James Stewart scored a solid win at the Detroit Supercross. Photography by Shan Moore
James Stewart rebounded from his disappointing finish a week ago at the Daytona Supercross by taking a solid victory at the Detroit Supercross at Ford Field in front of a record 50,856 fans. It was Stewart’s 48th career Supercross win, matching him with Ricky Carmichael for second place on the all-time win list. Jeremy McGrath leads the way with 72 wins.
Stewart, on the Yoshimura Suzuki, passed holeshotter Cole Seely, on the Muscle Milk Honda, by lap two and never looked back. At one point, he held a commanding six-second lead over Ryan Villopoto, who had passed Seely earlier in the race, and went on to take the win. His lead, however, shrank as the race wore down, be he still had little less than two seconds on Villopoto when the checkered flag flew.
“The track was slippery tonight, so it was easy to put your bike on the ground,” said Stewart. “I pulled a nice gap in the middle of the race, but I let it go as time went on.”
This was Stewart’s third win at Detroit, his last wins coming in 2006 and 2007.
Villopoto rode well but spent the first six laps trying to get around Seely, giving up precious ground to Stewart.
“I was able to get a good start tonight,” said Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Villopoto. “I made a mistake down the start straight but did regroup. It wasn’t enough, but I walked away with the points lead as we head into Toronto next weekend.”
Third ended up going to Red Bull KTM’s Ryan Dungey who passed Seely on lap eight when the Honda rider lost traction exiting a turn and bobbled. Dungey held his ground for the rest of the race, finishing just a couple of seconds behind Villopoto. It was Dungey’s seventh podium of the year, as it was Villopoto’s.
BTO Sports/KTM’s Andrew Short had a strong ride. He started off in sixth, made a couple of passes and ended up fourth, followed by Muscle Milk Honda’s Justin Barcia.
RCH/Soaring Eagle Suzuki’s Brock Tickle worked his way up from 11th to finish sixth (right behind Barcia), followed by Weston Peick and Josh Hill who had a great battle in the race. Justin Brayton ended up ninth and Josh Grant 10th.
Seely had an eventual run-in with Short while battling it out for the top five and ended up 15th.
Red Bull KTM’s Ken Roczen had a terrible night. He was forced to qualify for the main through a semi, got a bad start in the final, then was slowed when a rock jammed his rear brake and had to pull in to the pits and get it fixed. He ended up 20th, picking up just one point for his effort.
After 11 rounds, Villopoto still padded his points lead over Dungey. With just just six races left, Villopoto leads Dungey by 30 points. Stewart, who overtook Dungey for third in the series, is 49 points behind Villopoto.
1. James Stewart Suzuki
2. Ryan Villopoto Kawasaki
3. Ryan Dungey KTM
4. Andrew Short KTM
5. Justin Barcia Honda
6. Broc Tickle Suzuki
7. Weston Peick Suzuki
8. Josh Hill Suzuki
9. Justin Brayton Yamaha
10. Josh Grant Yamaha
POINTS STANDINGS (After 11 of 17 rounds)
1. Ryan Villopoto 231
2. Ryan Dungey 201
3. James Stewart 182
4. Ken Roczen 181
5. Justin Brayton 167
6. Andrew Short 143
7. Justin Barcia 134
8. Broc Tickle 126
9. Wil Hahn 115
10. Chad Reed 111