Stewart Takes Daytona SX Win

Shan Moore | March 9, 2007

DAYTONA, MAR 9: Ricky Carmichael’s bid for a sixth Daytona Supercross win ended when the Makita Suzuki rider suffered a poor start and was forced to work his way up from eighth place on the opening lap to an eventual second place finish at round 10 of the Amp’d Mobile AMA Supercross Series held at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona, Florida, tonight.

James Stewart capitalized on Carmichael’s plight and rode away to a relatively easy win on the rough and sandy course, giving him his seventh win of the season.

The win put the Kawasaki pilot back on the winning track after last week’s event in St. Louis, where the roles were reversed. In St. Louis, Stewart tangled on the opening lap with San Manuel Yamaha’s Chad Reed and went down, forcing him to work his way up from the rear of the pack, while Carmichael ran away with the easy win.

At the start of tonight’s 20-lap main event, Moto XXX’s Kyle Lewis grabbed the holeshot, but was quickly passed by Stewart before the opening lap was done.

Meanwhile, Reed and Carmichael were caught back in seventh and eighth, respectively, while Stewart enjoyed a wide-open track out front.

It would take Carmichael four laps to work his way through traffic and into second place, and by that time Stewart had put his Kawi on cruise and was enjoying a seven-second cushion over the Suzuki rider. Reed had a tougher time making his way to the front and it was not until the halfway point of the race before he was able to make his way past Team Honda’s Kevin Windham to move into third.

At the finish, Stewart got the checkers with a 10-second cushion over Carmichael, while Reed came home in third. Stewart’s teammate Timmy Ferry passed Windham in the closing laps to finish fourth, with Windham taking fifth and Suzuki’s Ivan Tedesco sixth.

Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Ben Townley claimed his second win in a row in Eastern Regional Lites competition, by fending off the early advances of Team Honda’s Tommy Hahn, before pulling away to a well-deserved victory in the Lites final.

Hahn pushed Townley over the first few laps, but bobbled a double jump on lap three and had to single it, while Townley was able to double it. From that point on, Townley was able to pull away ever so steadily to take the win.

Red Bull KTM’s Mike Alessi finally got untracked and worked his way up from sixth on the opening lap to finish third, while Sobe/Samsung/Mobile/Honda’s Billy Laninovich rode a consistent race to finish fourth. Boost Mobile Yamaha’s Ryan Morais finished fifth and Monster Energy Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Darcy Lange sixth.

Matt Goerke, who was sitting in tie with teammate Morais for the series points lead coming into the Daytona race, went down on the opening lap, but was able to work his way back to an eventual 12th place finish.

Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey failed to qualify for the main event after tangling with another rider on the first lap of his heat race and then falling while running fifth in his LCQ.

After three rounds, Morais leads the point standings with 56 points, followed by Lange with 52, Townley with 50 and Goerke with 49.

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.