Stewart Tops Phoenix SX

Shan Moore | January 16, 2011


James Stewart claimed his first win in over a year at tonight’s round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at Chase Field. The San Manuel-backed rider grabbed the holeshot and rode a strong and swift race en route to a comfortable main event win. The win was not without drama, however, as last week’s winner, Ryan Villopoto, pushed Stewart’s number seven Yamaha for the first half of the race.After getting off the line behind Stewart and GEICO Powersports Honda’s Kevin Windham, Villopoto put his Monster Energy Kawasaki into second and quickly cut the distance between himself and Stewart. However, a crash on lap nine by Villopoto gave Stewart just the breathing room he needed and he crossed the finish line with over five seconds to spare to take an easy win.”It feels good to get a win again, and I’m glad to get it out of the way,” said Stewart. “I was even a little nervous out there. This was one of those tracks that you could only ride at 70% and you just had to be patient.”Villopoto looked nearly unbeatable in his heat race, topping KTM’s Andrew Short by over 12 seconds. He also looked like he might be capable of taking the top position away from Stewart, but a slippery turn before the mechanic’s area was ultimately his undoing.”That section has been tough all night,” said Villopoto. “We were pushing the limit on it all night and it finally got me. I was pushing James and waiting for a mistake, but I ended up being the one to make one. I still was able to do what I came here to do and leave with some valuable points. Now it’s on to Dodger Stadium.”Third place went to factory Honda’s Trey Canard, who worked his way past Windham and Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey to secure the position.”It’s great to be on the podium, but I’m really disappointed in how I rode. I kind of froze when I got into third,” said Canard. “I just kind of flounder when I got up there, but it’s something I can build on and hopefully I can get more comfortable up there.”Are disappointing results in qualifying, Chad Reed put his Two Two Motorsports Honda into fourth, coming out on top of the fierce battle with Dungey to do so. Meanwhile Dungey, the defending series champ, was not happy at all to wind up with a fifth place finish.”It was definitely a rough night,” said Dungey. “I think it’s a little bit of a wakeup call for us, and hopefully we can learn from this and improve.”

JGR Yamaha’s Justin Brayton finished a strong sixth, proving that last week’s heat race win was no fluke. And KTM’s Andrew Short improved on his 10th place finish from a week ago to take seventh in Phoenix.Villopoto heads into next week’s race at Dodger Stadium with a two-point lead in the standings over Stewart, with Canard sitting third, another seven points back.In the Lites division, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Broc Tickle took the early lead, but crashed on lap seven, relinquishing the lead to teammate Josh Hansen. Hansen made the most of the opportunity and brought home his second win of the season, while Tickle rebounded for second.I’m really stoked to get the win,” said Hansen. “I didn’t get the start I needed to, but I tried my best to be patient and it worked out for me.”Tickle held a sizeable lead before sliding out in a slippery turn. He remounted in third behind Rockstar Suzuki’s Ryan Morais, but battled his way back into second before the end of the race. Morais held onto third, ahead of Honda riders Cole Seely and Eli Tomac, who finished fourth and fifth, respectively.After two rounds, Hansen holds a six-point lead over Tickle (50 to 44) with Morais and Tyla Rattray sitting another nine points back at 35 points each.450 Results

1. James Stewart (Yam)

2. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)

3. Trey Canard (Hon)

4. Chad Reed (Hon)

5. Ryan Dungey (Suz)

6. Justin Brayton (Yam)

7. Andrew Short (KTM)

8. Brett Metcalfe (Suz)

9. Kyle Chisholm (Yam)

10. Kyle Regal (Yam)Lites Results

1. Josh Hansen (Kaw)

2. Broc Tickle (Kaw)

3. Ryan Morais (Suz)

4. Cole Seely (Hon)

5. Eli Tomac (Hon)

6. Tyla Rattray (Kaw)

7. James Decotis (Hon)

8. Travis Baker (Hon)

9. Martin Davalos (Suz)

10. Kyle Cunningham (Yam)


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.