AMA-SX: 2009 Seattle results

Stewart takes lead as Reed misses podium

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 20, 2009
Ryan Villopoto returned from a three-race absence to earn his first AMA Supercross win at his home town of Seattle, Wash. on April 18.

The Monster Energy Kawasaki rider missed the previous three rounds due to a viral infection but returned to earn his first premier class victory before 50,016 race fans in Seattle’s Qwest Field.

“It’s awesome,” says Villopoto. “I can’t thank my team enough and everybody that put effort into it. It hasn’t been the year we wanted but they never gave up.”

Meanwhile, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chad Reed missed the podium for the first time all season, giving his rival and second-place finisher James Stewart of San Manuel Yamaha the lead in the overall standings.

James Stewart recaptured the series lead in Seattle, setting up a dramatic final two rounds for the 2009 AMA Supercross Championship.Reed crashed right after the gate drop, falling back to 19th out of 20 entrants. Reed’s teammate Mike Alessi fared much better, taking the holeshot with U.S. Air Force Honda’s Heath Voss and Villopoto on his tail. Stewart was caught in the pileup but did not fall.

“They told me how far I was back – fifteenth or something like that – and it was crazy,” says Stewart. “I bent my clutch lever as soon as I got hit in that first corner, and it was just like, ‘Man, just try to stay up.’ The first couple laps were carnage, with guys trying to pass each other. I’m pretty stunned that I was able to come up and get second because I saw how far ahead those guys were.”

Alessi held the lead through seven laps before a mistake in a corner gave Villopoto the lead with Honda Red Bull Racing’s David Millsaps moving up to second.

Stewart passed Alessi a few laps later and overtook Millsaps on lap 16, but Villopoto was able to hold him off for the win. Stewart finished 7.873 seconds later, followed by Millsaps.

Reed had shown the ability to overcome poor starts and climb back to the podium all season but unable to climb higher than seventh in Seattle.

“Tonight was very disappointing, it all fell apart at the start for me and I wasn’t able to recover, I just ran out of laps to do anything about the guys in front,” says Reed. “This is not what we needed and will have to bounce back very strongly next week to mount a challenge for the title.”

Stewart now holds a three-point lead over Reed in the championship standings with two races remaining. The 2009 AMA Supercross season continues April 25 in Salt Lake City, Utah before moving to Las Vegas, Nev. for the May 2 finale.

2009 AMA Supercross top five standings
Pos. Rider Team Points
1st James Stewart San Manuel Yamaha 332
2nd Chad Reed Rockstar Makita Suzuki 329
3rd Andrew Short Honda Red Bull Racing 241
4th Josh Grant Joe Gibbs Racing 208
5th Kevin Windham Geico Powersports Honda 204