend endless hours at the test track perfecting even the smallest of things, so this is what makes it all worth while.”

Stewart’s championship means that Kawasaki won all four major Supercross titles this year, including both East and West Lites classes, and the World title.

For Millsaps, it was his first podium finish of the year. He passed Windham about halfway in and held it there to the finish. Windham finished third, not too far ahead of Kawasaki’s Tim Ferry, who fell earlier in the race while holding down second place.

Honda’s Andrew Short rounded out the top five, while Yamaha’s Chad Reed finished sixth. On the first lap, Reed clipped a downed Ivan Tedesco and had to make quick repairs to his bike’s throttle housing and pulled back onto the race course dead last.

In the Lites class, Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki’s Ryan Villopoto proved exactly why he is the current Lites West Champion after passing his teammate Chris Gosselaar, Yamaha’s Josh Hill, Yamaha of Troy’s Jason Lawrence and Sobe No Fear/Samsung/Honda’s Josh Grant – all tough rivals – before running off with his seventh win of the series, which was the final round on the Lites West circuit.

On the fifth lap, Villopoto, who had already wrapped up the 2007 West Lites Championship over two months ago in San Diego, passed Hill for the lead and slowly pulled away from the pack to put an exclamation point on the 2007 season, finishing 12 seconds ahead of Lawrence, who had earlier passed Hill for second place. Lawrence survived a tight race with Hill and Honda rider Josh Grant, who eventually crashed out of contention.

Hill ended up third, followed by Sobe/Honda’s Jake Weimer, Gosselaar and Motoworld Racing/Yamaha’s Michael Lapaglia.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.