AMA-SX: 2009 Salt Lake City results

Title fight tainted by black flag controversy

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 27, 2009
James Stewart took his 11th win of the season at the Salt Lake City, Utah round to set up a dramatic finish to the 2009 AMA Supercross Championship.

Stewart arrived in Utah with a three-point lead over Chad Reed, and left with a six-point margin after beating Reed in front of 40,612 spectators at the Rice-Eccles Stadium. Stewart won by under four seconds, but the race was not without controversy.

Reed took the early advantage in the main event, taking the holeshot for Rockstar Makita Suzuki. Honda Red Bull’s Davi Millsaps followed close behind with San Manuel Yamaha’s Stewart third.

Stewart made his move on lap four to briefly move ahead but Reed quickly reeled him back in to retake the lead. Stewart tried again on lap eight, but once more, Reed was able to reclaim the lead. Stewart made one more effort on lap 12 and was finally able to hold onto the advantage. He would hold on to the lead for the remainder of the 20-lap race for the win.

James Stewart set a record for the most SX wins by a Yamaha rider in a single season.“(Reed) wanted to win tonight, and I wanted to win tonight, and I think I just got lucky enough and I was able to pull it off, so I feel great,” says Stewart.

Reed held on for his 11th runner-up finish, each one coming behind a Stewart victory. The Utah race featured several dramatic lead changes, but after the race, Reed claimed the victory was tainted by some blocking by a lapped rider on lap 15.

Reed’s public relations team released a statement claiming the defending champion was poised to challenge for the lead when he was blocked by Stewart’s San Manuel Yamaha teammate Kyle Chisholm. The statement claims Chisholm’s “erratic riding” helped Stewart take a three-second lead. Race officials saw things the same way, immediately waving the black flag to disqualify Chisholm.

“There are little things here and there that I need to work on, but I was basically happy with the way I rode tonight,” says Reed. “With regard to the Chisholm incident it is what it is, I can’t dwell on it. I gave it everything I had but unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”

Ryan Dungey won the 2009 West Region AMA Supercross Lites title.The 2009 AMA Supercross Championship will be decided in the season finale, May 2 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev. Reed still has a chance to overtake Stewart for the title, but needs to earn at least seven points more than his rival. Stewart holds the tie-breaker by virtue of his 11 wins to Reed’s three.

Meanwhile, in Supercross Lites action, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey earned the West Region championship with a fourth-place finish. Dungey earned 18 points to win the title 178-173 over Utah runner-up Jake Weimer. Geico Powersports Honda’s Trey Canard took the race victory ahead of the Monster Energy Kawasaki duo of Weimer and Ryan Morais.

2009 AMA Supercross top five standings
Pos. Rider Team Points
1st James Stewart San Manuel Yamaha 357
2nd Chad Reed Rockstar Makita Suzuki 351
3rd Andrew Short Honda Red Bull Racing 257
4th Josh Grant Joe Gibbs Racing 223
5th Kevin Windham Geico Powersports Honda 218