AMA-SX: 2010 season preview

Anaheim I opener live on SPEED Jan. 9

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 07, 2010
The 2010 AMA Supercross Championship kicks off Jan. 9 in Anaheim, Calif., re-igniting the rivalry between reigning Champion James Stewart and Chad Reed.

The first of three rounds to be held at Anaheim’s Angel Stadium will be the first meeting between the two rivals since the end of the 2009 season. The pair finished one-two in thirteen of the 17 rounds in 2009, with Stewart coming out ahead by four points in the final standings. The season came down to the final laps of the last race, but a blocking incident by Stewart’s teammate Kyle Chisholm in the second-last race added some controversy and heat to the rivalry.

James Stewart and the reverse-cylinder 2010 Yamaha YZ450F have already tasted victory.

Stewart will try to earn Yamaha its third consecutive AMA Supercross title. The two-time Supercross Champion did not compete in the outdoor 2009 AMA Motocross season, but shook off the rust at the U.S. Open of Supercross in October for the racing debut of the 2010 Yamaha YZ450F with a convincing victory. Stewart also had a strong showing on the new YZ with its reversed-cylinder engine at the Supercross of Bercy in Paris, France, before withdrawing from the final day of competition due to illness.

Reed, meanwhile, put the disappointing end to the previous Supercross season behind him and won the AMA Motocross title for Suzuki. In the off-season, Reed signed on with the Kawasaki factory team to ride the KX450F. Reed made his debut on the KX450F in the Monster Energy Super X Championship in his native Australia, earning three wins in four events.

With his third team in as many years, Chad Reed will again be a contender, this time with Kawasaki.

Stewart and Reed will be strong favorites to contend for the 2010 Supercross title but they aren’t the only ones with a shot for the championship.

Reed’s new Kawasaki teammate, Ryan Villopoto should also be considered a contender. Villopoto finished the 2009 season strong with wins in two of the final three rounds. Villopoto carried that success into the outdoor season, sweeping both motos in the AMA Motocross opener at Glen Helen Raceway before his season was cut short by a knee injury.

An injury earlier in the week may keep JGR Yamaha’s Josh Grant out of the Anaheim opener. Grant broke his nose in a crash during a training session and will be re-evaluated ahead of the event. As a rookie, Grant was a surprise winner in last year’s Anaheim I race.

Andrew Short has finished third for two seasons in a row. Photo by Garth Milan/Red Bull Photofiles

Another title hopeful is Honda’s Andrew Short who finished third in the final standings the past two AMA Supercross seasons. Short had a strong outdoor season, finishing a career-best second in the final Motocross standings. Short will be joined by Davi Millsaps on the Honda CRF450R.

Suzuki will try to fill the loss of Reed with 2009 Supercross Lites West Champion Ryan Dungey and Australian Lites Champion Matt Moss. Dungey and the Suzuki RMZ450 played a key role in America’s 2009 Motocross of Nations effort, sealing the victory with a win in the final moto.

The 2010 AMA Supercross season opener Anaheim airs live on SPEED at 10 pm ET.