Stewart Takes Night One in Vegas

Jean Turner | October 9, 2009

In his first race back after sitting out the AMA Motocross Championship, and debuting the all-new 2010 Yamaha YZ450F, San Manuel L&M Racing’s James Stewart lit up Las Vegas and took a convincing win at night one of the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open. Red Bull Honda’s Davi Millsaps bested GEICO Powersports Honda’s Dan Reardon for second, while Reardon rounded out the podium.

The night program started out with the top-ten riders from qualifying participating in head-to-head races. Unlike other bracket racing formats we’ve seen, they were not paired up by qualifying times, but instead by random drawing. Josh Hansen and Dan Reardon put on a good show, with the nod – and the extra point – going to Reardon. Davi Millsaps and Ryan Villopoto also had a close race, with Villopoto coming out on top.

That extra point would be the only one Villopoto would score for the evening, because the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider pulled out of the main event, despite qualifying well and running a strong sixth in the first half of the main event.

Just like his heat race, Stewart got off to a great start and proceeded to check out in the main event. Reardon did his best to keep the number one Yamaha in sight for a few laps, but soon found himself in a lonely second. It wasn’t long, however, before Millsaps reeled him in and the two battled for the runner-up spot. After some close battling, Millsaps made a pass stick, and moved into a comfortable second where he would finish, followed by Reardon.

After putting in the most track time of the night, and qualifying for the main through the LCQ, Moto Concepts Yamaha rider Matt Goerke notched a fourth place finish and Yamaha privateer Christian Craig – son of former factory Supercross rider Mike Craig, rounded out the top-five.

Josh Hansen scored a Pro Circuit Kawasaki KX450F for the U.S. Open, but got off to a rather unfortunate start and found himself wedged over a Tuff Block before getting down the start straight. Hansen was nearly a lap down before re-joining the charge. Suzuki’s Michael Byrne also had a rough night, starting with two crashes in his head-to-head race, and tangling with Hart & Huntington’s Matt Boni more than once throughout the night. Byrner managed to salvage a tenth place finish.

Main Event Results:

1. James Stewart (Yam); 2. Davi Millsaps (Hon); 3. Dan Reardon (Hon); 4. Matt Goerke (Yam); 5. Christian Craig (Yam); 6. Cole Siebler (Hon); 7. Tyler Bowers (Yam); 8. Nick Wey (Yam); 9. Chris Blose (Hon); 10. Michael Byrne (Suz); 11. Matt Boni (Hon); 12. Jesse Casillas (Kaw); 13. Josh Hansen (Kaw); 14. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw).

Jean Turner | Contributor

A former staffer at Cycle News, Turner continues to contribute to the website and magazine as a columnist and someone we can count on to whip up a few thousand words on an off-road race when needed.