AMA-SX: 2009 Toronto results

Stewart cuts lead to 8 points

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 30, 2009
James Stewart earned his ninth win in 13 races as the 2009 AMA Supercross season went north of the border to Toronto, Canada.

In front of 36,984 fans at the Rogers Centre, the San Manuel Yamaha rider cruised to a 12-second victory, drawing to within eight points of series leader Chad Reed.

Reed’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Mike Alessi took the holeshot but Stewart took the lead by the end of the first lap. Reed stayed close behind in second but well ahead of the rest of the pack.

Reed managed to stay close for the first half of the race but Stewart pulled away in the second half, making up for the previous round’s disappointing result where he crashed while leading.

“Every week it’s 100 percent,” says Stewart. “Everyone makes mistakes once in a while but it’s a long championship and there’s gonna be drama all the way to the end. I went too far inside (on the start) but it worked out and then I turned it on.”

James Stewart earned his ninth win of the season but still trails Chad Reed by eight points.
Chad Reed (in maroon) says neither he nor James Stewart (center) can afford to make any mistakes.

Reed settled for his ninth second-place finish of the season. Though he does not have as many wins as Stewart, Reed has been a consistent podium finisher. Each of his second-place finishes came on Stewart’s victories.

“I’ll take being eight points up over being eight points down,” says Reed “Each race is pretty much a championship race now and neither one of us can make a mistake. Whoever makes the first mistake is going to throw it away.”

Factory Yamaha’s Josh Hill finished third to complete the podium.

“It’s been a really tough year for me,” says Hill. “I tore my labarum in my shoulder at the start of the year, and as soon as that started feeling better, I tore ligaments. It’s been really hard for me, but I just want to thank my team for not giving up on me, and James (Stewart) for letting me come and ride at his house. Hopefully, I’ll just get better from here.”

In AMA Supercross Lites action, Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Christophe Pourcel earned his fourth win of the season to capture his first East Regional Championship with one round left to race.

Pourcel cut past the inside of holeshot winner Broc Tickle of Division 7 Yamaha and ran away with the victory. The win gives Pourcel an insurmountable 156-128 points lead over teammate Austin Stroupe who finished second in Toronto. Pourcel wins the East Regional title in his first full AMA Supercross season and just 19 months after a serious crash in a race in North Ireland that dislocated his shoulder and broke a bone in his spinal column.

“It feels great to come to America and achieve so much success in my first full season,” says Pourcel, who wasn’t sure if he would ever walk again let alone race after the 2007 crash. “I’ve worked really hard all season and so has my team. Tonight I got a good start and had a really good first lap. I’m really proud to win my first championship. It’s been a really great season.

While the East Regional Supercross Lites title has been decided, the premiere class championship looks like it will go down to the wire with only four races remaining. The 2009 AMA Supercross season continues April 4 in Jacksonville, Fla. with Stewart looking to cut further into the championship lead in his home state.

2009 AMA Supercross top five standings
Pos. Rider Team Points
1st Chad Reed Rockstar Makita Suzuki 293
2nd James Stewart San Manuel Yamaha 285
3rd Andrew Short Honda Red Bull Racing 209
4th Josh Grant Joe Gibbs Racing 190
5th Ivan Tedesco Honda Red Bull Racing 179