AMA-SX: 2009 New Orleans results

Stewart back on top at the Superdome

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 16, 2009
James Stewart returned to the top of the podium after a two-race absence with a victory at the March 14 AMA Supercross race at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

The San Manuel Yamaha rider put an end to Rockstar Makita Suzuki racer Chad Reed’s two-race winning streak with his eighth victory of the season. Factory Yamaha rider Broc Hepler completed the podium in third.

“I had to win tonight – point blank. I had to win,” says Stewart. “This is what I needed heading into the race next weekend in St. Louis.”

Unlike most races this season that saw Stewart ahead of the pack while Reed recovers from a slow start to reach the podium, the two riders were one-two for the entire race. Stewart took the holeshot with Reed right behind him. The two title contenders stayed close for the first ten laps but Reed was unable to pass Stewart.

James Stewart spoiled Chad Reed's 27th birthday by ending his winning streak.In the second half of the race however, Reed struggled to keep his pace amidst lapped traffic and had to settle for second.

“I struggled with passing the lappers tonight,” says Reed. “I tried to be patient and just didn’t make quick enough choices when I was coming through.”

Reed turned 27 on March 15 and his wife Ellie Reed surprised him by flying his parents, siblings and other relatives to New Orleans to watch the race. Unfortunately, Reed wasn’t able to win in front of his family. The defending AMA Supercross champion retains his lead in the championship standings over Stewart by a 246-238 margin by being on the podium for every race this season. In eight of those races however, Reed finished runner-up to Stewart so the Australian racer says he still has something to prove.

“I just want to get out in front and ride a good solid race as I know I can beat him (Stewart) and it is my goal to prove that over the next couple of races,” says Reed.

In the East Regional Supercross Lites class, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Austin Stroupe led all 15 laps to claim his second victory of the season. The win propelled Stroupe into second in the standings ahead of Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Nico Izzi but he still trails his teammate Christophe Pourcel who finished fourth in New Orleans.

The 2009 AMA Supercross Championship continues March 21 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo.

2009 AMA Supercross top five standings
Pos. Rider Team Points
1st Chad Reed San Manuel Yamaha 246
2nd James Stewart Rockstar Makita Suzuki 238
3rd Andrew Short Honda Red Bull Racing 179
4th Ryan Villopoto Monster Energy Kawasaki 165
5th Josh Grant Joe Gibbs Racing 152