James Stewart went undefeated through six races tonight and sits in perfect position to claim the title of King of Bercy at the 26th running of the Bercy-Paris Supercross held in the beautiful Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy in the Bercy distict of Paris.
This is Stewart’s first visit to Paris and only his third trip overseas and he was greeted as royalty by the Parisians, including a police escort from the airport. And for sure, Bercy is a race where the fans are as much a part of the show as the riders.
“It was crazy out there,” said Stewart. “It was kind of like Motocross of Nations but louder. The fans were great and for us, it was great to get another race under our belt.”
Bercy marked just the second race for Stewart with his new team, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians/L&M Racing Yamaha, and he seems to have made the change over with little difficulty.
The evening program consisted of a heat race, four “match races” where the last-finishing competitors are eliminated until there are only two riders left, and then a main event. And in each case it was Stewart easily taking the win. However, KTM’s Justin Brayton pushed Stewart during the first half of the final race and ended the night in second place overall. Brayton is a veteran of Bercy and capitalized on great starts and ability to adapt to the changing track conditions.
Energy/JGRMX/Yamaha’s Josh Grant was second in the opening heat race and third in the final, and sits in third overall after one night, while David Vuillemin gave his new team, Bud Kawasaki, something to build on with a fourth overall finish.
Geico Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham took a while to get up to speed and ultimately finished in fifth, but in his defense, the Mississippi native was late signing his contract with Honda and has very little time on the bike since last Supercross season.
“I’ve just struggled all weekend,” said Windham. “I just couldn’t get going and I pumped up a few times. It’s tough racing against these guys who have been testing for a while. We knew we were going to come here and just try to learn a little bit but it sucks getting beat. It was a good showing for me, but I knew coming over here that I wasn’t really prepared so I just need to keep sight of why I’m here, what it means to the fans and what it means to the program.”
Racing resumes at 7:30 PM tonight for the second of three nights of racing and the rider with the most points will earn the title of King of Bercy.
1. James Stewart (Yam); 2. Justin Brayton (KTM); 3. Josh Grant (Yam); 4. David Vuillemin (Kaw); 5. Kevin Windham (Hon); 6. Matt Goerke (Suz); 7. Marvin Musquin (Kaw); 8. Eric Sorby (Yam); 9. Ben Coisey (Hon); 10. Cyrille Coulon (Kaw).