After a tough battle with Trey Canard, James Stewart (7) held on to win the Spring Creek National in Minnesota. Photography by Steve Cox.
It was long in coming but Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart finally captured his first outdoor overall victory since round two of last year after going 1-3 at the Spring Creek National Motocross, round nine of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, in Millville, Minnesota, today.
“I knew I had it [a win] in me, but I just needed the starts,” Stewart said.
On an unseasonably cool day at Millville, Stewart outdueled Honda Muscle Milk’s Trey Canard in a late-moto scrap that saw the two cross the finish line separated by just half a second. In the second moto, Stewart and Canard again found themselves battling for positions late in the race but this time over second and third, and this time, Canard came out ahead, but it wasn’t enough to keep Stewart from taking his first overall win in 15 months. Canard thought he had edged out Stewart for the overall, thinking his 2-2 had topped Stewart’s 1-3, but based on points given per moto, Stewart ended up squeaking ahead of Canard by just one point, 45-44.
Third overall went to home-crowd favorite Ryan Dungey on the Red Bull KTM. Dungey won the second moto after passing holeshotter Stewart, but a thrown chain, probably caused by a rock, while running up front that forced him to pull over and lose time in the first moto, ended any real chance he had of taking the overall victory. Dungey’s 5-1, however, did enable him to pull back a sizeable chunk of points on 450-class series leader Ryan Villopoto, who just couldn’t get it together at Spring Creek.
Bad starts, falls and little mistakes all day long kept Villopoto from getting on the box for the first time in this year’s outdoor championship. It was the first time the Monster Energy Kawasaki rider didn’t win at least a moto this season. Villopoto ended up fifth overall with a 6-4, giving back eight points to series runner-up Dungey, who suffered a DNF at the RedBud National two rounds ago. But Villopoto still enjoys a fairly comfortable lead over Dungey, 413-379, with three rounds left on the 2013 schedule.
Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Barcia showed plenty of speed once again but couldn’t quite hold on. He led the first seven laps of the first moto before giving way to Stewart, then his teammate Canard. Barcia started off in third in the second moto but slipped back one position, finishing out the day fourth overall with a 3-5.
Andrew Short, on the BTO Sports KTM, had a consistent day. He went 7-8 for sixth overall, while Mike Alessi, on the Smartop/Motoconcepts Racing Suzuki, put last week’s laser drama behind him and went 11-6 on the day for seventh overall. (Alessi came from 19th in the first moto after a first-lap fall.)
TwoTwo Motorsport Honda’s Chad Reed matched his season-best seventh in the second moto to finish out the day in the top 10 overall with an eighth (10-7).
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jake Weimer (9-9) and RCH Racing Suzuki’s Broc Tickle (8-10) rounded out the top 10 overall.
JGRMX/Toyota Yamaha’s Josh Grant had a promising ride going after finishing a strong fourth in the first moto, but a first-lap crash while running second in the second moto ended all that. He eventually pulled out of the moto a few laps later, but his first-moto fourth was good enough to give him 11th overall.
Spring Creek Motocross Park
July 27, 2013
1. James Stewart (Suz) 1-3
2. Trey Canard (Hon) 2-2
3. Ryan Dungey (KTM) 5-1
4. Justin Barcia (Hon) 3-5
5. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw) 6-4
6. Andrew Short (KTM) 7-8
7. Mike Alessi (Suz) 11-6
8. Chad Reed (Hon) 10-7
9. Jake Weimer (Kaw) 9-9
10. Brock Tickle (Suz) 8-10